Apes are the closest relatives to humans in the animal kingdom, and people often find a special connection to these creatures.
Orangutans, in particular, are known to display a high intelligence that is almost human-like, which can lead to some surprising and heartwarming moments between these apes and people.
That was the case recently, when one expectant mother made a sweet connection with an orangutan and her baby.
Naomi Davies, from Gloucester, England, was four months pregnant when she visited the Twycross Zoo. While visiting their monkey enclosure, Naomi got some special attention from an orangutan.
“The mum orangutan brought her baby over to the glass and they were watching us,” Naomi told the Daily Mail.
Perhaps the orangutan brought her baby over because she recognized that this human also with child and trusted her.
But what was really incredible was that the baby orangutan was even more curious about Naomi — especially about her “baby bump.”
Her partner Ben, who was filming the interaction, encouraged her to show the young ape her pregnant belly.
And to everyone’s surprise, the baby orangutan kissed her belly through the glass!
The mom-to-be was moved by the unexpected, adorable moment, and couldn’t believe that the orangutans seemed to understand her pregnancy.
“I wasn’t expecting them to be aware of the pregnancy but then the baby started kissing my bump,” Naomi said. “It was really lovely – I was quite emotional!”
Naomi had her baby, a girl named Constance, in 2019, a few months after her special trip to the zoo — and now plans to take her daughter for a visit to see if the orangutans recognize her.
“Seeing the mother and baby together both being interested in me made me realise the connection between a mother and child,” Naomi told the Daily Mail.
Watch the sweet video below:
The Twycross Zoo is home to five Bornean orangutans. Because orangutans are critically endangered, the zoo participates in conservation programs to help save the species, including campaigning for a more sustainable palm oil trade. The palm oil industry has been responsible for much of the species’ native habitat loss.
“Twycross Zoo is the only place in the UK home to the four great apes and by working alongside conservation projects across the world including Ape Action Africa, Lola ya Bonobo and Borneo Nature Foundation, we are able to protect important habitats and safeguard wildlife with whom we share our planet,” said Dr. Jessica Rendle, Research Education and Conservation Manager of Twycross Zoo.
They also hope that visitors to the zoo will find a connection to these animals, and be inspired to help protect them.
“The fact we, as humans, are so similar to our great ape cousins both in DNA and in the way we behave, really shows how important it is that we protect and preserve them for future generations,” Dr. Rendle said.
What an adorable moment of connection between humans and orangutans. It’s a reminder that we should work to protect this intelligent, caring species. Share this sweet story.