The story of how a touch screen helped a paralyzed chimp walk again
Euthanasia does not have to be only option for injured animals
Heidelberg | New York, 5 July 2016
The case of Reo, a male chimpanzee that learned to walk again
after being paralyzed due to illness, shows how much can be done to rehabilitate animals injured in captivity. So says lead author Yoko Sakuraba of Kyoto University, in an article inPrimates, the official journal of the Japan Monkey Centre published by Springer.
In their normal work, researchers of the Primate Research Institute at Kyoto University use chimpanzees’ interaction with computers and touch screens to study the cognition and perception of these primates. When Reo was paralyzed from the neck down, dedicated staff put this technology to further use by encouraging the animal to walk again. This is the first case in which a paralyzed chimpanzee has been rehabilitated through such a dedicated program.