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  • This is a story of boy meets girl

  • and the algorithm that brought them true love.

  • (upbeat music)

  • (piano music)

  • The boy, Baraka, from Washington D.C.

  • is gentle, laid back and attentive.

  • The girl, Calaya, from Seattle

  • is assertive, creative and persistent.

  • While their initial encounter was love at first sight,

  • this match was no accident.

  • The union of Baraka and Calaya

  • was planned in exacting detail.

  • Baraka and Calaya are a perfect match.

  • Our algorithm predicted it.

  • The Gorilla Species Survival Plan is responsible

  • for managing the demographic, genetic,

  • and overall population features

  • of the gorillas living in North American Zoos.

  • One could say we function like a high-tech,

  • heartfelt dating site for gorillas

  • but without all the swiping.

  • The algorithm we use, was created in the late '80s,

  • which is several years before it's human counterpart.

  • We used data points on genetics and relatedness

  • and combined that with what we know

  • about gorilla personality and individual needs.

  • We combine all that information

  • to make the best decisions for pairings.

  • Like any modern couple,

  • Baraka and Calaya matched on a dating site,

  • fell in love, and moved in together

  • with Calaya making the cross country trip to D.C.

  • After two years together,

  • Baraka and Calaya knew it was time to start a family.

  • Western Lowland gorillas

  • are a critically endangered species.

  • Our goal is to try to identify the right male gorillas

  • and the right female gorillas that will come together

  • to create baby gorillas, so that our population

  • will carry on for a very long time.

  • These creatures are extraordinary.

  • Humans and gorillas share about 98 percent of the same DNA.

  • We are similar in so many ways.

  • Can gorillas experience love the same way humans do?

  • We're not sure but why not give them the best shot.

  • At 6:25 p.m., on April 15th, 2018,

  • Baraka and Calaya's son Moke, was born.

  • The algorithm worked.

  • Moke will one day also be a part

  • of the Gorilla Species Survival Plan,

  • waiting for his chance to find true love.

This is a story of boy meets girl

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B2 US GreatBigStory gorilla algorithm survival true love love

Matchmaking for Species Survival

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    April Lu posted on 2019/03/07
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