Dutch zookeepers staged an experiment they affectionately called “Tinder for orangutans” in order to help the mating process at Apenheul Primate Park in Apeldoornat. Their female orangutan, Samboja, got to choose her mate from photos on a tablet. And researches hope that gauging her reactions to the photos will help them choose a good mate and teach them something about mating choices in general.
But they’ll have to give it a second try because when the 11-year-old’s mother, Sandy (also known as Demolition Woman) got ahold of the tablet, she smashed it up pretty good.
The experiment also has economic consequences for the primate park since Samboja’s mate will come from an international breeding program and may have to be shipped from as far away as Singapore.
Thomas Bionda, a behavioral specialist at the zoo told The Guardian: “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.”
The Guardian explained:
“The research is part of a broader programme looking at the role of emotions in animal relationships, the biologist said. “Emotion is of huge evolutionary importance. If you don’t interpret an emotion correctly in the wild, it can be the end of you.”
Evy van Berlo, an evolutionary psychologist, told local paper Tubantia that earlier tablet tests with bonobos – who, along with chimpanzees, are the closest living relatives to humans – had shown they demonstrated heightened interest in photos containing “positive stimuli”, such as other bonobos mating or grooming one another.” – WTF Fun Facts
Source: “Tinder for orangutans’: Dutch zoo to let female choose mate on a tablet” — The Guardian