iPads are so user friendly, apes use them to communicate

Apple iPad

Two 8-year-old twin orangutans at Miami’s Jungle Island zoo, draw, play games and communicate using an iPad tablet. The park is one of several zoos experimenting with the interaction of apes and computers, allowing six orangutans to use Apple’s tablet to communicate as part of a mental stimulus program, Fox News reported. “Our young ones pick up on it. They understand it. It’s like, ‘Oh, I get this,’” said Linda Jacobs, who oversees the program. “Our two older ones, they just are not interested. I think they just figure, ‘I’ve gotten along just fine in this world without this communication-skill here and the iPad, and I don’t need a computer.’ ” Jacobs began lettings the primates use iPads last summer. The tablets run a program originally designed for humans with autism, and it allows the apes to learn and interact with their trainers beyond traditional sign language techniques. “It would just be such a wonderful bridge to have,” Jacobs said. “So that other people could really appreciate them.” Orangutans are extremely intelligent but limited by their physical inability to talk, she said.

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