More screen time a good thing for zoo apes

A photo of a gorilla watching videos on a woman's smartphone at a Louisville Zoo went viral Wednesday. But at the Como Zoo, they say it's a common sight.

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The eight gorillas who call Como Park Zoo home are getting more screen time these days, and that's a good thing, according to Como Park Zoo's primate zookeeper, Megan Elder.

Elder says the gorillas are just as curious about humans and their phones as we are about them, and they'll often watch a video with zoo visitors who hold their phones up for the apes to see.

In fact Elder says videos are a healthy brain stimulant for the animals in captivity.

“Part of our enrichment program—we do show them videos, and we try to use different things," said Elder. "Like, sometimes it’s cartoons. Sometimes it’s nature films. And so we get different reactions out of them based on their personalities.”

In addition to videos, zookeepers use puzzle feeders and bring in a harpist to keep the apes’ brains stimulated.

Como park zoo is home to eight gorillas. Zookeepers say they’re expecting a ninth ape to be born this fall.

© 2017 KARE-TV


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