Just how many times will Samboja swipe left before she finds a man worth swiping right for?
We might find out soon – as long as researchers can come up with a tablet Samboja doesn't destroy.
Samboja is an orangutan at the Apenheul zoo in the Netherlands. She is 11 years old, and she needs a date to breed with. So in a four-year experiment, workers at the facility are using what is essentially Tinder for orangutans, as The Guardian explains.
Once they have a tablet that can withstand the lack of delicacy with which Samboja operates, they'll show her photos of different possible partners from around the world that are part of a great ape breeding program.
Oftentimes in these mating programs, they'll go through all the trouble of getting a large animal in from hundreds of miles away ... only to find the two don't mate. So the hope with Tinder for orangutans here is that Samboja will pick a partner she's naturally attracted to, and when they're brought together everything will be good to go.
Apenheul wrote about it here, and it includes this lovely bit via Google translate:
"A hopeful beginning: the first two orangutans were quite interested in the screen ... until the young lady Samboja started working with the screen," it says. "They demolished the screen expertly by striking out hard on it and then lifting her nails. ... We look for a solution for an orangutan-proof screen before the investigation is continuing."
There's also a research component. They want to look at how emotions work in animal relationships, and get an idea of what a female orangutan might consider when choosing a mate.
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