When Elizabeth Hunt Burrett sought a place to breastfeed her son at the zoo, she didn’t know she’d attract a couple of very special onlookers.
“This orangutan locked eyes with me and came over to check out what was going on,” Burrett, who was visiting Australia’s Melbourne Zoo to celebrate her older daughter’s birthday, told radio station 775 ABC Melbourne.
Burrett posted an image of the moment on Facebook Monday, explaining that her 13-week-old got hungry while the family was near the orangutan enclosure.
“I took him into a quiet corner away from the crowd to feed, Then this happened…” she wrote.
But the female orangutan in the photo — which was snapped by Burrett’s mother — wasn’t the only curious great ape to show up.
“It started off with just one, and then another one came over who seemed to be a bit older than [the first one] and kind of shooed [the first one] off… She came over and gave me a bit of a nod … It was absolutely amazing,” Burrett told the radio station.
It makes sense that Burrett shared the moment with an orangutan, as the apes are known for their close maternal relationships. The bond between an orangutan mom and their offspring is “one of the strongest in nature,” according to the World Wildlife Fund. Not only do young orangutans stay with their mothers until the ages of 6 or 7, but some female orangutans will return to visit their mothers until ages 15 or 16.
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