Curious Orangutan at Louisville Zoo Asks to Look at Visitor's Newborn Baby

The Kentucky zoo said the orangutan, named Amber, is known for her "playful personality" and often points out things about visitors

An orangutan at the Louisville Zoo went viral after sharing a special moment with a newborn baby.

The orangutan, who social media users later identified as 35-year-old Amber, was videotaped gesturing at a three-month-old baby through the glass of her zoo exhibit.

"Oh, she wants [to see] the baby? There's the baby," someone can be heard saying in the video as the child's mother brings the infant closer to the glass divider between the primate and the zoo visitors. 

In the clip, Amber moves closer to the glass to look at the baby, who is wearing a gray onesie, and gives the child a sweet smile as she gazes at them. The moment won over the hearts of bystanders, who murmured their "awws."

orangutan meets baby at zoo

Kayla Jaylen Natsis/storyful

The baby's mother told USA Today that the orangutan shared another beautiful moment with the child when she kissed the glass twice when the child was brought nearby.

This isn't the first time Amber has asked to see a little visitor at the zoo more closely. In a separate TikTok posted by Shalena Hittle earlier this month, the curious orangutan points at Hittle's newborn baby wrapped in a blue blanket. 

In the video, Hittle's husband brings the sleeping baby close to the glass, and Amber moves her head near the window to get a better look. After peering at the baby's face, the orangutan points to the child's feet and head as she calmly watches him through the window.

"The orangutan asked to see our 2-week-old," Hittle captioned the post.

According to the zoo's website, Amber was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on October 15, 1987, and moved to the Louisville Zoo with fellow orangutan Teak in 1996. The zoo said she is known for her "playful personality" and for pointing out things about visitors.

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"She enjoys interacting with guests and may tap the glass to grab the attention of those nearby, pointing out sparkling accessories, brightly colored fingernails, or gesturing towards a purse or backpack to see what's inside," the zoo said.

Orangutans "rely more on facial expressions and body language to communicate," according to the Smithosnian's National Conservatory and Biology Institute. The animals can be "highly social" and "exhibit social tolerance.

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