updated 12/1/2005 1:42:48 PM ET 2005-12-01T18:42:48

Two animal handlers who say they were fired for refusing to expose their breasts to a 300-pound gorilla have settled their lawsuit against the Gorilla Foundation on undisclosed terms.

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Nancy Alperin and Kendra Keller, both in their mid-40s, claimed that Gorilla Foundation president Francine “Penny” Patterson pressured them to indulge Koko the gorilla’s “nipple fetish” as a way of bonding with the 33-year-old female.

The foundation denied the allegations.

The foundation, founded in 1976 to promote the preservation and study of gorillas, is best known for Koko, who speaks sign language and has mastered more than 1,000 signs.

The settlement was reached Nov. 9. A similar lawsuit filed by another employee is pending.

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