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Koko's birthday celebrated in haiku form

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., July 4 (UPI) -- The Gorilla Foundation, based in California, celebrated the 40th birthday of sign language-using gorilla Koko with a Twitter-based haiku contest.

The non-profit organization said the birthday of Koko, a gorilla purchased from the San Francisco Zoo and famous for using American Sign Language to communicate, inspired fans from around the world to submit haiku poems written in the primate's honor.

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"Gentle lady ape / nimble fingers share her thoughts / teaching us to love," read the first place poem, submitted by Twitter user met314.

"When I was little / Koko showed me that humans / did not really know," the second-place finisher, TanyaOsterman, posted to Twitter.

"Signing love polite / Koko's gifts of heart and mind / change the world for good," wrote Twitter user KoKoLove40 in the third place haiku.

An honorable mention went to user coda1229, who tweeted, "Koko is our own / example of life's beauty / she shows we are one."

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