Orangutans Use Tablets To Chat With Friends In Other Zoos

iMahal-largeBored orangutans enjoy using iPads to video chat with their fellow kind in other zoos — it seems that we’re all just monkeys poking at the glowing screens we’ve been given by our handlers. Via Popular Science:

Orangutans living in captivity will soon start using iPads for primate play-dates, using Skype or FaceTime to interact with their brethren in other zoos, according to zookeepers. The great apes have been playing with iPads for about six months at the Milwaukee County Zoo, and they’ve been such a hit that other zoos plan to introduce them, too.

The “Apps for Apes” program started after a zookeeper commented online about getting some iPads for her gorilla charges. Someone donated a used iPad, and it turned out the gorillas didn’t care for it. But the orangutans loved it.

Seeing the primates with iPads has an effect on zoo visitors, according to Richard Zimmerman, who directs Orangutan Outreach: “They have this recognition that these are amazing, cognitive, curious creatures,” he told the Times. Dolphins have been using iPads since their debut, so it’s really about time our primate cousins adopted the technology.

7 Comments on "Orangutans Use Tablets To Chat With Friends In Other Zoos"

  1. Georgepseifert | Feb 7, 2012 at 9:23 am |

    And so begins the real life version of “Planet of the Apes”.

  2. Liam_McGonagle | Feb 7, 2012 at 12:27 pm |

    Okay, leaving aside the hundreds of Foxcomm workers who essentially got flayed alive last year by noxious chemical explosions in order to fund Steve Jobs’ pyramid tomb, this story is real cute.

    Wonder if they haunt chatrooms and comment boards, leaving little in-jokes so they recognize their orangutang brethren amongst the human dross.  Probably never would by the content of their messages.


  3. KeepItToYourself | Feb 7, 2012 at 2:16 pm |

    These stories bother me as much as inspire…. they bother me because they continue to illustrate that a good deal of animal species have a complexity and deeper understanding of things than we give them credit for….and that bothers me because we continue to treat them as soulless objects that exist solely for our use or abuse.

  4. why aren’t the G8 countries lavishing BILLIONS on Dolphin, Elephant and Orangutan research

Comments are closed.