Do you know what an orangutan’s favorite new toy is? Would you believe it’s an iPad!?
So, why are iPads all the rage with apes? Richard Zimmerman is the executive director of Orangutan Outreach and he says the animals are highly intelligent, and need mental stimulation to keep from getting bored or depressed. Especially during the winter months when they spend long stretches of time indoors. In fact, it’s not uncommon for orangutans to become so depressed that they refuse food, and medicine.
And that’s exactly why zoo workers say that iPads could be a lifesaver. The limitless apps can keep their minds engaged.
Experts say right now, most orangutans can only play games on their own, but the next step is to train them to go online and play games with each other. And eventually, to train them to be tech-savvy enough so they can play against people.
The programs are still in the early stages, but experts say no matter what happens, it’s a winning move. That’s because if zoo visitors see the animals operating an iPad, they’re more likely to consider orangutans intelligent creatures who need to be protected in the wild and it could spark them to invest money or time to help save them.