Ape's and Orangutans 'could video chat' between zoos via iPads! So, why aren't we better at it? Orangutans at a Milwaukee zoo could soon be video-calling their primate friends via tablet computers.
The hairy tech fans have been playing with iPads since they were first introduced to them in May. Conservationist Richard Zimmerman said the next step would be
to provide wi-fi access - meaning the apes could watch orangutans in
He hopes the experiment will raise awareness and funds to support the wild animals facing extinction. Mr Zimmerman, from the US-based charity Orangutan outreach, said he had wanted to give the device to the animals ever since it was launched back in January 2010.
"The original idea came literally when Steve Jobs gave his opening presentation introducing the iPad," he said.
"Independently, one of our supporters in Milwaukee was at the
zoo showing the orangutan his iPad, and they were fascinated by it. We
started to put things together."
They began introducing simple apps, such as drawing game Doodle Buddy, to orangutans at the Milwaukee County Zoo. Mr Zimmerman said the idea was to provide a "bit of fun" for the
animals, who only get to use the devices for two short periods every
week. "What we really want to do is to allow the orangutans to
really play - to do paintings, to watch videos, to do almost as a human
child would do with basic curiosity."
The animals have, Mr Zimmerman said, been captivated by watching
television on the devices, particularly when it featured other
orangutans, and even more so when they saw faces they recognized. "They love moving images. They love bright things. They like to be entertained! "They love new things, so one of the first things we're going
to do to incorporate that is make sure the facilities have wi-fi
capabilities so that the orangutans can actually have access to
unlimited information - of course with the keepers guiding them."
He said the most exciting aspect of all was watching how the animals reacted to seeing themselves, and other apes on screen."Orangutans love looking at each other," said Mr Zimmerman,
adding that one of the apes, 31-year-old MJ, is a fan of David
Attenborough programmes. "The orangutans loved seeing videos of themselves - so there is a little
vanity going on - and they like seeing videos of the orangutans who
are in the other end of the enclosure.
"So if we incorporate cameras, they can watch each other."
Other centres, zoos and sanctuaries are said to want to get
involved "immediately" and are just waiting for more devices to become
"We've been limited to Milwaukee because we haven't been able to get enough iPads," Mr Zimmerman said. "We've been waiting for the iPad 3 to come out to make the iPad 1 really obsolete, so we can pick up a few. "We could just go out and buy them, obviously, but one of the
things we've trying to really adhere to is making sure that our funds
actually go out to the orangutans in need." (Please donate until it hurts so this important study can continue.)
Mr Zimmerman said extensive research into gorillas and touch-screens, had been taking place at the Atlanta Zoo for several years. He stressed that none of the money that had been donated by
the public to Orangutan Outreach has been spent on tablet computers -
and that while it was a fun diversion for zoo visitors, the gadgets
should not deflect from the serious threats facing the animals. "It becomes a way of generating income for the charity. There's really no limit to what can be done," he said.
A spokeswoman for Milwaukee County Zoo told the BBC that the tablets were helping keep the animals in good shape.
"All of this is done as a form of enrichment, to exercise
their minds, and keep them active and emotionally healthy," Jennifer
"The work being done now with the iPads is simply a first step, and it's quite exciting."
My questions are; 1. Could this be the beginning of a real to life planet of the apes? 2. If they can do it at all, why can't we do it better? 3.Could they actually be the driving force behind the evil NDAA2012 act. Meant to legalize the enslavement of mankind? 4.Could they be the result of satanic pervert sex parties held at Bohemian grove? 5. Does MJ not resemble George W. Bush to you?
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