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Zoo joy: Hearts melt when orangutan ‘asks’ to see baby through enclosure, then ‘kisses’ glass

Baby’s mom said moment at Louisville Zoo was ‘cutest thing ever’

A curious orangutan melted hearts at a Louisville, Kentucky zoo last weekend when she knocked on the glass wall of its enclosure asking to further inspect a baby who was visiting the zoo. (SEE the adorable video at top of this article.)

Mom Kayla Jaylen Natsiss filmed the heartwarming moment when her mother, who was holding her 3-month-old son Jordan, obligingly brought the infant closer to the glass of the orangutan’s enclosure at the Louisville Zoo so the animal could get a better look at him, Storyful reported.

“We brought him over so she could see him and she kissed the glass two times,” Natsis told Storyful.

“Everyone there, including us, thought it was the cutest thing ever!”

The Louisville Zoo is home to four orangutans — Teak, Amber, Segundo and Bella.

Teak and Amber are also TV stars. They appeared with Jack Hanna on “The David Letterman Show,” according to the zoo’s website, as Fox4 in Dallas, Texas, reported.

orangutan asks to see baby at zoo

An orangutan at the Louisville Zoo was interested in inspecting a three-month-old baby — and gave the baby a kiss through the glass, according to Storyful. (Kayla Jaylen Natsis via Storyful)

Young orangutans stay with their mothers for up to 10 years, the “longest childhood of any ape species,” the Louisville Zoo’s website notes.

The name “orangutan” means “man of the forest” in the Malay language, the World Wildlife Fund says on its website.

In the wild, in the lowland forests, orangutans live “solitary existences,” the website also notes.

The bond between an orangutan mother and her young “is one of the strongest in nature.”


Above, an orangutan in the wild holds its baby close. (Dieter Menne/picture alliance via Getty Images)

During the first two years of life, “the young rely entirely on their mothers for both food and transportation,” the site also says.

“The moms stay with their young for six to seven years, teaching them where to find food, what and how to eat and the technique for building a sleeping nest.”

Additionally, female orangutans are known to “visit” their mothers until they reach the age of 15 or 16.

In an undated photo provided by the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans, an endangered Sumatran orangutan infant is bottle-fed milk. The infant was being bottle-fed because his mother wasn’t producing enough milk.  (Associated Press)

Orangutans “feast on wild fruits like lychees, mangosteens, and figs and slurp water from holes in trees,” the site adds.

“They make nests in trees of vegetation to sleep at night and rest during the day.”

Adult male orangutans can weigh up to 200 pounds.

“Flanged” males have prominent cheek pads called flanges and a throat sac used to make “loud verbalizations called long calls,” the site continues.

An unflanged male looks like an adult female — and in a “biological phenomenon” unique among primates, an unflanged male “can change to a flanged male for reasons that are not yet fully understood,” it adds.

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