One of the first words that springs to mind for me when thinking about the iPad is ‘versatile’ – and I’m continually amazed at the number of great uses for Apple’s tablet.
Today’s example is the ‘Apps for Apes’ initiative that the Smithsonian National Zoological Park (our national zoo) and 12 other zoos around the world are taking part in. As the DCist reports, the program has this admirable focus:
… leverages the touchscreen interactivity of Apple’s iPad to enrich the lives of those apes in captivity
Orangutans and other great apes are highly intelligent – so it’s very important to provide them with both mental and physical stimulation. iPad apps are helping to accomplish this at the zoos involved in the program. The Smithsonian’s video shows that painting and music apps appear to be well-liked by their orangutans, while also pointing out that the participating zoos are sharing information with each other about app preferences and they are continually adding more to keep things fresh and give the orangutans more choices.
I’ve always loved zoos since I was a young kid and it’s great to see how far they have come since then in terms of their efforts to enrich the lives of the animals (at least in the good ones) and to see programs like Apps for Apes. There are a couple of ways that we can help support this program: the Smithsonian accepts donations of iTunes gift cards to fund new apps at its Giving Tree page and iPad hardware donations to distribute to zoos in the US also.
Check out the video below to see the Orangutans enjoying iPad apps: