Orangutans at Jungle Island use iPads to communicate

The primates play games and learn new words

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MIAMI - The 8-year-old twins love their iPad. They draw, play games and expand their vocabulary. Their family's teenagers also like the hand-held computer tablets, too, but the clan's elders show no interest.

The orangutans at Miami's Jungle Island apparently are just like people when it comes to technology. The park is one of several zoos experimenting with computers and apes, letting its six orangutans use an iPad to communicate and as part of a mental stimulus program. Linda Jacobs, who oversees the program, hopes the devices will eventually help bridge the gap between humans and the endangered apes.

Jacobs says she began letting the orangutans use iPads last summer, based on the suggestion of someone who had used the devices with dolphins.

Copyright 2012 by Post Newsweek. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.