Samboja is looking for love and, like many of us, she’s trying her luck in the virtual realm. The only difference? Samboja is an 11-year-old orangutan living at the Apenheul Primate Park in the Netherlands.
Biologists at Apenheul have developed a Tinder-like app in the hopes that it will increase the success rate of orangutan mate pairings. Orangutans are an endangered species, and mates frequently have to travel across the world for a chance at an intimate rendezvous. Often, the orangutans don’t hit it off and the zoos face the large expense of trying again.
The app, aptly called “Tinder for Orangutans,” lets Samboja view potential mates on a tablet and indicate her preferences using the touch screen.
According to Marianne Holtkoetter, an official at a German zoo that has tried a similar experiment,
“For orangutans, appearances appear to be an important factor in choosing a partner. Apparently, many females find the cheeks attractive.”
However, Tinder for Orangutans is hardly fool-proof, according to Orangutan Foundation International president and founder Biruté Mary Galdikas:
“We may not know why she’s pointing at the picture. It could be she couldn’t stand him … or is pointing to the ugliest one.”
One other hitch? Tablets aren’t exactly designed for the intense grip of orangutans, who are about seven times stronger than a human male, and Samboja has already destroyed one iPad during her quest for love.