A Dutch zoo is testing out Tinder on an 11-year-old orangutan to try and increase its chance of breeding.
Dubbed “Tinder for orangutans”, the experiment is part of a broader scheme to find out how animals’ emotions affect their relationships.
Staff at Apenheul primate park in Apeldoorn will use a touchscreen tablet to show a female orangutan called Samboja images of possible mates.
The male orangutans are all part of an international breeding programme, The Guardian explains.
Researchers will then monitor Samboja’s reactions to each potential partner and hopefully gain some insight into how appearance affects the way orangutans choose a mate.
Thomas Bionda, a behavioural biologist at the zoo, said: “Often, animals have to be taken back to the zoo they came from without mating. Things don’t always go well when a male and a female first meet.”
“Emotion is of huge evolutionary importance. If you don’t interpret an emotion correctly in the wild, it can be the end of you.”
Tinder responded to the news with the following message on Twitter:
— Tinder (@Tinder) January 31, 2017
According to reports, so far the main struggle has been building a tablet strong enough to withhold Samboja’s use – the orangutans having already broken a tablet reinforced with a steel frame.
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