A couple of Iowans are featured in glossy color photographs in a national magazine. They aren’t movie stars or athletes, but great apes at the Great Ape Trust in Des Moines. Al Setka is spokesman for the organization says the two are featured in National Geographic.
Setka says there’s a cover story on inside animal minds that features Kanzi, an adult male bonobo, and Azy, an adult male orangutan. The article talks about the communication research going on at the Great Ape Trust, in a magazine Setka calls one of the "most prestigious" in the world.
Setka says it’s an honor for the institution to be included in a cover story in the magazine and hopes it conveys to the readers the research in great ape intelligence, language, culture and tool use that goes on at the organization. The apes are known for their ability to communicate, so what did they think of the pictures.
Setka says the researcher that works with Azy did show him the picture and Setka says Azy was "less than impressed." Setka says the photos are impressive. He says they are high quality photos and as a reader you can’t help but look at them and be drawn in. Setka wonders if the apes see the same thing and says it would be interesting to see how Azy and Kanzi react to seeing each other’s photos. Representatives of the magazine visited Great Ape Trust in May 2007 to photograph Azy and Kanzi and conduct interviews with Rob Shumaker, director of orangutan research, and William M. Fields, director of bonobo research.