Mahale recently wandered inside her gorilla habitat at the Sedgwick County Zoo. She had just given birth to her third child, a son, but the 28-year-old chimpanzee hadn’t seen him in two days.
Mahale was excited to see her baby son again because she wanted to hold him.
And a photograph of the lovely occasion was taken.
When Mahale’s labor stopped progressing, the medical team intervened and performed an emergency C-section. Unfortunately, her baby wasn’t breathing well on his own and had to stay for observation until he was deemed healthy.
Mahale didn’t know when or if she’d see her sweet baby again. As the tired mama took inventory of her enclosure, a tiny hand raised up out of a blue blanket. At that moment, Mahale realized her boy, now named Kucheza, was safe.
You can watch the heartwarming reunion between mother and son here:
When Mahale realized it was indeed her baby in the blanket, she rushed to him, scooped him up and, trembling with emotion, pressed him to her chest in a tight hug. The relief on her face was evident to everyone watching.
The loving Mama has not put down her baby since their reunion, and they are now enjoying their time together as they heal.
Employees at the zoo said that Mahale and Kucheza are both doing well. Kucheza is a contented, contented baby who spends much of his time resting and eating, while Mahale is attentive and caring. Chimpanzees in the wild breastfeed until they are 4 years old and then depend on their mother for assistance for an additional 10 years.
It’s clear these two are building a bond that will last a lifetime.