Mama instincts can be strong, regardless of species. That’s why breastfeeders will often have a milk letdown reflex when they hear a baby crying, even if it isn’t their own. It’s why we get stories of cross-species caregiving when a baby animal gets ᴀʙᴀɴᴅᴏɴᴇᴅ.
In a heartwarming TikTok footage a mother is trying to comfort her crying baby, only to realize a deer just rushed out of the wood to give her some extra help. The short video has gained over 27 million views ever since, and it’s pretty easy to understand why people fell in love with it!
Hanna Burton was hanging outside on her deck with her newborn baby, Charlie when he started to cry and fuss a bit. She was comforting him and rubbing his back — and suddenly scooped him up into her arms and held him close. Another mama nearby had heard the baby crying and came running to help. Burton was immediately in awe because the mama in question was actually a mama deer.
The deer heard the baby crying and seemed to think that he was actually her baby. She started running towards the deck to comfort the little guy, then stopped in her tracks when she saw Burton, and was definitely a little confused. And she was looking up at the little baby boy with almost a look of care and concern.
“Oh, nope, nope, nope!” Burton says as she picks up Charlie.
“This is my baby,” she says to the deer as she stares at the two of them on the deck. “This one’s my baby. It’s not yours. Hi, momma.”
As Burton starts to rock and bounce Charlie in her arms to help him calm down, she says, “She thinks you’re her baby.”
The video has now gone viral with over over 27 million views on TikTok. People everywhere were moved by this sweet moment between two mothers, and the sight of a very caring mother deer.
While most people found the moment adorable, Hanna says that some people “mom shamed” her about the video, saying she shouldn’t have had her infant son out on a deck.
She responded by pointing out that the deck was heavily padded with blankets and that he enjoys his time outdoors. “He was crying because he was on his belly and couldn’t roll over,” she explains in a follow-up video, showing Charlie happily sleeping on the deck (no deer show up this time.)
It’s always sweet to see a moment like this between two mothers — while they might be of different species, they still instinctively share a bond.