Orangutan plants kiss on breastfeeding mother outside her zoo enclosure in heartwarming video
Apart from making eye-contact with the breastfeeding mother, the animal also started planting kisses on the glass, as well as placing its hands on it.
In one of the most heartrending displays of human-animal interaction, a female orangutan was caught trying to protect a woman who was breastfeeding her son outside its enclosure at a zoo.
Gemma Copeland, 30, from Cheshire, got to experience an example of animal compassion while visiting the Schoenbrunn Zoo with her 15-week-old son Jasper and partner Shane, 31. She sat down close to the orangutan enclosure upon realizing that Jasper needed to feed.
"I'm mad on traveling and animals and when I booked a cheap flight to Vienna, I noticed that they have the oldest zoo in the world. During our visit, I realized we nearly missed out on seeing the orangutans so we turned around and went back. We couldn't see them in their enclosure so we just said, 'Let's go home.' But I realized that they had come back out when we turned away, so we went to go and look. I went to the window for a closer look and sat down by the window so my son could see the orangutan who was roughly five or six-foot away. I didn't want to frighten her, so I made myself smaller so I could take a picture," Copeland said, Daily Mail reported.
That was when the mammal crawled up to the glass bordering the enclosure and sat down near her, staring intently into Copeland's eyes. Apart from making eye-contact with the breastfeeding mother, the animal also started planting kisses on the glass, as well as placing its hands on it. The rare interaction was recorded on camera by Shane. You can view the video here.
"She then got up, carried a piece of cloth to the window and sat down with me. She looked directly into my eyes, then placed her hand up as if to touch my son. I was in awe of this beautiful creature already. My son wanted feeding and as it was quiet I fed him whilst I sat there. The way the orangutan reacted took my breath away she kept looking at me, then my son then back again," she said.
Copeland added: "She sat with me for approximately half an hour, and kept stroking the glass and lay down next to me as if to support and protect me. It was really lovely and I didn't want to leave - it felt incredible and I was crying so much because I couldn't take it in."
After the story, as well as footage of the interaction, went viral, Copeland launched a Facebook Page called Gemma Copeland Breastfeeding mum. "My aim is to reduce the stigma of breastfeeding in public, empower women to feel comfortable enough to do the same. Also raise funds for the rescue, rehabilitation and release of the majestic Orangutan," she said in a post on her personal account.