The bond between mothers crosses ages, ethnicities, and also species, in the case of five-time mother Kiki the gorilla and a new human mom who came to see her at the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston.
Maine resident Michael Austin captured a video of his wife, Emmalina, holding their sleeping newborn son, Canyon, by the protective glass between them and the Western Lowland Gorilla family exhibit during their recent visit to the zoo in early May.
Emmalina told News Center Maine that Kiki had been peering around a corner at her and Canyon before coming over to see them up close.
For close to five minutes, Kiki, stared at Canyon, making gestures and putting her hand up to the glass as Emmalina held Canyon’s hand up to her side of the glass.
“I was just in awe,” she said. “Trying to pet his face through the glass, and trying to hold his hand … just the most beautiful thing. You could see the emotion in her eyes.”
Human dad Michael told The Dodo, “My wife and I both had tears in our eyes.”
Kiki also picked up her 7-month-old son, Pablo, and brought him by the glass for a bit.
“Her face was just so in love,” Emmalina said to Newscenter Maine. “She was showing her baby my baby.”
Watch the whole video, which had over 3.1 million views as of May 17, captured by Michael Austin on his cellphone, below.
“We walked out just over the moon,” Emmalina told News Center Maine about their experience with the gorillas at Franklin Park Zoo. The Boston zoo plans to open a new and interactive gorilla exhibit this summer.
This is not the first time Kiki has made headlines. In October 2020, she delivered baby Pablo via a rare Caesarean section after placenta previa prevented her from having a more typical delivery. Pablo is her fifth child, and Kiki is an older mother at almost 40 years old.
Here’s a photo from Zoo New England showing Kiki with Pablo shortly after his birth.
Franklin Park Zoo also shared a Mother’s Day video of Kiki playing with Pablo on May 9.
A mother’s love runs deep, whether human or gorilla.