Online Dating...for Apes

Will Pearson

Farmers have their own. As do tech geeks and inmates. And now, finally, apes get what they've been waiting for (even if they didn't realize it). I'm talking about an online dating service.

According to an AP article that I just read on LiveScience:

Zookeepers in the Netherlands are planning to hook up Dutch and Indonesian orangutans over the Internet and believe the link could at some stage be used as an online dating service where apes could get to know one another and keepers could work out whether they would be compatible mates"¦ The primary aim of the computer link between Apenheul and an orangutan center on the Indonesian part of Borneo was to raise public awareness of the apes and their plight. Activists say that the spread of palm oil plantations, coupled with logging, especially on Malaysian and Indonesian territories on Borneo island, is threatening animals such as wild orangutans with extinction by chewing up their native jungle habitat. In the past, captive orangutans separated by a wall have communicated with one another via a mirror placed in front of the two enclosures. Using Web cams and computer screens is an extension of that, she said.

I hope it works, even if all the orangutans just end up lying about how hot they are.