The Week in Animal News: Apes Learning English, Sharks in the Forest, and More

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As a polyglot fluent in seven languages, French primatologist Dr. Francine Neago can converse in the native tongue of peoples throughout the world -- but she's interested most of all in talking with orangutans.

Find out more about her groundbreaking research -- along with other ways humans are helping animals, from a baby humpback whale rescued after it beached and a newborn gorilla saved from poachers to donkeys relocated from Hawaii and foxes lulled to sleep by the radio -- in this Week in Animals slideshow.

Apes Learning English

In 1978, Neago spearheaded a program of orangutan language study at UCLA, and, using a specially designed computer program built in collaboration with IBM, became the first (and only) researcher to successfully teach a young ape to read and spell in English.

Now, decades after proving that other primates have a capacity for learning human language, Neago is hoping to open an English school for orangutans in Malaysia.

Read the Full Story: Primatologist Plans School Where Apes Learn English

Photo: Chi King/Creative Commons