Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Orangutans hearts Ipads

Did you hear the one about the orangutan and the i-pad?
Even though it sounds like the start of a rather interesting joke, it is no joke!  Zoo officials have been using apple's ipads to teach, entertain and communicate with orangutans!
Zookeepers actually use ipads to communicate with orangutans at zoos in Milwaukee and Miami.  Trainers use the ipads the way they use sign language.  The trainer might ask the orangutan what part of their body is bothering them and the orangutan will respond by touching the ipad screen where it corresponds to their bodies. Trainers will say a word and the orangutan will push a button on the screen that matches what the trainer said.
Ipads aren't given to the orangutan, who might snap it in half as easily as a human opening a box of cereal. But, trainers hold the ipad and the orangutan will touch the screen.
It does take some training, as the orangutans have to learn to press the screen with their fingers, not their nails.  And through the process, the orangutans are stimulated.  They learn to communicate when they have wants or aches.
Very interesting!

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