Pij Olijnyk said he was constantly looking for ways to entertain Adelaide Zoo’s 21-year-old Sumatran Orangutan called Kluet and was one day showing him some photos and videos on his phone.
Once the animal had the hang of swiping the screen, Olijnyk introduced him to an app which creates music, saying “he loved it”.
“He started just riffing away and playing some amazing stuff,” the keeper said in a video posted on Facebook Friday. “And I just thought ‘this is brilliant.'”
The zoo is selling the 30-second tune, which it has called “Give me a Klue” and on which Kluet played the drums and piano, to mark world orangutan day with all funds raised going to help conservation efforts for the animal.
Just 7,000 Sumatran orangutans are estimated to be left in the wild, according to the zoo, which said the critically endangered species could become extinct within the next decade.
“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 said.
“When I first heard the song, I knew he had created something pretty special.”