Washoe the chimpanzee was taken from the wild after her mother was killed. She was to be part of the space program for the United States, but instead Drs. Allen and Beatrix Gardner adopted her for their research. They raised her like a child to satisfy her need for companionship. She learned to how to brush her teeth, dress herself, and play games. The doctors taught Washoe to communicate using American sign language. She learned over 350 words and was the first chimpanzee to communicate in this way.
One of the most touching stories about Washoe involves a woman named Kat, a researcher and caretaker, who was away on leave after having a miscarriage back in 1982. When she returned she told Washoe why she was gone.