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Samboja the orangutan at a zoo in the Netherlands will search for a mate through an online project called “Tinder for orangutans,” zoo authorities have confirmed.
The Apenheul Primate Park Zoo in the Netherlands has confirmed that Samboja has approached the age where she could start mating and having kids.
Zoo officials also announced a plan to show the female orangutan photographs of eligible males on a touchscreen tablet. In case she pays extra attention to a photo or video of certain male that would be a sign that she might be interested in that male.
Thomas Bionda, a behavioral biologist at the zoo, said, “Often, animals have to be taken back to the zoo they came from without mating. And, as human romance seekers will attest, things don't always go well when a male and a female first meet.”
It is not the first time when a zoo animal will get an Internet-connected tablet. Zoos around the globe have adopted Apps for Apes as part of a program from Orangutan Outreach that provides the animals with iPads for mental stimulation.
With the “Tinder for Orangutans” project, wildlife researchers want to gain insight into how female orangutans choose their mates. It is part of a larger collaborative study of bonobo and orangutan emotions by Apenheul Primate Park Zoo and the University of Leiden.
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