It’s not enough, apparently, that technology permeates all aspects of our daily lives. Now apes, ape-arently, are next!
Apes using iPad apps? “It’s not a gimmick,” Orangutan Outreach founder, Richard Zimmerman, told Yahoo News. “If they don’t want to do it, they won’t. There are actual measurable benefits.”
It’s true that apes in our modern-day zoos are well-fed, socialized and cared for. But all too frequently, they’re also bored and lonely, at times. The long hours spent indoors stunt their social growth and development – not something they would normally experience in the wild, so succumbing to the fascination of technology is not all that surprising.
“They need stimulation, especially indoors,” Zimmerman continues. “The zoo keepers can see the benefit from this sort of enrichment. We’re doing this as enrichment as opposed to research. But researchers are getting involved, that’s just not our jurisdiction.”
Apes aren’t the only ones catching on: iPads have already been used as a language interaction device between dolphins and humans. There are even iPad games made specifically for cats! The times are definitely changing, and “iAnimal” is helping us understand how animals see the human world.
They definitely understand more than scientists formerly believed possible. Does this help prove that they do, in a way, think like us?
Zoos are hoping to have Skype and Facetime set up for their orangutans once the primates become more accustomed with the technology. This will hopefully allow Orangutans to easily communicate with their Orangutan friends living in other zoos.
The biggest barrier at the moment is finding the funding for all of these ipads…
Who will pay for these? Will people find it worthy enough for donations? What if Apple made a specific iPad or other, custom-made Apple device specifically for animals?
Orangutan Outreach believes that donations should be used towards Orangutan conservation and rescue, not this “iPad movement.”