A mother has been left in awe after an orangutan supported her while breastfeeding.
The incident took place in Vienna, Austria, at Schoenbrunn Zoo where Gemma Copeland was holidaying with her partner and son. Like many parents, she took their son to the zoo so that he could get up close and personal with the animals.
When the family stopped at the orangutan enclosure, the animals were playing, and they sat down in front of the glass to watch. Then something remarkable happened, which Gremma subsequently shared on social media.Watch Gemma's incredible experience below:
Recounting the incident on Facebook, Gemma explained: "Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears.
"I visited Schoenbrunn zoo in Vienna whilst on a mini break with my partner and son, we nipped in to see the orangutans at the end of out day who were happily playing in the enclosure so I went to the window for a closer look."
Gemma added that she "sat down by the window so my son could see the orangutan who was roughly 5/6ft away."
Gemma says that the orangutan "then got up, carried a piece of cloth to the window and sat down with me.
"She looked directly into my eyes then placed her hand up as if to touch my son I was in awe of this beautiful creature already."
As any mother will attest, there's no telling where and when a child will get hungry, and when this happened to Gemma at the zoo, she decided to feed her son there and then.
She added: "My son wanted feeding and as it was quiet I fed him whilst I sat there, the way the orangutan reacted took my breath away she kept looking at me, then my son then back again.
"She sat with me for approximately half an hour, kept stroking the glass and lay down next to me as if to support and protect me."Related - In the heartbreaking footage below, an orangutan tries to fight the bulldozer destroying its habitat:
Gemma added: "I had to share this because my mind was blown, we may be a species apart but breastfeeding connected us today in a once in a lifetime moment that will stay with me forever.
She described it as "the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears."
In a world where the orangutan population is increasingly under threat, she took to Facebook to share this story of how empathetic and compassionate these animals are, and it resonated with thousands.
Now, she has updated the post so that those touched by the story can donate to the Borneo Orangutan Rescue.