No matter how different humans are from animals, there are a few things that all species share. Almost every type of animal has an instinctive desire to protect and take care of their young. This often extends to the infants of other species, so it is common for animals to be protective and loving to human babies. One animal showed that some apes are even smart enough to extend this caring instinct to pregnant humans.
Apes are so intelligent that more and more people have been speaking out against the cruelty of keeping them in zoos. These animals are the closest relatives to humans in the animal kingdom, and many are capable of learning sign language and sharing complicated concepts. At this woman’s local zoo, apes live in a natural habitat where they are never forced to perform tricks or live in cages. Instead, they are monitored by researchers who want to see what these animals do when kept in a more natural habitat.
At the zoo, the apes and monkeys are kept in large enclosures filled with trees and grass. Visitors can watch them through the glass, but the animals are never forced to interact with humans. Though this big orangutan does not have to deal with humans if he does not want to, he loves seeing the visitors through his glass. When the pregnant mom got close to the glass, he immediately became fixated on her.
It is possible that the human clothes confused him at first, but he stood right by the glass staring at her belly. He knew that her shape was different than the average humans, and it seemed to remind him of the other apes that he has probably seen being pregnant. When she lifted her shirt slightly, the similarity of her form to a pregnant orangutan clearly made the ape understand that she was pregnant. He became excited and happy, patting the glass right above her belly. Just like humans, apes kiss to show affection, and he kissed the glass right where the baby in her stomach was.
This heartwarming act reveals the intelligence and kindness of orangutans. Though they do not always like humans who hold them in captivity, this ape in a more natural enclosure did not display aggression. Instead, he happily socialized with the woman and seemed to congratulate her on the fact that she was carrying a new life. In the wild, orangutans take care of pregnant females, so he clearly felt the same about the pregnant woman.
Orangutans may look scary and be immensely powerful, yet their emotions can be incredibly similar to humans. The researchers watching this orangutan were fascinated to see him displaying his protective instinct towards babies to a pregnant female who was not even the same species as him. This brilliant ape seems to know just how special babies are, and he felt a kinship with the woman.