The Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington has joined the hands with the "Apps for Apes" campaign which works towards the cognitive development of orangutans at various zoos through the new interactive enrichment tool, Apple iPad.
"We already vary their food, toys and social interactions every day, but the iPad offers another way to engage their sight, touch and hearing," said Becky Malinsky, a keeper at the Smithsonian's National Zoo as quoted by an article published by the Smithsonian's National Zoo.
The orangutans at Smithsonian zoo are now known to use different apps in the iPad which are made available through Apps for Apes. Apparently, the apes have already started showing interests in some of the apps like the drum beating, playing piano and other musical instruments. The report read: "36-year-old Bonnie likes to bang on the drums, 16-year-old Kyle prefers the piano and 25-year-old Iris is content to listen to the soothing sounds of the koi pond while watching animated fish splash."
The zoo is part of the campaign since last year when the zookeeper's family member donated an iPad to the Great Ape House. The apes at the Zoo are now using ten apps.
"Primarily, we want the Apps for Apes program to help people understand why we need to protect wild orangutans from extinction," Richard Zimmerman, founding director of Orangutan Outreach, said.
"We do that when we show zoo visitors how similar humans and apes are, be it through observation, talking with wildlife experts or seeing the apes use the same technology we use every day," He added.
Click here to view pictures of the Smithsonian orangutans using iPads: