Farewell to Chantek, the orangutan who learned the sign language

by Beatrice Credi - 2017.08.08
Farewell to Chantek, the orangutan who learned the sign language
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Chantek, the orangutan who used sign language (ASL), dies at 39. He was one of the first apes to learn sign language along with Koko the gorilla and Washoe the chimpanzee. He frequently used ASL to communicate with his caregivers, with whom he developed close personal bonds throughout his years at Zoo Atlanta where he was treated for heart disease. But he spent the majority of his life living with the anthropologist Lyn Miles in Tennessee. A 2014 documentary called "The Ape Who Went to College" showed that Chantek had learned various skills there including cleaning his room and directing a driving route from the university to a restaurant.

Published in Disability in numbers.
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