A Dutch zoo launches a Tinder for Orangutans

Science 1 February, 2017

A Dutch zoo is launching an experiment allowing female orangutans to choose their partner via a tablet, reveals The Guardian on 31 January.

A beautiful coat, healthy teeth, an imposing size … What will be the criteria of Samboja, 11 year old female orangutan who will be able to choose her partner from photographs on tablet? Hoping to increase the chances of reproduction of these primates, Dutch zoo Apenheul threw for four years an experiment entitled “Tinder for orangutans” so Samboja and his comrades themselves choose the partner of their dreams, reports The Guardian Tuesday, January 31.

The objective of this study is to see what criteria are based choices of female orangutans, says Thomas Bionda, a behavioral biologist zoo . The male can come from far away, the park seeks to save time by bringing the perfect “date”. ” Often, the animals must be returned in their original zoo without there being anything between them, says Thomas Bionda. Things do not always go well when a male and female meet .”

Bonobos reactive to coitus photos
More broadly, this experiment is part of a larger research program on the role of emotions in relationships animal . According to the local newspaper Tubantia quoted by The Guardian , tests have been carried out previously on bonobos. The attention of these monkeys to the shelves was increased when the pictures showed other bonobos in full coitus or making each other’s toilet. But before Samboja finds his partner, the first challenge will be to ensure that the tablets are not destroyed by the sudden gestures of the orangutans!