A mother’s love is one of the most powerful forces on Earth, and we don’t have to look any further than a sweet chimpanzee named Mahale for proof.
The Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kansas shared a now-viral video of a mama chimp’s emotional reunion with her baby after being separated after birth, and the world has fallen in love.
If you haven’t seen it yet, go ahead and grab a box of tissues because if you’re anything like me, you’ll be bawling by the end.
I mean, everything about this sweet video is just perfection. At first it’s hard to tell exactly what you’re looking at—the camera is focused on a cozy-looking blue blanket at the center of the enclosure, but you can’t see what’s inside. Then the door to the enclosure opens and Mahale enters slowly, dragging what appears to be a blankie behind her and looking around, lost, confused, and sad. It actually seems as if she’s been crying—she swipes at her eyes and begins to stand up when a slight movement catches her attention and her eyes lock on the blanket.
Her entire body freezes as she studies the bundle, and then right on cue, a little furry black hand sticks out as if to say, “Here, Mommy! Here I am!”
This was the point at which I started to sob.
You can see the exact moment Mahale realizes it’s her baby, and she lets out a cry that any mother on the planet would recognize.
It’s the sound of all the emotions all at once—joy, relief, and love.
At the end of the video, Mahale immediately scoops her baby up and pulls him close to her chest, cradling him as her legs tremble and she hoots softly.
I mean, if this isn’t just the most raw, exquisite display of maternal devotion—my heart can barely stand it! As a mom, you can’t help but think back to those first few minutes of cradling your own baby after you gave birth and the overwhelming, all-consuming feelings of purpose and protectiveness you felt.
What a powerful reminder that we’re not the only species to feel such tender empathy for our babies—a mother’s love is truly universal.
This video is sure to hit different if you’re a NICU mama and have had to be apart from your baby for any period of time.
According to the zoo’s social media updates, Mahale underwent an emergency C-section on November 15th to give birth to her baby boy. Right after birth, he was having some trouble getting enough oxygen and had to be treated at the hospital, which was why he was initially separated from his mama. However, he has quickly recovered and seems to be doing beautifully.
I mean, just look at this adorable face!
The zoo has since released more videos and photos, showing that the pair’s bond has only continued to grow and strengthen over the last couple of days—the latest video is of the devoted chimp grooming and smooching her baby repeatedly.
“Mahale is THE MOST amazing mama,” the caption reads. “She hasn’t put baby down since she first picked him up yesterday morning and the two are IN LOVE. ❤️”