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Ellensburg Park Named in Honored of Washoe

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Ellensburg-(AP) A park in downtown Ellensburg will be dedicated Saturday in memory of Washoe, the first chimpanzee to communicate with American Sign Language.

Washoe came to Central Washington University in 1980 with Professors Roger and Debbie Fouts who researched communication with chimpanzees.

Washoe was born in Africa and took her name from Washoe County, Nev., where she lived for a time at the University of Nevada.  She died in 2007 at the Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute on the CWU campus in Ellensburg.

Friendship park was created by supporters in the Washoe tribute group. The park features a statue of Washoe signing the word “friends.”

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