In the wild, orangutan fathers play no direct role in the upbringing of their offspring. Meanwhile, the bond between an orangutan mother who raises her offspring single-handedly and her child is thought to be one of the strongest in nature. In fact, orangutan moms invest more time in each offspring than any other known mammal.

But 2-year-old orangutan Cerah was left by herself after her mom unexpectedly died last month at the Denver Zoo. And to the complete surprise of the staff members, Cerah’s dad Berani stepped up to undertake the unusual job on his own—raising his daughter as the best dad he could be.

“Cerah couldn’t have asked for a better dad. Berani is so attentive and protective of her, seeing all her needs,” the zookeepers said in a Facebook post shared two days ago.

And the heartwarming pictures of the dad and daughter snuggling speak louder than any words. They prove that love creates miracles, it heals and creates a one-of-a-kind bond that otherwise wouldn’t have been there.

More info: Facebook | DenverZoo.org

After 2-year-old Cerah became motherless, her dad Berani stepped up to take care of her, which is not typical of male orangutans

Image credits: Denver Zoo

The Denver Zoo keepers announced the heartwarming news on Facebook two days ago

Image credits: Denver Zoo

To find out more about orangutan dad Berani and his little girl Cerah, Bored Panda reached out to Carlie McGuire, the Public Relations Coordinator at the Denver Zoo. Carlie told us that “in the wild, male orangutans are not known to be involved in the raising of offspring at all.”

But when it comes to orangutan dad Berani, he “has always been an exception to the typical role of a male orangutan.” “Well before Nias’ (the mother’s) death, Berani was known for treating Hesty, Nias’ first daughter, like his own offspring. Hesty is not Berani’s biological daughter, but he always treated her as such. So it’s no surprise to us now that he’s stepped in to take care of Cerah.”

And here are the pictures of loving Berani and his precious little Cerah who have grown inseparable

Image credits: Denver Zoo

Image credits: Denver Zoo

Image credits: Denver Zoo

Today, Berani continues to be a source of comfort for Cerah. Carlie said that “the whole troop is doing well, and 11-year-old Hesty, who is only a few years away from being able to start having her own children, is doing a good job playing with Cerah throughout the day.”

Image credits: Denver Zoo

Image credits: Denver Zoo

Image credits: Denver Zoo

When asked whether it’s possible for a dad orangutan to replace a mom orangutan, Carlie assured us that it’s certainly not. “Nias was the true leader of that family group, and while Berani has certainly shown some maternal instincts with Cerah recently, he cannot replace her.”

At this point, Cerah is old enough that she’s nearly weaned off nursing, “so there will not be a need to bring in a new female to be a ‘surrogate’ to her,” Carlie explained.

Image credits: Denver Zoo

Image credits: Denver Zoo

A 32-year-old Sumatran orangutan mother named Nias died on December 17 at Denver Zoo, Colorado. The zoo officials are not sure what was the reason behind her death and they are now awaiting the results of a necropsy from Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Services.

It turns out that Nias arrived at the Denver Zoo when she was 17 years old, back in 2005. “She spent the last 15 years delighting guests and serving as an ambassador for her critically endangered species,” the zoo commented. Due to the relentless destruction of Sumatra’s forests, Sumatra’s orangutans are now on the edge of going extinct. There are less than 14,000 of these orangutans in the wild right now, which makes them a “critically endangered” species.

It seems like this beautiful sight has melted the hearts of many