Orangutans At The The Smithsonian National Zoo Use iPads And Love Them


Incredibly cute, or the beginning of the end?

When Steve Jobs debuted the iPad back in 2010, he probably didn’t realized that the tablet would one day be used by Orangutan Outreach in zoos around the world. The Smithsonian’s National Zoo has adopted the “Apps for Apes” program, a totally nonfictional initiative that hooks monkeys up with shiny iPads.

Zookeepers let the orangutans play with different iPad apps and the zoo “hopes to connect its orangutans with those at other zoos using video conferencing platforms.”

Incredibly cute, or the beginning of the end?

“Apps for Apes fits perfectly in this new era of zoo keeping,” said Becky Malinsky, great ape keeper at the National Zoo. “It’s about changing up the day-to-day lives of our animals. We already vary their food, toys and social interactions every day, but the iPad offers another way to engage their sight, touch and hearing.”

The orangutans can choose from 10 titles, including music creation apps, games, and drawing apps. Hey, apes like to watch YouTube just as much as you do. Apps for Apes is supposed to stimulate the creatures and help them better communicate with humans.

Make them smarter, and one day they’ll try to take over the world.


About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for three years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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