A mother’s love is unconditional and universal. Both humans and animals have an unbreakable bond with their young, which is beautifully demonstrated in a recent video shot by Michael Austin. He and his wife Emmelina Austin recently visited Franklin Park Zoo in Boston with their 1-month-old son, Canyon. While at the gorilla enclosure, they met a female gorilla named Kiki and her own child, a 7-month-old baby gorilla named Pablo. Austin filmed the incredible moment when his wife and Kiki met through the glass and introduced their babies to each other.
“My wife held up our son to show to Kiki, who was on the other side of the enclosure,” Michael recalls. “Then Kiki grabbed Pablo and put him on her leg to carry him over to us.” Despite the barriers between them—both the physical glass barrier and the fact they couldn’t communicate with each other in their own languages—the two mothers were able to connect over the love they both have for their children. “[Kiki] was talking to us with her hands,” Michael said. “Pablo even pushed his face up to the glass at one point and they watched him, noses touching, together. My wife and I both had tears in our eyes.”
At one point, Emmelina holds Canyon’s tiny hand up to the glass. Kiki immediately tried to hold it and even tried to lick it. It’s clear to see how much Kiki understands how precious the human baby is, and she seems genuinely excited about his visit.
The family’s video has now gone viral on YouTube, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a heartwarming example of humans and animals sharing compassion, and a rare look at how brilliantly complex and emotionally intelligent gorillas really are.