Babies are a special type of creature. It doesn’t matter what species they are, babies are simply adorable. Remarkably, most animals seem fond of newborn creatures, even if they are from a different species. There is something about a tiny new life that tugs on the heart.
One new mom took her baby to the zoo to see the animals. She looked forward to an exciting day of wandering around with her little one. What she didn’t expect is that the animals would want to see her baby.
As she stepped up to the glass of an exhibit, the orangutan living there became excited. He scurried over and pressed his face against the glass. The woman must have wondered why at first, but the answer quickly became apparent.
The primate stood with his forehead and right hand pressed against the barrier between himself and this young one. He looked down intently at the tiny face. For a moment, mother and orangutan faced each other. They both leaned in toward this transparent wall, their eyes at the same level, both fully engaged.
The mother stared up at the animal, but he only had eyes for the tiny human resting in her arms. He removed his hand from the glass and pointed right at the little one. It was obvious that he would have touched the child if he could, but seeing as he was in captivity he remained content with just observing.
Next the orangutan moved his other hand. It is possible that he was making a gesture not commonly recognized by humans. He then repositioned himself, still staring intently at the newborn. This brief instant was filled with so much love. I have no doubt that if the orangutan had found the baby in the wild, he would have looked after him as if he were his own.
It makes sense that animals would reserve a special place in their hearts for newborn creatures. Babies have no way of defending or providing for themselves, so they rely entirely on the kindness of others. Since animals continue their species by having children, each creature has an interest in having their young cared for. Subconsciously, this translates into a deep admiration for newborns. Animals will help and even protect infants of a different species – it is part of our collective survival skills.
One mother discovered how true this is when a parrot saved her daughter’s life. She had heated a Pop-Tart and left it on the counter to cool while she used the restroom. That’s when she heard her pet squawking uncontrollably. “Mama! Baby! Mama! Baby!” it shrieked.
The mom rushed into the room to find her two-year-old daughter choking on the pastry. Thanks to this bird’s warning, she was able to save her daughter’s life. It seems that when a child is in danger, animals’ maternal instincts kick into gear.
Another primate proved this to be true when she rescued a 3 year old boy. The child had fallen into a gorilla enclosure, and the fall left him with severe head injuries. The gorilla watched it happen and immediately stepped in. She protected the boy from the others. This was vital to the child’s survival, as gorillas are known for being highly territorial.
The animal went above and beyond simply protecting the boy. She cradled him and carried him 60 feet to the exhibit entrance. There she handed him off to the zoo keepers and medical professionals. She instinctively saved the child’s life, with no other motivation than the pull this boy had on her heart.
Even the deadliest of animals have a soft spot for children. We often think of lions as vicious killers, but they are also big cats with giant hearts. When a 12 year old Kenyan girl went missing, her family feared the worst. She was gone for an entire week, and no one knew what had happened to her.
Finally, the girl was found. Authorities never could have foreseen the situation they would find her in. As it turns out, the girl had been kidnapped. Her attackers led her away from her home, but they didn’t make it too far. Three lions stepped in and rescued the child. They continued to surround her until help arrived. You might never have guessed that a lion could have a heart of gold.
It is much easier to see differences than similarities, but when it comes down to it we are all animals who want health and happiness. These animals are proof of the compassion that creatures feel for one another, even for those outside of their own species.
We could all take a lesson from these heroic beings. If we want to live in a safe and friendly world, showing compassion is key.
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