Primates go ape for iPads

When you're bored, nothing passes the time like an addictive app.

A zoo in America has found a high-tech way of keeping its bored apes amused - by giving them iPads.

It's bad enough when kids can navigate an iPad better than you. Now mankind's other close relatives are getting in on the act.

Orangutans at the Smithsonian Zoo in Washington D.C. were sitting around looking bored, so zookeepers decided to join a worldwide program called Apps for Apes.

The initiative is from the conservation organisation Orangutan Outreach, which has provided tablet devices for the primates in 12 other zoos in the US and Canada.

"We're always trying to break it up, to make their day a little different," said National Zoo Primate Curator, Bob King.

"The same thing, day after day - just like a human - would be pretty repetitive and pretty boring."

It might sound like a crazy idea, but the primates can't get enough of their tablets, and have become addicted to the apps.

So far, the apes are using 10 different apps including puzzle and drawing games, as well as virtual musical instruments.

The primates paint, Bonnie likes playing the drums and Kyle prefers the piano.

But those big hands can pose problems and orangutans like to break things!

Which is why they can play with their iPads only from behind bars.

So what's next? The zoo wants its orangutans to connect with others from different zoos using video conferencing.

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