Apparently orangutans at the Milwaukee County Zoo enjoy using apps, playing games, and watching video on the iPad almost as much as we do! BBC reports that the orangutans have been given iPads to use in an attempt to raise funds to help preserve the species.
Although inspired by an April Fool’s joke, the iPad Enrichment Program at the zoo actually provides Orangutans with use of an iPad, which the orangutans use not only to learn, but for entertainment as well.
The orangutans have been using the devices since May, using them to draw sketches and view nature videos. While the orangutans are currently limited in their use of the iPads due to supervision requirements, the zookeepers are hoping to offer reinforced iPads in the future to eliminate this need.
The next step is to allow WiFi and web access, allowing the orangutans to view other apes in the Milwaukee zoo, or even apes in other zoos. The idea of live video feeds is especially interesting, considering that the animals seemed to thoroughly enjoy looking at themselves or other orangutans they new on the iPad.
Could orangutans be FaceTiming each other in the near future? It’s a fascinating prospect, and will be exciting to hear further developments on the program as it progresses.