Orangutan Asks to See Baby, Then ‘Kisses’ the Glass at Louisville Zoo

It was a scene filled with warmth and tenderness, an authentic display of animal empathy that took place at the Louisville Zoo in Kentucky. Kayla Jaylen Natsiss, a young mother, captured an endearing moment on video when an orangutan seemingly requested a closer look at her 3-month-old son, Jordan. The gracious ape, then, appeared to tenderly ‘kiss’ the glass wall of its enclosure as if expressing its affection for the infant.

orangutan asks to see baby louisville zoo

The encounter unfolded when Natsis’s mother, cradling baby Jordan, brought him closer to the glass barrier separating the humans and the animal. “We brought him over so she could see him and she kissed the glass two times,” Natsis shared with Storyful, adding, “Everyone there, including us, thought it was the cutest thing ever!” This delightful episode captured the essence of the term “orangutan,” which translates to “man of the forest” in the Malay language.

Home to four orangutans, namely Teak, Amber, Segundo, and Bella, the Louisville Zoo is known for its diverse and well-cared-for inhabitants. Teak and Amber also enjoyed their moment of fame when they starred with Jack Hanna on “The David Letterman Show.”

This incident highlights the distinct bond between orangutans and humans, mirroring the strong maternal bond characteristic of the ape species. Young orangutans, as noted on the Louisville Zoo’s website, enjoy the “longest childhood of any ape species,” staying with their mothers for up to 10 years. For the first two years, “the young rely entirely on their mothers for both food and transportation.”

Female orangutans set a strong example of devotion and affection, guiding their young for six to seven years, teaching them necessary life skills such as foraging and nest-building. Interestingly, these compassionate creatures are known to “visit” their mothers until they reach the ripe age of 15 or 16, reinforcing the principle of strong family bonds that many human societies cherish.

Ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” (Job 12:7-10).

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