Apps for Apes

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Apple has a new fan base and it’s a little primitive.

The conservation group Orangutan Outreach is launching a new program called “Apps for Apes.” It will provide orangutans with iPads so they can communicate with each other all over the world using the tablet’s video chat technology.

The group’s founder Richard Zimmerman has already donated iPads to zoos in Milwaukee, Houston, Atlanta and Florida. Next he plans on shipping more off to the Memphis Zoo, the Center for Great Apes in Florida and the Toronto Zoo. He says orangutans are the most intelligent of apes; making them a good case study for this project. Zimmerman says during winter months orangutans in zoos can spend a lot of time indoors and alone. This can result in boredom and social growth; and the iPads can provide them with mental stimulation.

The biggest obstacle now is coming up with money for the tablets. The organization can’t use its revenue which is meant to be saved for conservation or rescue. Zimmerman says they are trying to reach out to Apple in the hopes of a donation. It could be great press for the company; who wouldn’t love to see an orangutan with an iPad.