Apple Apes At Toronto Zoo

by in Zoo

Pretty sure this isn’t what Steve Jobs had in mind when he introduced the iPad into the world, but he probably would approve nonetheless.  The Toronto Zoo reports that they are close to acquiring an iPad for their Orangutans to use at their facility.  The iPad would come via a donation from conservation group Orangutan Outreach, which runs an Apps for Apes program.

Three orangutans at the Milwaukee Zoo are currently using an iPad donated from the group –  one of the zoo’s keepers holds up the iPad and the animals take turns using a painting app.

“It’s incredibly exciting,’’ Orangutan Outreach’s director and founder Richard Zimmerman told The Toronto Star.  “Orangutans like to paint and they’re capable of using this digital device, (plus) there’s no paint to eat.’’

The Toronto Zoo is already preparing their primates for the eventual arrival of the iPad by letting them use iPhones.

“They have performed a couple of trials with iPhones, and there is response from the orangutans,’’ zoo employee Katie Gray reports.

Zimmerman’s ultimate goal is to have orangutans from zoos all over the world connect with one another using a video chat app on their iPads.  Zimmerman says orangutans can recognize one another – an orangutan at the Memphis Zoo, Jahe, was recently shown a picture of her mother and brother who she used to live with at the Toronto Zoo and showed she recognized them.

“(She) was very close to her mother and her brother, they had a very strong relationship. She recognized them,’’ Zimmerman says. “Unscientifically speaking, they show recognition the same as we do — their eyes light up. She really demonstrated recognition.’’

Apple is really going to the apes.



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About the Author

Jeff Fox is a long-time vegetarian and animal lover who enjoys spending time in the great outdoors with his two young sons and dog. An accomplished sports journalist, he can also be found writing at FIGHT! magazine and SLAM magazine.

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