By Lara Joseph
It became clear to me that, during Koko’s time at the zoo his interactions with humans had commonly been paired with aversives, so I agreed to take on the challenge of working with him. It was my goal to get him out of his cage and make it a pleasurable experience for him…I was not comfortable putting my hands near Koko without cage bars between us or without him having his beak targeted between the cage bars. I had observed that he was not comfortable with large perches or anything that looked like a large perch, for instance a broom. This was not surprising due to his previous association with the broom at the zoo and it ruled out using a long perch to move him from point A to point B. Instead, I picked an item that I could move him with that did not resemble a long stick. The item was a wire carrier. Read more.