By Abby Hollman
The Kansas City Zoo’s Orangutans are making music, drawing, watching videos, and playing games on their new iPads.
The orangutans have been given iPads as part of a program that is designed to stimulate their minds, The Kansas City Star reports.
Their caretakers say they believe that the apes are drawn to the sounds, drawings, and neon colors. And each orangutan has preferences of what applications they use.
The Apps for Apes project was started by a nonprofit organization Orangutan Outreach. The goal is for people will have a better understanding of how intelligent these animals are and help protect them from extinction. Orangutans are an endangered species that are losing their natural rainforest habit to oil palm plantations.
There are about twenty zoos in North America and New Zealand participating in the program. Orangutan Outreach donated two iPads to the KC zoo, and a local company provided a third.
The keepers say that it has been a learning process for everyone involved: the apes have to learn to use the tips of their fingers, and the keepers have to be careful not to give the animals too much control of the iPad, as the orangutans can be fairly destructive.
Zoo officials say that they might include a demonstration involving the orangutans and the iPads for spectators, but for now, the focus is to get the animals acclimated to the technology.