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.
Photo: Chi King/Creative Commons