Move over piano-playing cats, Sumatran orangutans are the new talent in town! 21-year-old Kluet, a resident of the Adelaide Zoo in South Australia, showed off his musical skills with a debut jazz single titled 'Give me a Klue' that was released on 19 August to celebrate World Orangutan Day.
With help from his keeper, the UK-born critically endangered great ape recorded piano and drum tunes on the music-making app Garage Band. After a bit of tweaking, the song Give Me A Klue is now being sold on the zoo's website where animal and music fans can purchase it for any amount they can afford.
The proceeds of the sale will be used to help support the three Sumatran orangutans living on the property.
Producer and primate keeper Pij Olijnyk seemed pretty impressed with the recording. "There are certainly nods to a couple of classic jazz songs in there. I can hear a bit of Pink Panther theme and I think there's a bit of The Way You Look Tonight as well."
Sharing 97% of their DNA with humans, it's no surprise that orangutans are able to pick up things easily. "Orangutans are incredibly intelligent, so we are always looking for new ways to interact with them and make their day, interesting, challenging and fun," Olijnyk explained.
He recalled that the idea to have Kluet (who is one of only 7,000 remaining Sumatran oragutans) try out the music app came while he was showing the ape some photos on his phone. "He was really interested in the flicking back and forth motion," the keeper said.
"Kluet is very playful, very cheeky, very sweet fella. He's a big softie really and music is a big part of his life," he added.