(HOUSTON CHRONICLE) — It's early morning, and the chimpanzees are gearing up for another day at the Houston Zoo. They munch a breakfast of raw cabbage, scamper, skirmish, joust with rope swings and pause to peer through a window into the near-empty visitor's center.
In a small cage a few feet away, a strange new dawn is breaking.
There, Willie, his face inches from the glowing screen of an Apple iPad, is engrossed in the gyrations of an animated goldfish. He taps the screen with a hairy finger, and the fish disintegrates.
Advertisement - story continues below
Expressionless, Willie waits and the game begins again.
A digital revolution is sweeping the ape house, and now its denizens, formerly preoccupied with classic chimpish activities, are turning their attention to computer offerings originally developed for human toddlers.
TRENDING: Caught red-handed
"Chimps and orangutans and other apes are very intelligent," said chimp keeper Helen Boostrom. "In the wild, the problems they must solve are finding food and shelter. They don't have to do that at the zoo. This is enrichment. It helps them use their minds."