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Enrichment for Apes: primates introduced to iPad activities

Here is an idea that one might think originated right from the White House or from Arne Duncan.

Whats' next, these apes learning to use a teleprompter BETTER than obama does?
That would not be too hard to do. They also are thinking of letting these Orangutans use Skype to 'talk' to other apes at other zoos across the country.

I do not care if the iPads being used have been donated or have been purchased with another smoke and mirrors grant from the obama administration. This is a huge WASTE of these items and why not make a donation of these iPads to some underprivileged children here in the United States?

These people have way too much time on their hands, way too much!
From the Bend Bulletin.

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Ape for apps: Zoo primates introduced to iPad activities
By Jan Uebelherr / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

 

MILWAUKEE — Primates all over America are discovering the Apple iPad — and that includes Mahal and his surrogate mother, M.J., two of the Milwaukee County Zoo’s orangutans.

The zoo is using four donated iPads, plus another belonging to a volunteer, for enrichment activities that include free apps (finger painting, music) and videos of other animals at the zoo.

Keepers also are considering using Skype, an Internet video chat program, to connect orangutans in other zoos with each other. M.J., for instance, came from a Toledo zoo in 2007 and might check in on the old gang back in Toledo.

Other zoos, including Zoo Atlanta, use touch screens with orangutans, but the Milwaukee County Zoo is the only one in America using iPads. Orangutan Outreach, a nonprofit that works on behalf of the endangered orangutans, is working with zoos on starting up similar programs.

Milwaukee’s iPad project — described as “embryonic” by orangutan keeper Trish Khan — began with an April Fools’ Day joke by The Sun newspaper in Britain. It ran a story about a gorilla who got his hands on a man’s iPad, cranked up the “Angry Birds” game app and caused all sorts of trouble for the iPad owner.

Claire Richard, the primary gorilla keeper at the Milwaukee County Zoo, saw the report and posted an item on Facebook: “I want one of these for Maji (one of the gorillas at the zoo).”

A friend, Zoo Pride volunteer Kim Houk, replied, “How cool would that be; get one for Mahal, too!”

Self-described “friend of the zoo” Scott Engel, a freelance photographer, developer of apps and a big fan of Mahal, saw the note and had a message of his own for Richard:

“I can make this happen.”

Engel donated an iPad of his own, and more followed — including one from a customer at an Apple store who overheard him talking about his idea to bring iPads to great apes at the zoo. A volunteer saw Engel working with M.J. on the iPad and asked if he’d like a couple more, so she donated two brand new iPads.

The gorillas were wary of the new device, and remain so.

“They were all very scared,” said Richard, the primary gorilla keeper. “It’s a different species. Orangutans are curious about everything. Gorillas are afraid of everything.

“Because it’s something new and different, they’re real hesitant to even approach it. Hodari, the youngest one (16), had the most curiosity. ... Hodari was able to figure out the finger painting,” Richard said.

“Maji (an older gorilla) just wanted to break it. He couldn’t figure out what the whole thing was, and he just wanted to get hold of it.”

But the inquisitive orangutans were another story.

Mahal’s first look at the iPad was a photo of himself. His reaction: He threw his arms into the air and clapped.

“They were enthralled,” Engel said. “One of the first things we did was take advantage of the built-in camera on the iPad, and turn the camera on them, because they’re used to looking into a mirror and recognizing themselves.”

Engel and the keepers looked for other ways to use the iPad and came up with videos of other animals in the Milwaukee zoo as well as other zoos.

M.J. likes to watch videos of Tommy, a male orangutan who was separated from Mahal and M.J. about a year ago after he became rough with Mahal.

“Mahal loves the penguins,” said Engel, who made a video of them at feeding time. “He just sat there watching them, with his arms folded across his chest. He jumped back when the penguins flapped a wing.”

Engel also produced a short video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMuz9fSZThE&feature=youtu.be that portrays Mahal as a secret agent named 00 ¾, with spy music and comic footage of Mahal in his enclosure, goofing around in a box and covered with an old sheet. It’s his favorite video.

Khan and Engel also use free apps — some of them mimicking the enrichment activities they already use, but with less mess, such as the finger-painting app.

“The reason I liked that one is if I give them regular finger paints, they eat ’em,” Richard said. “It’s like colored pudding.”

Much of the iPad use is from outside the glass, but Khan also lets the orangutans touch the screens through a grid on the side of their enclosure. Their long nails impede them from touching the screen, so keepers must hold the iPad at a certain angle.




4 Comments - Share Yours!:

Findalis said...

To the libtards these apes are underprivileged children.

I bet you they would come up with a better jobs program than Obama will.

MSMII said...

We can teach apes Ipad ... monkeys have been proven capable of flying Army helicopters ... but, the Middle East is ruled by iron fisted dictators that visit their sadistic pleasures against their citizens, routinely and violently attack neighbors based on issues as seemingly trivial as what form of religion they practice, and smile too sweetly at the US with their hands extended either for a questionable handshake or for money.

http://msmignoresit.blogspot.com/2011/09/discourse-or-death-what-to-do.html

MSMII said...

We can teach apes sign language, to use an iPad, and to fly army helicopters, but we cannot figure out an effctive foreign policy for the middle east

The Middle East is ruled by iron fisted dictators that visit their sadistic pleasures against their citizens, routinely and violently attack neighbors based on issues as seemingly trivial as what form of religion they practice, and smile too sweetly at the US with their hands extended either for a questionable handshake or for money.

http://msmignoresit.blogspot.com/2011/09/discourse-or-death-what-to-do.html

HermitLion said...

I'd say something about iPad users, but... better not :)