Annise Parker, former Houston mayor, remembers impression Koko the gorilla made on children

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Saturday, June 23, 2018
Koko, gorilla who knew sign language, dies in Santa Cruz Mountains
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Koko the gorilla passed away Tuesday morning in her sleep at the age of 46. Koko was known for her extraordinary mastery of sign language.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Former Houston mayor Annise Parker is remembering a gorilla who made a big impression on children.

Parker took to Twitter on Saturday to share her thoughts on the death of Koko, the gorilla who knew sign language and served as an ambassador for all gorillas.

Koko died Tuesday in the Santa Cruz Mountains. She was 46.

For a decade, Parker and friend Pokey Anderson owned a lesbian-feminist bookstore on Richmond Avenue in the 90's.

"Inklings had a large children's section and the book, "Koko's Kitten," about Koko and her tiny kitten, was a best seller," Parker said on Twitter.

MORE: Watch Koko the gorilla rock out on the guitar

Koko was born at the San Francisco Zoo and moved to the Santa Cruz Mountains eight years later, along with The Gorilla Foundation.

She was featured in multiple documentaries and appeared on the cover of National Geographic twice. She touched the lives of millions as an ambassador for all gorillas.

The Gorilla Foundation says Koko shared a special bond with Robin Williams. The two met for a video shoot in 2001.

The foundation said Koko expressed sadness after her handlers explained Williams had died in 2014.