Monkey Hugs Photographer After Being Reunited in Heartwarming Video

Mikah Spider Monkey
Casey Cooper receives a hug from Mikah the spider monkey.

A photographer has shared the sweet moment Mikah the spider monkey gave him a hug after the pair had not seen each other in two years.

Casey Cooper, a dedicated nature and conservation photographer, shared Mikah’s story in a viral video posted to TikTok yesterday. Cooper explains that the spider monkey once lived in a tiny cage in a tiny apartment with no other monkeys to interact with.

@cooperlost Mikah the spider monkey once lived in a tiny cage inside a tiny apartment by herself with no other monkeys to interact with. She was in jail. 4 years ago she was rescued by a wildlife sanctuary in bolivia. She spent 2 years there learning how to socialize with other animals and fend for herself in the wild. Fastforward to today, shes wild, free and pregnant and gets to be a MOTHER SOON! Not all sanctuary stories are succesful but when they are, we remember why we do the things we do for each creature that gets a second chance at a wild life. #theamazon #spidermonkeysoftiktok #keepthemwild #wildlifesanctuary #wildliferehab #wildliferescue ♬ Tishomingo – Zach Bryan

Mikah was someone’s pet, presumably in Bolvia which is where a wildlife sanctuary rescued her four years ago. That’s where Cooper first met Mikah and she was being socialized with the other monkey as she learned how to fend for herself in the wild.

“The first day I arrived at the sanctuary, Mikah was being introduced to the jungle. She was on a leash at the time, that’s how you start to habituate them to the troupe,” Cooper tells the Miami Herald.

“Mikah was on the leash right next to the location of where I was going to be staying, and she walked up to me and kinda looked at me and hopped up and gave me a big neck hug, pretty similar to the one you see in the video.”

Mikah’s assimilation was successful, the conservationists had to ensure that she didn’t “get bullied or killed by the other monkeys.” This was partly achieved by placing Mikah in a cage in the jungle to keep her safe while she learned how to interact with the other monkeys.

Mikah is now out of the cage and cavorting with the other monkeys — she’s pregnant.

“She seems to have so much gratitude for the humans who rescued her,” Coopers tells the Herald.

“Seeing her felt like seeing a childhood friend. It’s an emotional feeling.

“You have this feeling of happiness that this animal we did all this work for is happy and comfortable and living a wild life.

“There’s always so much disaster and sadness when it comes to these animal stories, so when you have a victory like that, you really just want to celebrate it.”

Cooper previously featured on PetaPixel after he was filmed taking photos of a cheetah that walked over to him for a head rub during the shoot.

More of Cooper’s work can be found on his website, Instagram, and TikTok.

Image credits: All photos by Casey Cooper.