Zookeepers across the United States and Canada are experimenting a new program with orangutans. It has been discovered that the apes are very fond of iPads. 12 zoos across the nation are currently involved with the program which give orangutans enrichment time with the tablet, twice a week. The time varies based on the attention span of the ape but it generally ranges from 15 minutes to a half an hour. Generally, orangutans enjoy interactive children apps based on painting, music and memory games.
Zookeepers hope the iPads could help to break barriers of communication with orangutans, similar to how communication apps assist with the autistic. Orangutan Outreach, the New York City-based non-profit that runs the program was founded by Richard Zimmerman. Zimmerman told Reuters in an interview: "Let's say an orangutan has a toothache. He or she would be able to then tap on the iPad on a picture of a tooth and communicate it that way".
The program is planning to expand to zoos of other nations like Japan and New Zealand. Orangutan Outreach runs off donated iPads, so if you know anyone who wants to help out these endangered species electronically, Orangutan Outreach can be reached here.