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The Story Of Robin Williams and Koko The Gorilla Will Fill Your Heart, And Then Break It

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Aside from being known as one of the greatest Hollywood actors, Robin Williams had a big heart.

You didn't have to meet the five-time Academy Award winner to know what a sweetheart he was.

According to Billionaire, Williams supported 28 charities throughout his life, which included disaster relief funds and St. Judge Children's Research Hospital.

There wasn't anyone who didn't love him. Even a depressed gorilla named Koko couldn't help but sense the comedian's positive aura. He was like a breath of fresh air anytime he walked into a room.

So when Williams was invited to meet the most intelligent gorilla in the world, who can understand English and is fluent in American sign language, there was absolutely no way he was going to refuse.

In 2001, he visited the beloved gorilla at her home at the San Francisco Zoo, and their new friendship was recorded for everyone to see.

A New Friendship

The two immediately shared a special bond. They were both tickling each other, just laughing hysterically.

Koko even recognized that Williams is a Hollywood star when she saw a VHS cover of one of his films!

By the end of the video, Williams and Koko give each other a loving hug. "It was awesome and unforgettable," Williams recalled of his experience.

What many didn't know of that encounter was that Koko had been depressed for quite some time, ever since the passing of her beloved friend...

"What happened when Robin visited is that Koko was actually in mourning for her lifetime companion Michael and it was Robin who brought her out of it," Koko's trainer, Penny Patterson, told Entertainment Tonight. "The first time she smiled since Michael passed was when Robin and her met."

The two friends met again in 2004 to film a public service announcement for the Gorilla Foundation.

A decade later, the news of William's tragic death in August 2014 shocked the world, leading millions of people mourning the loss of a remarkable human being. Koko was one of them.

Koko In Mourning

Koko's trainers were recieving phone calls about the passing of the actor. Koko seemed to sense that something was wrong, so she looked confused at her trainers.

Dr. Patterson explained what happened to the famous primate, who was described as looking quiet and very thoughtful at first.

Then she was "crying" over the news, using sign language to express her grief.

"Koko became very somber, with her head bowed and her lip quivering," the Gorilla Foundation wrote in a press release.

Click this video to see Koko's heartwarming tribute to the legend!

Share this story if you miss Robin Williams! He was truly a great man, rest in peace.

Moojan has been a writer at Shared for a year. When she's not on the lookout for viral content, she's looking at cute animal photos. Reach her at