Administrators of the Great Ape Trust in central Iowa say they want to bring more visitors to the facility in the new year. The facility has been open just over one year and spokesman Al Setka says they want to create some temporary structures and other displays to accommodate more visitors. He ways they’ll use some video, animation, and possible an “ape cam” to give people an orientation on the facility and an overview of the “great ape trust’s mission.” Setka says the trust was first established as a center for research on the bonobos and orangutans, and now it’s time to let more people take a look.
Setka says. “We’re first and foremost a scientific research facility. We look into great ape intelligence, culture, behavior, language, tool use. But it’s also important that people learn about what we do here.” Setka says there’s been overwhelming interest in the trust since they first opened. Setka says they’ve had some 25-hundred visitors to the trust thus far. He says those visitors have ranged from middle school students to scientists from around the world. Setka says opening up more avenues for people to view the apes is part of their new mission called “insights through collaborations with apes.”
Setka says he talked with a professor that said the Great Ape Trust would “raise the science I-Q if Iowa,” and Setka says that’s one of the things they think they can do. Setka says the current structures at Great Ape Trust were designed as “homes” for the apes and not as public facilities, so they’ll have to make some changes to handle large groups. To learn more about Great Ape Trust of Iowa, surf to:www.GreatApeTrust.org.