Humans and orangutans are extraordinarily similar both behaviorally and physically.

Like humans, great apes are incredibly intelligent creatures who can learn languages to communicate, express emotions, and even utilize tools, such as umbrellas to stay dry.

Babies will cry when they’re hungry, whimper when sad and even smile at their moms.

This heartwarming story is about a mom and how she tenderly embraces her baby girl, who’s crying for her affections, in their reunion after the little one was earlier stolen by the dominant male.

About four years ago, Clara, an adult female orangutan, gave birth to baby Clarita on Salat Island, which is used by the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF) as a “pre-release area for orangutan release candidates and also as a sanctuary for unreleasable orangutans.”

The animal welfare group in Indonesia defines “unreleasable” as orangutans who lack the skills to survive on their own, but “will not have to live inside a cage for the rest of their lives. They have the same rights to live in a natural environment, in the forest.”

Clara and her newborn Clarita were on the island for pre-release, where they would live in the canopied forest in a protected area.

When technicians checked up on the newborn, they noticed that Clarita was in the company of Rizki, a 14-year-old male orangutan, and his pals.

The team had to act fast and safely rescue the vulnerable little one. Clarita needed immediate treatment for a severe rash, and malnutrition since she was separated from her breastfeeding mother.

The team quickly rescued the baby and took her to the clinic for care and observation.

They also needed to capture Clara, who according to BOSF, “seemed to be hiding out on Salat, as if she was trying to avoid the other orangutans on the island – in particular, Rizki, who had taken her daughter.”

Once mom, who also had a painful rash, and her baby were safely in the clinic, technicians were both excited and fearful for their reunion.

There was the possibility that Clara would reject her sweet baby, which means Clarita would enter the reintroduction program, where she’d be a student for about seven years before she was safely released into a natural habitat.

The reunion

Footage of the heartwarming reunion shows a nervous vet, cradling Clarita in her arms as they walk to the cage temporarily housing her mom, who was being treated for the rash.

Approaching Clara, the vet says softly, “This is your baby, yes sweetheart. Look at her, maybe you need to get to know each other first.”

Clara’s eyes are fixed on her helpless daughter.

First, through the bars, she kisses the baby on the tuft of fur popping from the top of her head.

Encouraged by Clara’s behavior, the technician makes the decision to let the mom hold her baby.

Clara stretches out her hand and impatiently tries to open the lock.

Once they are in the space together, the mom tenderly embraces the baby, and as Clarita’s whimpering gets louder, Clara lies on her back, allowing the baby to feed.

Several technicians got emotional watching as Clarita’s cries stopped.

One says, “I cannot say in words, it’s so beautiful. It was one of the best moments of my, to see this. It’s really nice.”

In October 2018, the sanctuary offered an update on Clara and Clarita.

“Once restored to full health, Clara and Clarita were moved onto a pre-release island in order that the team could monitor their progress and assess their suitability for release to the wild.

Having satisfied the criteria for release, in September 2018, Clara and Clarita began their new lives in the forests of the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya Nation.”

The Clara-Clarita video is one of the sweetest clips out there! Furry or human, a mother’s love is unyielding, and we are so fortunate this video was shared for us to appreciate.

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