Apps for Apes

Apps for Apes Logo

*Photo has been modified. The orangutans are not yet holding the iPads due to safety concerns. Photo © Scott Engel. Please contact us if you wish to use the image.

Learn more about the Interspecies Internet

Quirks and Quarks: The Apps for Apes bit starts at around 27:30 and goes for around 20 minutes. Great piece!

Apps for Apes?

Orangutans are highly intelligent creatures who require mental stimulation to keep from growing bored and depressed. Every orangutan is a unique individual with his or her own particular likes and dislikes, and freedom of choice is critical to their well-being. They like to choose everything from their afternoon snack to their daytime companions and sleeping area. What they do each day depends on how they feel, and the more choices they have, the better. Just like humans, orangutans like options. The quality of life of orangutans living in zoos and sanctuaries is dependent on the amount and type of enrichment they receive on a daily basis. With the Apps for Apes project, we propose to introduce Apple iPad technology to orangutans in order to provide them with unlimited enrichment opportunities. The iPad is a perfect device for orangutans, as they have an innate ability to work with touchscreen technology. This has been demonstrated in facilities such as Zoo Atlanta, the Great Ape Trust and the Smithsonian National Zoo. With proper guidance, orangutans will be able to use their devices just like humans do– to spend their time doing things that they enjoy. They will have access to music, musical instruments, cognitive games, art, painting, drawing, photos and videos. Among other things, they will be able to see photos and videos of other orangutans.

The 3 Goals of Apps for Apes

  1. 1. To provide stimulating enrichment & immediate gratification for the orangutans using iPads,
  2. 2. To raise awareness among zoo visitors of the critical need to protect orangutans in the wild, and
  3. 3. To promote the conservation efforts of Orangutan Outreach

 

Special Thanks

National GeographicWe would like to extend a special thanks to our friends at NatGeo, who are providing us with free, gently used iPads. Because of their generosity, we are able to grow the Apps for Apes program internationally and extend it to all non-human primates!

Who’s involved?

Donate to Apps for Apes

Funds will ONLY be used for Apps for Apes if you specifically request that we do so! Otherwise, general funds will be used to continue our work in Indonesia rescuing, rehabilitating and caring for orangutans in need. If you have a gently used iPad that you’d like to donate to an orangutan,  let us know! First generation iPad 1s are perfect for the orangutans to play with. Camera-equipped iPad 2s will enable the orangutans to communicate with orangutans at other zoos.

In the News

We have been getting a lot of awesome attention in the media. Here are some of stories

Video Clips

Images

In loving memory of Mahal

Mahal was the first orangutan to use an iPad and he quickly became the face of the Apps for Apes program. He passed away in December 2012. Apps for Apes is dedicated to his memory… Read more.

Disclaimer

The Apps for Apes project is a work in progress. Contact us with any questions, comments or offers of support! We need more iPads for the orangutans! Thanks for your support! {:(|}