Friday, 3 February 2017

'Tinder for orangutans': zoo lets female primate choose mate using tablet

 Helena Horton
1 February 2017 • 2:02pm 

A Danish zoo has developed a 'Tinder' for orangutans in order to track mating preferences.

They have shown a female orangutan potential mates on an iPad to see if she will choose one in order to improve her mating chances.

If she seems to prefer one over another, they will choose that mate to come over from an international zoo, which could be as far away as Singapore.

The four-year experiment is called "Tinder for orangutans" and the Apenheul primate park in Apeldoorn will let 11-year-old Samboja look at potential partners from an international breeding scheme.

A behavioural biologist at the zoo, told Dutch media that they hope to gain further insight into how female orangutans make mating choices.

He 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".

The "Tinder" experiment is part of a broader look at the part emotions play in primate 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."

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