You can't separate young people from their gadgets, and apparently the same goes for young orangutans.
At a zoo in Miami, one trainer has succeeded in training orangutans to use iPads to communicate— although only the younger apes seem interested.
Linda Jacobs, who oversees the iPad program at Jungle Island, uses software designed for autistic children to interact with the orangutans. So far, they are capable of identifying specific objects on the screen when prompted, expressing various wants or needs and identifying body parts. As a precaution, trainers hold the pricey devices while the apes interact with them— they're intelligent, but they're still wild animals.
"Our young ones pick up on it. They understand it," Jacobs said of the age divide. "It's like, 'Oh I get this.' Our two older ones, they just are not interested. I think they just figure, 'I've gotten along just fine in this world without this communication skill.'"
Our parents say the same thing.
[via The Associated Press]