(NBC) – When Emmily Austin visited Boston’s Franklin Park Zoo, she never expected the bond she would form there with Kiki the gorilla, also a mother.
Austin’s husband caught it all on camera.
“We didn’t even know one of the gorillas had a baby a few months ago,” Austin said.
Austin held her 5-month-old son Canyon up against the glass to see the gorillas when Kiki, a mother of five, took notice and came over to see the baby herself, becoming fascinated with the toddler.
“It was so sweet,” she said. “For well over five minutes she just sat there watching him and just staring at him so lovingly.”
She says Kiki tried to pet the infant’s face through the glass and tried to hold his hand.
“You could see the emotions in her eye,” she said.
Eventually, Kiki brought over her only son, Pablo, to see Canyon as well.
“There was a whole crowd around us going, ‘aww,'” Austin said. “When I walked in to the zoo that day, I never could imagine we would’ve had that experience.”
Though Canyon slept through most of the experience, Austin said she is excited to return to the zoo and hopes to see Kiki again.
“It was so beautiful and we walked out just over the moon,” she said. “We had so many people stop us and tell us that was the most beautiful thing they’ve ever watched and it was so touching. It really was. You could feel the emotions like just in the air.”