Breastfeeding mom shares touching moment with orangutan at zoo
Elizabeth Hunt Burrett was at the Melbourne Zoo for her daughter’s third birthday when her 13-week-old got hungry. She decided to find a spot where she could sit down and feed him. She settled on a quiet corner in the orangutan enclosure, resting next to the window.
What happened next is pretty cool. An orangutan settled on the opposite side of the glass and watched the mother feed her child, Eli. “I took him into a quiet corner away from the crowd to feed, then this happened,” explains Burrett on her Facebook page. “This mummy came to investigate and she watched the whole feed. It was the most beautiful thing!!!”
She told ABC Melbourne, “I was breastfeeding and this orangutan locked eyes with me and came over to check out what was going on. And then another one came over who seemed to be a little bit older than this one and kind of shoed the little one off for a while. And she came over and gave me a bit of a nod, and then she went off and the other one came back and just watched the whole feed.”
The radio interviewer asks her what she thinks was going on with the older orangutan. Burrett responds, “I have no idea but I felt so proud and I felt like she was proud of me. Yeah, I don’t know. It was amazing.” She explains that she’d had some trouble breastfeeding in the beginning, and she was wasn’t able to breastfeed her first child.
The older female orangutan has two kids of her own. Burrett has red-headed children as well and she guesses that the orangutans were at first wondering if her child was one of theirs. Of course, once people got wind of what was going on the breastfeeding mom sort of became part of the exhibit.
“Once one person saw what was going on, there was a bit of crowd. That was kind of awkward, but no one said anything negative — they were all just in awe of what was going on.”
What a great moment. Burrett ended her Facebook post with more good news, “I’m very happy to report that there was not one nasty comment made about me feeding in public.”