Creature Gear — 6 Pieces of Technology We Should Give to Zoo Animals

By: 02.24.12

If you’re like me, you spend a lot of time reading stories about apes doing funny human-like things, and thus have been following this story about the orangutans at the Milwaukee zoo being given an iPad to play with. If for some strange reason you’re not like me, well, the Milwaukee zoo has given their orangutans an iPad and they’ve actually found quite a few apps the apes enjoy. There are currently plans to provide iPads to orangutans all around North America.

This got me thinking — could other zoo animals benefit from getting more tech-savvy? Here’s some animal/gizmo pairings I think would work out…


Dolphins and iPods

So, we know dolphins have this complex language made up of melodic clicks and chirps. All that chatter must get tiring after a while, particularly when there’s only one or two other dolphins in your tank and all they ever do is talk about fish and crack jokes about blowhole sex.

With an iPod though, zookeepers could give dolphins recordings of other dolphins for variety. Or you know, if Flipper just really wants some silence for once he can pop in the earbuds and be all “chirp, click, sorry dude, click click, listening to a podcast, how ’bout I chirp at you later?”

It’s mostly Kei$ha on there — dolphins don’t have great taste.

Elephants and Roombas

One thing always bothers me about the elephants at the zoo — in nature documentaries elephants always have a flock of little birds eating the crap off their backs, but you don’t see any crap eating birds on the elephants at the zoo. Poor things must feel all unclean without their daily small-bird spa treatment.

I say we get the elephants Roombas — just attach them to the elephants’ backs and let them do their thing. It’ll be a beautiful elephant-robot symbiotic relationship.

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