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Gorilla Gets Kittens For Her Birthday, Falls In Love (Video)

| by Lauren Briggs
Koko and her two kittensKoko and her two kittens

Koko the gorilla was overjoyed when she received a very special gift for her 44th birthday -- a box of kittens (video below).

Koko is pretty famous in her own right and has many impressive feats to her name -- she understands English, communicates using American Sign Language and even got to meet Robin Williams a few years ago, which was documented at the time in a popular video. But what really makes the western lowland gorilla special is her sweet personality and her tenderhearted, motherly instincts.

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The video, from Koko's birthday in 2015, shows the gorilla meeting and bonding with the tiny felines. She immediately falls in love with one grey kitten, while another patterned, darker colored one decides right off the bat that it adores Koko. They play with her, and she even puts them on her head. The best part? At the end of the day, Koko gets to keep them.

She has reportedly been enjoying raising the two kitties, who are said to be helping to keep her young and are even inspiring her to sign more to her caretakers. They also provide her with a good way to make use of her maternal instincts -- especially since she never had any babies of her own.

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This adorable moment is a happy ending to a sad story. Koko had her own kittens before, but they slipped away from her, ran outside and got hit by a car, leaving the gorilla devastated and scared for them, notes Shareably.

Her new babies provided her with the perfect fresh start, and she has been taking great care of them, according to an update from early 2016.

Koko understands approximately 2,000 words of spoken English and knows how to sign roughly 1,000 words of ASL, reports the Daily Mail. Since she started working with psychologist Penny Patterson shortly after being born in the San Francisco Zoo in 1971, she has been known for her sweet disposition and groundbreaking propensity for learning.

"You just don't expect a gorilla to be that way," Patterson said in a BBC documentary on Koko, according to the Daily Mail. "Everybody thinks King Kong, stupid, aggressive. She was small and sweet and creative. So it was like raising a kid."

Koko also reportedly has a wonderful sense of humor and has played some fun practical jokes. Word has it, she's even made some great puns over the years. She once tied Patterson's shoelaces together and said in sign language, "chase."

Sources: Shareably, Daily Mail, kokoflix/YouTube (2) / Photo credit: Koko.org

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