iPads for Apes

Published On: Jan 26 2012 02:21:11 PM EST
Updated On: Jan 30 2012 05:15:03 PM EST

Two days a week researcher Jack Kasselwitz and the Jungle Island animal care team work with the orangutans, teaching them to use a high tech tool, iPads Their goal; open up new lines of communication with the primates. 

“We want to understand them. We should be able to speak something of a common language cause we have so much to learn from them,” said Linda Jacobs of Jungle Island.

The orangutan is highly endangered. Caregivers feel that better communication with the apes could help save them.

“They understand your voice commands they really understand everything your saying. To the point where we often spell when we don't want them to know what were saying.  Much like you do with your human child,” said Jacobs.

Kasselwitz used IPA's on a similar project with Dolphins; also highly intelligent animals.

“Were not trying to make these guys humans. We want them to tell us about our world so we can make their world better,” said researcher Jack Kasselwitz.

Jungle Island wants people to know just how smart these apes are.  

“Their intelligence is overwhelming.  Their compassion is what always amazes me.  They are so compassionate and sometimes they are mischievous too,” said Jacobs. 

“The greatest lesson we can learn from animals at jungle island Miami or in the wild  is we are not alone on this planet,” said Kasselwitz.  

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