Gorilla Caregiver / Research Assistant

Sophia was born in the mountains of Northern New Mexico. As a youngster her favorite past time was exploring the land and wildlife around her. She developed a great love and respect for nature and wildlife at a very young age.

As an adult Sophia studied American Sign Language and Interpreting at the Santa Fe Community College and later received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of New Mexico majoring in psychology, with an emphasis in primatology.

Her higher education courses in primate behavior and conservation have only served to more deeply consecrate her passion for, and calling towards, animal welfare and wildlife conservation. She has participated in behavioral research and observations for both captive and wild species of primates. Again and again, she has been taken-a-back by the profoundness of her interactions with these incredibly intelligent and emotional beings.

Sophia believes that Koko and Ndume are ambassadors not only to their own species, but also to generations of young people growing up in this world who share a need for the understanding of what truly connects us to one another, and to the world around us.

As an avid student of the development and evolution of the Ape mind, the opportunity to work with Koko and Ndume and the Gorilla Foundation team is a great dream realized. She could not be more excited than to pursue her career by advancing the Gorilla Foundation’s mission: Conservation through Communication.

Contact Us



The Gorilla Foundation /
1733 Woodside Rd., Suite 330
Redwood City, CA, 94061
1-800-ME-GO-APE (634-6273)

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Our mission is to learn about gorillas by communicating with them, and apply our knowledge to advance great ape conservation, education, care and empathy.
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