Thursday, June 01, 2006

Iowa Ape Research Facility to Offer Public Tours

The three orangutans and eight bonobos living at the Great Ape Trust will interact with more humans starting in June when the research facility is opened to the public.

Tours of the 230-acre forest, lakes and great ape housing areas will be available to small groups from June 6 through Sept. 7.

"We want to begin to educate people about why it's important for us to understand apes, why it's important for us to realize the degree of similarity between ourselves and apes and what we can learn about ourselves by studying apes," said Sue Savage-Rumbaugh, a lead scientist at the trust focusing on studying the behavior and intelligence of bonobos.

After 23 years at Georgia State University's Language Research Center, Savage-Rumbaugh brought her studies to the trust. She has developed methods of communicating with bonobos that involve using symbols.

Story here.

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