Since online dating has helped a lot of people find relationships and hookups, so why not let animals give it a spin?
Researchers at Apenheul primate park in the Netherlands are undergoing a "Tinder for orangutans" experiment, which is exactly what it sounds like. Samboja, an 11-year-old orangutan at the zoo, has been flipping through great apes on a touchscreen. Through this dating app of sorts, the lucky primate gets to choose her potential suitors from all over the world. And maybe we're just cynical, but it's one of the better uses for the internet that we've heard recently.
The scientists are currently perfecting the touchscreen to make it usable by orangutans, which has proven challenging: Samboja already destroyed one tablet.
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Why go through the trouble of inventing a new technology when she could just meet a mate in real life and at a closer proximity? Apparently, dating is as hard for orangutans as it is for us, and widening the geographical scope of her search will help Samboja find the perfect match.
"Often, animals have to be taken back to the zoo they came from without mating," biologist Thomas Bionda told NOS. "Things don't always go well when a male and a female first meet."
Our only concern is that these poor creatures don't know what they're getting themselves into. Is there any way we can possibly prepare simians for the trials and tribulations of getting ghosted and dealing with creepy messages?
But given that zookeepers have also shown pandas porn to get them in the mood to save their species, we can't say we're too surprised at the orangutan online dating development. We wish Samboja the best of luck in her search for love, and respectfully ask her to share any tips that we could apply in our own lives should it work out for her.
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