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Songs in the Key of Ape: Orangutan Releases New Jazz Single


Jazz music is no monkey business, even if it's played by an Australian orangutan.

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In celebration of World Orangutan day, the Adelaide Zoo's Kluet the Sumatran orangutan released a new jazz single, "Give me a Klue."

The animal's keeper, Pij Olijnyk, helped him with the track by holding up an iPhone with the Garage Band app open and let him improvise with the drums and keyboards.

When Olijnyk played it back, he thought, "This is brilliant. This is certainly some of the best things I've ever heard in modern jazz in the last decade," according to a Zoos South Australia video.

Olijnyk said because orangutans are incredibly intelligent, he often finds new ways to stimulate or entertain their animals.

Another keeper was showing Kluet photos and videos on his phone, when Kluet quickly got used to the swiping back and forth motion used to navigate a smart phone.

That's when they opened Garage Band, and let him try the keyboard and the drums.

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"These guys are really special animals," Olijnyk said, "but unfortunately we're losing orangs at an alarming rate."

The Adelaide Zoo estimated there are only 7,000 Sumatran orangutans left in the world, and the species could become extinct within a decade.

Proceeds to the single, which will be sold on a pay-as-you-wish basis on the Adelaide Zoo's website, will go toward the zoo's initiative to save the critically endangered species, and support the three orangutans they currently host at the zoo, Kluet, Puspa, and Karta.

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