There was about to be a family reunion, but it wasn’t in any way a typical family reunion. And staff at the Nyaru Menteng Rescue Center in Borneo were worried. They were about to reunite orangutan mom Clara with her baby, Clarita, MailOnline reports.
Clara reaches out to touch her baby. Image by Channel 4 via YouTube video
Would This Orangutan Take Her Baby Back?
Teen mom Clara and her baby were living a semi-independent life before little Clarita was snatched by a dominant male orangutan. Staff members feared Clara would reject her daughter and refuse to let her nurse, Metro reports. Mother and daughter were separated for a week while both were being treated for a painful rash and tensions were high as their reunion was filmed for the new show Orangutan Jungle School.
In the footage, a veterinarian cautiously reintroduces little Clarita to her mom, anxious to make sure Clara accepts her baby again.
She calls out to Clara:
“This is your baby, yes sweetheart. Look at her. Maybe you need to get to know each other first.”
There was the possibility that this orangutan mom wouldn’t be glad to see her baby. Especially if she didn’t recognize the little one’s smell. And everyone was worried that this would be the outcome.
“Sometimes when a mother rejects their baby they just let them starve,” said Vivi, a nurse. “They don’t want to give them milk.”
But they needn’t have worried. Seconds pass and then Clara slowly extends a hand to her little one. It’s a beautiful moment.
Clara reaches out to little Clarita. Image by Channel 4 via YouTube video
“Clara was looking at her child as if she was glad, happy to be seeing her child again,” the vet said, smiling. “I talked to Clara, I told her ‘this is your child, your child has healed and we are returning her to you.”
This orangutan mom was happy to see her baby
Clara eagerly greets her baby. Screenshot by Channel 4 via YouTube video
When mom and baby finally were reunited, Clara hugged her little girl tightly, Happiest reports. She curled up with Clarita and let her suckle.
Clarita is safe. Image by Channel 4 via YouTube video
“It was one of the best moments of my career— to see this,” Vivi said. “It’s really nice.”
The team shares an emotional moment as Clara hugs her baby. Image by Channel 4 via YouTube video
A happy ending for orangutan mother Clara and baby Clarita
Clara cuddles her baby. Screenshot by Channel4 via YouTube video
When mom and daughter graduate from the school they will be released back into the jungles of Borneo, where they can hopefully begin new lives. It’s likely that Clarita will continue nursing until she is five or six years old, and she and her mom will remain tightly bonded until she reaches her teen years. Amazingly, these rufous-furred great apes give birth only every eight years, meaning that a female will only have four to five babies in her lifetime.
You can watch Clarita’s joyous reunion with her mother. And keep a tissue handy — just in case you need one.
Featured image by Channel 4 via YouTube video
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