The earth that is our home and the air that sustains us in it.
Koko loves Leonardo!
"Fine Animal Gorilla" - the title track from Koko's very own CD!

Dr. Penny found me when I was just a baby
Took me under her wing, she's such a pretty lady
And in a short time she taught me how to sign
She taught me how to paint cause she's so fine
And I am a Fine Animal Gorilla.

Leonardo recently had the opportunity to meet and chat with Koko, ( he was very honored because Koko's handlers insist "she doesn't do interviews."!) It was obvious from the pictures and the clip, that Koko is also a huge Leo fan! All he wanted to do was kiss Leonardo!






GORILLAS IN THE MIST: Leonardo DiCaprio, making an emotional plea to save Africa's mountain gorillas from extinction as he joined musicians Brian May, Joe Strummer and Bryan Adams for a benefit concert for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund on November 10th 2002 in London. The spectacular concert marked the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the rare, intelligent. and unique mountain gorillas. Exclusive taped messages from Leonardo DiCaprio and Sigourney Weaver and the greatest gorilla footage ever shot was shown on the big screens. Thanks to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

You can help Koko! Please Click on Koko's weblink and join Leonardo in his fight to save the mountain gorilla from extinction!

Source: Chris Dugan, Manager of Expression's Equipment Department

was called upon to film an interview with Leonardo DiCaprio for The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund's upcoming charity event. Chris took a few minutes out of his busy day to talk about his experiences during the shoot:

"Greg and Jillian of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund had set up an interview with Leonardo DiCaprio and planned to film it. Leonardo will be unable to make an appearance at the upcoming charity event, so this video will be played at the event in his absence. Leonardo was going to supply a cameraman, but then something happened at the last minute and they had nobody to film the interview. With Eckart Wintzen, (Chairman and Founder of Expression) being one of the big contributors to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, Greg and Jillian called Expression to see if anyone here could help. Peter Laanen, CEO of Expression suggested they call me.

The day began with meeting Leonardo at a local restaurant. It was Greg, Jillian, myself and Leonardo sitting outside at a table, eating coffee cake and engaging in small talk. Leonardo is very knowledgeable about mountain gorillas and was intrigued with Koko. Koko is a gorilla that can communicate through sign language. This was very exciting for Leonardo; not only would he be face to face with a real gorilla but he would be communicating with her. Koko had watched some of Leonardo's movies, so she knew who he was. We were told that she was very excited to meet him.

We drove to 'Koko's Place', which was located in the hills of Redwood City, surrounded by lush California forest land. We were introduced to everyone on staff and sat down for a 'Koko debriefing'.

I was given a Koko gift bag full of Koko books, videos, stickers, and a T-shirt. Everyone there was very kind. I filmed the specifics of what Leonardo would expect to encounter, and learned quite a bit about Koko and gorilla behavior in the process. I was not allowed to sit with Leo and Koko and film. Penny and Ron, who raised Koko, thought that too many people in the room could distract from an enjoyable meeting. Ron set up a Beta Cam to record everything between Leonardo and Koko. I was a little sad to miss out on this. I later heard that just about everyone there has never had such an opportunity to sit one on one with Koko aside from Penny and Ron, so Leonardo was getting the 'special tour'.

I waited for about 2 hours until Penny, Ron, and Leo finally returned. I grabbed my camera, hit record and asked the question, "How was it?" Leonardo began to describe how awesome it was talking with a gorilla. "It was like talking to an alien life form..." He was blown away and had made a rather intense connection with Koko. I filmed the interaction between Leonardo and Penny discussing gorilla behavior and Koko's extraordinary talents. We sat and talked a little more and then it was time to go. We stopped just outside of Koko's habitat and waved good-bye. She seemed sad to see Leonardo leave, and I think he was sad to go.

Then we headed a little ways down the road and for an interview with Leonardo. We set up in a very quiet, woodsy area next to a hiking trail. There was just enough light shinning down through the trees and the birds chirping in the distance made for a perfect nature setting. Greg and Jillian conducted the questioning. Leonardo began with a short speech about how thankful he was to everyone who was able to make it to the event and how unfortunate it was that he couldn't be there in person. Then he added how this cause was so dear to him. Those words seemed very heartfelt and I got a sense of how important the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund is to him.

The video will begin with this statement and then segue into a collage of different shots of Koko interacting with Leonardo. Leo made some very interesting points about endangered species and the environmental issues that affect them. These statements will be in the final video as well. The whole interview lasted about 20 minutes before Leonardo had to leave to catch a plane. All in all, I got some great footage. I’ve spent some time editing it all together and sending copies to England and Los Angeles so everyone has had a chance to see the progress. With just a few more small changes we should have a very informative, yet touching interview with Leonardo DiCaprio about a very important cause."

http://www.leonardodicaprio.org is an awesome website of Leo's, solely dedicated to the environment.

Visit http://dianfossey.org for more information about the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

Below is the press release for the event:

"A spectacular gala concert at the Royal Opera House in London is being staged to mark the 100th anniversary of the mountain gorillas by the charity The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund on Sunday 10 November.

Patrons of the Fund include screen stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Sigourney Weaver, star of the film epic Gorillas in the Mist, dedicated to the life of Dian Fossey, who was killed while protecting the endangered gorillas in 1985.

Michael Kamen who directed the Queen’s Jubilee concert at Buckingham Palace is behind what promises to be a memorable occasion in support of this global charity.

*Artists already signed up include Bryan Adams (whose famous hit, Everything I Do, I Do It for You, was composed by Michael Kamen), Brian May, Michael Palin, Jeremy Irons and Joe Strummer. High profile individuals including Hugh Grant, John Cleese and Sir Paul McCartney are major supporters of the Fund.

The concert will be one of only a few non opera and ballet concerts ever to be held at this world famous venue."



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