iPad apps provide zoo apes with stimulation (video)

22 Jun 2012

The latest Apple iPad

A programme that provides apes at Houston Zoo with iPad apps designed for children helps mentally stimulate the primates in the absence of a wild habitat, zoo officials said.

Primate advocacy group Orangutan Outreach developed the Apps for Apes programme. Houston Zoo in Texas is the first facility in the US state to participate in the programme, UPI.com reported.

Zookeeper Helen Boostrom said that in the wild, the problems primates must solve are finding food and shelter, UPI.com reported. Since they don’t have to do that at the zoo, the apps help them use their minds.

“Chimps and orangutans and other apes are very intelligent,” Boostrom said.

Zoo spokesman Brian Hill said zookeepers have noticed similar reactions in apes and human children when they solve the puzzles from apps on Apple’s tablet computer.

Watch a video of Milwaukee County Zoo primates undergoing enrichment exercises using donated iPads here:

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic