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iPad-Equipped Orangutans to Use Skype for Video Chatting

Category: General News
Posted: 07:37AM

A few lucky orangutans at the Milwaukee Zoo have been using the iPad for playing games and watching videos, but can these precocious primates use the ubiquitous Apple tablet for far more complex tasks like Skype video-chatting? That's what the zookeepers and the Orangutan Outreach charity group want to find out - to further enhance communications among orangutans from different enclosures using either Skype or FaceTime. The orangutans seem to have developed a liking for the games Doodle Buddy and Flick Flick Football, although one inquisitive ape couldn't take his eyes off David Attenborough's nature documentaries. Orangutan Outreach stresses that the funds for purchasing the iPads came out of their own pockets, and spokesperson Richard Zimmerman goes on to explain why they're going to such lengths to aid these orangutans: "The orangutans loved seeing videos of themselves – so there is a little vanity going on – and they like seeing videos of the orangutans who are in the other end of the enclosure. So if we incorporate cameras, they can watch each other."

The iPad-toting primates will, in theory, be able to recognize fellow iPad-using orangutans from other enclosures through constant Skype access and thus improve communication among the species. Orangutan Outreach also hopes this endeavor will garner enough public support to warrant stronger conservation efforts for the endangered species.


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