This Zoo Is Attempting to Matchmake With ‘Tinder’ for Orangutans
Even the orangutans have to resort to dating apps.
Primates: they're just like us.
At least, a female orangutan at a Dutch zoo is about to have plenty in common with the modern lovelorn millennial, as she has been conditioned to swipe for male matches on a Tinder-like digital app in a four-year experiment at the Apenheul Primate Park in the Netherlands.
The zoo team is looking to disrupt the failure-prone practice of shipping in foreign mates without vetting in advance.
“Often, animals have to be taken back to the zoo they came from without mating,” behavioral biologist Thomas Bionda told The Guardian. “Things don’t always go well when a male and a female first meet.”
Eleven-year-old Samboja will be shown a series of bachelor orangutans from other locations on a specially-designed great-ape-proof tablet, with the intent that the long-distance partner she selects will have a higher likelihood of fitting her fancy when they are ultimately introduced face-to-face.
One automatic advantage of this version of a dating app: the photos, selected by impartial human observers, will at least be accurate. One disadvantage: there's no smell feature, which is a critical part of the orangutan attraction process.
Here's hoping that orangutans have better luck with Tinder than humans, as the future of the endangered species might end up depending on it.