News Summary: Orangutans use iPads to communicate

Associated Press
In this Feb. 21, 2012 photo, an orangutan works with an IPAD at Jungle Island in Miami.  Experts who work with primates have been using sign language and other methods to communicate with apes for years. But with advancements in tablet computer technology, workers at Jungle Island in Miami are using iPads to better communicate with their orangutans.  (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

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GOING APES: Several zoos are experimenting with computers. Six orangutans at Miami's Jungle Island use an iPad to communicate and as part of a mental stimulus program.

WHAT THEY DO: 8-year-old orangutan twins draw, play games and expand their vocabulary. Their family's teenagers like the hand-held computer tablets, too, but the clan's elders show no interest.

HOW IT WORKS: The software was originally designed for humans with autism. The screen displays pictures of various objects. A trainer then names one of the objects, and the ape presses the corresponding button.

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