Aww!
Video shows touching moment mama orangutan is reunited with ‘kidnapped’ baby
This is beyond touching. The emotions she clearly felt are so human.
Kate Miano
08.13.21

When a male orangutan shockingly kidnapped a baby orangutan from her mother, everyone was surprised and confused. That is strange behavior, but it became necessary to recover the baby.

When the baby, Clarita, was reunited with her mother, Clara, no one was sure how the mother would react. But what she did proved her motherly love for her baby, and brought tears to the eyes of the handlers watching.

Mother and child had been separated for a week.

In the orangutan world, this could be dangerous. The mother might not identify that the baby is their own, and could possibly reject it. More dangerously, the mother could try to mistakenly harm the baby.

YouTube Screenshot - Channel 4
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Channel 4

Because it was risky to bring the baby back to its mother again, the handlers had to be very involved in reintroducing them.

The first step was to hold the baby outside of the cage while the mother sniffed at it, to make sure that the mother wouldn’t hurt it.

When mama Clara saw her baby, her response surprised their human handlers.

YouTube Screenshot - Channel 4
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Channel 4

Their handler had this to say about Clara’s reaction.

YouTube Screenshot - Channel 4
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Channel 4

“Clara was looking at her child as if she was glad, happy to be seeing her child again.” One handler tells Channel 4. “I talked to Clara, I told her ‘This is your child…you child has healed and we are returning her to you.'”

Clara was impatient to hold her baby again.

YouTube Screenshot - Channel 4
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Channel 4

The first step of bringing baby back to Clara seemed hopeful, so the handlers decided that it would be safe to allow the baby inside the cage with Clara.

As soon as one of the humans reached to unlock Clara’s cage, the mother couldn’t contain her impatience. She reached through the cage bars to try to “assist” in unlocking the door.

As soon as the baby is in the cage, Clara does something very so touching.

She can’t stop herself from reaching out to grab her baby. Pretty much as soon as possible, Clara holds her baby in a protective and nurturing way, much like human mothers hold their babies.

YouTube Screenshot - Channel 4
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Channel 4

Clara also nuzzles her face into her baby’s belly. It’s clear that she recognizes this baby orangutan, knows it’s her child and wants to bond with it as quickly as possible.

Then Clara does the one thing that is an inarguable act of love.

She lets her baby nurse. One way that orangutan mothers will reject their babies is by starving them and not allowing them to have milk. The vet team had to be present to make sure that Clara wouldn’t do this to Clarita.

YouTube Screenshot - Channel 4
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Channel 4

So when Clara allows a crying, and probably hungry, Clarita to nurse on her, everyone feels relieved. Clara has fully accepted the baby back and is now ready to help love it and raise it.

One of the vets shares her reaction to the reunion.

YouTube Screenshot - Channel 4
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Channel 4

She tells Channel 4:

“Oh my god I cannot say it in words, it’s so beautiful. Like ‘Ohhh, it’s my baby.’ And Clarita also like ‘Oh is this my mother? Finally I can see her again after a long time.’ It was one of the best moments, when I worked here, to see the reunited mother and daughter.”

It’s amazing to see so much tenderness between reunited mother and child.

YouTube Screenshot - Channel 4
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Channel 4

We are not so different from our primate cousins. We certainly feel motherly love in a similar way.

Clara and Clarita prove their bond is eternal, and according to an update posted on Facebook, they are now living in freedom in the rainforest. Their sweet love for one another is still proving family bonds.

Watch the whole reunion in the video below!

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By Kate Miano
hi@sbly.com
Kate Miano is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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