Even Apes Are Doing Online Dating Now

Photo: Jens Meyer/AP/REX/Shutterstock
First, you joined the wide, weird world of online dating. Then, your mom joined Tinder, too. And that was a little more weird. Now, even apes are getting into online dating. Will wonders never cease? The Guardian reports that a zoo in The Netherlands is working with orangutans in hopes of getting lady-apes (one in particular) to swipe right on potential partners. The plan is to let the orangutan in question, Samboja, select a male mate from images on a tablet; the idea is if she likes the looks of a certain fella on-screen, it will increase the chances of breeding IRL. Behavioral biologist Stephen Bionda told Dutch broadcaster NOS that “things don’t always go well when a male and a female first meet.” And if the male and female don't hit it off, the dude gets sent back to his home zoo — which is sometimes as far as Singapore. Think of the shipping costs! In addition to happier apes and less wasted resources, this long-term experiment (which the zoo has dubbed "Tinder for orangutans") will hopefully uncover a great deal about how female orangutans choose their mates. The intricate thought processes of ape-dating aside, the main thing currently standing in the researchers' way is coming up with a strong enough touch-screen. According to the BBC, "one tablet, reinforced with a steel frame, was tested successfully for the first time two weeks ago on two older orangutans...but did not survive long when Samboja — whose mother, Sandy, is affectionately known as Demolition Woman — got hold of it." We know the feeling. You can only swipe left so many times before you feel like aggressively flinging that screen across the room — or cage, as the case may be. But we have faith this ape will meet her perfect match soon. After all, the statistics show that strong females are killing it in the online-dating game these days. Go get 'em, Samboja.

More from Tech

R29 Original Series