Ellensburg honors its famous chimpanzee - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Ellensburg honors its famous chimpanzee

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Ellensburg, WASH.--Ever since Ellensburg's famous chimpanzee, Washoe, died five years ago, the community has been working on a project to remember her by.

On Saturday, they dedicated a bronze statue of the chimp signing the word "friend" to the city.

The statue sits in Ellensburg's new "Friendship Park," which is located on East Fifth Avenue next to the Liberty Theater.

Washoe was the first non-human to learn sign language.

"Washoe was a really good friend," said Mary Lee Jensvold, the Director of the Chimpanzee and Human Education Institute. "She taught me and I think everybody--and that's why this park is here--about out place in nature and our relationship with all other beings."

The Washoe Tribute Group helped raise donations for the project.

The park and the statue cost around 9$5,000 altogether.