“It’s one of the most powerful things I’ve ever seen.”
That’s what Wichita, Kansas Sedgwick County Zoo’s communications director, Jennica King, told KSAZ.
The zoo’s chimpanzee, “Mahale and her new baby, Kucheza, which means ‘play’ in Swahili, had to be separated following an emergency C-section.”
It took two days for them to be reunited and the zoo caught the moment mother and baby could finally be together in a video posted to their Facebook page that has brought many to tears.
“Mahale is seen entering her enclosure where Kucheza is patiently waiting in a nest of blankets. At first, Mahale, carrying a white patterned blanket, appears apprehensive. She is then seen lifting herself upright a tad in order to see what is in the pile of blankets when suddenly, a tiny little hand stretches outward.”
“Mahale appears to immediately recognize that little hand and snaps into ‘mom mode’ and picks up her baby and embraces him tightly.”
The scene is reminiscent of a beautiful Bible verse that speaks of the enduring nature of the love of God for His people. The verse begins with these words: “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?” (Isaiah 49:15a, ESV).
Clearly, what we witness of Mahale’s affection for Kucheza, the answer is no. Even in the animal world, the bond between mother and newborn is strong.
The new addition to the zoo was born on November 15, but labor was taking longer than usual.
Doctors performed a C-section but Kucheza was having breathing difficulties following the procedure. The veterinary team kept Kucheza under observation but returned Mahale to the chimpanzee enclosure.
“Once the baby was cleared to return to his mother, Kucheza was transferred back to the chimpanzee enclosure where Mahale could see him but only through a mesh screen until keepers felt it was safe to fully reunite them.”
“Mahale and Kucheza are ‘doing great,’ according to a recent post following their reunion.”
Absolutely inspiring to see a mother and child reunion, even if mother and child are residents of the zoo.