iPad apps even enrapture apes
Humans aren't the only species on the planet with a penchant for electronic gadgets.
Zookeepers across the US and Canada are discovering that apes also get excited about apps.
As part of a programme called Apps for Apes, 12 zoos across the two countries have been incorporating iPads into the enrichment time allotted for orang-utans, the giant furry red primates native to Indonesia and Malaysia.
"We're finding that, similar to people, they like touching the tablet, watching short videos of David Attenborough for instance, and looking at other animals and orang-utans," said Richard Zimmerman, founding director of Orang-utan Outreach, the New York City non-profit organisation that runs the programme.
The orang-utans are given access to the tablets twice a week.
They spend from 15 minutes to a half-hour using different apps.
Apps geared towards children that stimulate activities such as painting and music, and memory games, are among the most popular apps with the apes.
Zoo keepers are also investigating how communication apps, such as those designed for the autistic, can help the animals express themselves more exactly, according to Zimmerman.
"Let's say an orang-utan has a toothache. He would be able to tap on the iPad on a picture of a tooth and communicate that way," he explained.