By Jack Williams
This is the heartbreaking scene where a grieving mother monkey couldn’t leave her dying infant’s side, carrying and cradling it for hours on end.
In the emotional images and video footage, the mother langur can be seen sitting distraught in a tree, the infant draped in her hands.
From that moment, the mother tried encouraging the infant – believed to be two days old – to feed, as well as interacting with other langurs, but to no avail.
Photographer Archna Singh captured the moment during the height of a heatwave in Ranthambhore National Park, Rajasthan, India, speculating that this may have caused the infant’s death.
Archna, from New Delhi, India, said: “I ensured that I only captured this moment from very far with the help of zoom lenses so as to not invade the privacy of the mom at such a sensitive time.
“She knew he was dead but yet was not ready to believe or accept it.”
Temperatures at the time in early June had reached up to 49 Celsius the area, Archna, 46, said.
When the photographer arrived on the scene, the infant monkey was still barely alive, but having followed the pair over two hours, Archna said she then witnessed the baby taking its last breath.
Archna added: “It was a highly emotional time for me to capture the footage – I cried the whole time.
“I always believe animals feel just like humans do, but to witness this intense grief of the mother langur was something else.
“No parent should ever have to undergo the loss of a child, and this only validated my belief further that animals are just as sensitive as we humans are.
“Most people have cried, men and women alike, and I have received very emotional messages about it.”
After observing the pair for a number of hours, Archna said the mother then disappeared into the jungle, still carrying the dead baby.