A mother’s love for her child is a constant throughout the animal kingdom. Many females experience the same closeness and attachment to their children that people do.
So when one photographer managed to capture one mother monkey in a heartbreaking, eerily human moment, it struck a nerve—but luckily, there was more to the story.
Avinash Lodhi, a photographer from Jabalpur, India, has captured many subjects, but monkeys are a particular fascination.
“The activities and emotions of monkeys always amaze me,” he told Caters News. “If you watch them closely they’re very similar to us.”
“I’m always happy to watch and photograph them.”
He captured his most famous photo of the animals by chance. In April 2017, the 31-year-old Lodhi was at a park in Madhya Pradesh taking photos of birds, but on his way back he stumbled on a pack of monkeys.
“I decided to sit down and watch their activities,” he told StoryTrender. “I wanted to capture some pictures of them, even though I was losing light.”
But one photo stood out—a heartbreaking photo of a mother seemingly mourning her child:
Posted by Avinash Lodhi on Sunday, May 14, 2017
The photo shows the monkey cradling her son in her arms, crying out.
“It was so quick I didn’t even know what was happening when I took the picture but as soon as I confirmed the image I was silent for an hour,” he said. “This moment is rare, especially with animals.”
The photo went viral, and many reported the young monkey was dead. However, a few minutes after the photo was taken, the monkey had recovered and regained consciousness. He had collapsed, but was not dead.
Lodhi confirmed this by later posting a second photo of the same monkeys, where you can see the child is alive because he is grabbing his mother’s head:
While the photo is not as devastating as it initially appears, it still captures a mother’s fear and concern for her child’s life.
“This picture is very close to my heart because throughout my entire photography career I have never seen anything like this,” Lodhi said.