The following story proves that the magic of motherly love spans across species.
Emmily Austin was visiting Boston’s Franklin Park Zoo with her husband Michael and 5-week-old son Canyon when they caught the attention of a Western Lowland gorilla named Kiki.
The new mother noticed that the primate kept looking around the corner of the cave and realized who she wanted to see—her baby boy Canyon.
“I was holding him up to the glass, and was like ‘Yeah look, it’s my baby.’ And was like, ‘How cool would it be if she came to see him?’” she said. “‘I had said that several times but I wasn’t really expecting it.”
Kiki seemed intrigued and spent five minutes gesturing and staring lovingly at the infant through the glass. Emmily couldn’t understand why she was so fascinated with Canyon until the gorilla scooped up her own son, 7-month-old Pablo, and help him up to the enclosure’s glass.
Pablo, who was born in October 2020, is the zoo’s first male baby gorilla. He has four older sisters. Since his arrival, Kiki has kept him close to her and loves to hold him, according to the Franklin Park Zoo.
Kiki and Emmily then proceeded to show each other their babies, gushing at them like we humans do when we see cute newborns. At one point, the momma gorilla even tried touching Canyon’s face through the glass and “hold his hand,” according to Emmily.
“Her face was just so in love,” she said. “She was showing her baby, my baby.”
Canyon slept through the entire magical encounter. Meanwhile, Emmily plans to return to the zoo to “bond” with her new mommy friend again.
“When I walked into the zoo that day, I never could’ve imagined that we’d have this experience,” Emmily said. “It was so beautiful and we walked out over the moon. And we had so many people stop us and tell us that was the most beautiful thing we’ve ever watched. And it was so touching, it really was. You could feel the emotions were just in the air.”
Luckily, Michael was able to capture the adorable interaction on camera. He recently uploaded the video on YouTube, where it has been viewed over 2.2 million times.
“This gorilla is Kiki. She recently had a baby named Pablo. My wife, Emmelina, also had a baby five weeks previous to this video. Kiki had brought her baby over to us and shared a connection with my wife and our baby boy Canyon,” he captioned the clip.
Here are some of the viewers’ reactions to the touching encounter.
“Hey Michael, not only did your wife bond with the gorilla, but she also provided enrichment for the gorilla as well because it is something new to the animal that has her attention.”
“So precious! Made me cry. The female gorilla was also trying to mirror the image just like how the human lady was holding her baby. She could see the reflection in the glass. It was so cute how she licked the glass where the baby’s hand was.”
“These creatures are so self-aware to be able to bond over a sense of motherhood. How beautiful!”
Click on the video below to see these two mothers gushing at each other’s adorable babies.
The Austin family is so lucky to have experienced such a rare and magical encounter! Let’s see if their next meeting would be just as beautiful.
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