An Oz Chronicle Factoid – The Gorilla That Inspired Ajax


I’m working on finishing up Book 4 of the Oz Chronicles.  I am so close, and I think I’ve found a new direction for Book 5 that came to me last night as I was writing.  Somebody searched for Ajax Takers Gorilla yesterday, and I couldn’t be happier.  I think that’s cool that someone is doing a search for one of my favorite characters in the books.  I thought I’d share a little Ajax history with you.  Ajax is based on a real gorilla by the name of Michael.  He was a member of Dr. Penny Patterson’s study to teach gorilla’s sign language.  Her most successful pupil is Koko.  Michael was actually brought into the study as a companion for Koko, but sadly, he passed away in 2000.  I found this video of Michael on Youtube.  It’s very emotional because Michael signs about how his mother was murdered.  Keep in mind, he didn’t know sign language when she died.  He’s telling his handlers about an event that happened in the past, and he describes his emotions.  It really is remarkable.

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