For more than a week, a mother in the town of Kuajok in South Sudan’s Gogrial State has been breastfeeding a baby monkey alongside her eight-month-old child. Aliet Diing Atak, 25, from Jaknyou village told press today that she found the baby monkey’s mother dead in the bush. Shocking as the sight is for outsiders, Aliet said she decided to take the baby monkey after clinging to her, saying it was crying in the bush after the mother had died.

“I found vultures feeding on the carcasses of its mother in the bush,” she said. “When I came home I gave it milk but was not happy. When I gave it breast, it became more than happy,” Aliet said. The animal-loving mother said she decided to take the orphaned monkey because it would otherwise not be able to survive on its own.

The South Sudanese women said she has never differentiated between the baby monkey and her own baby. “My child is not getting enough milk usually. Breastfeeding my child and the baby monkey is not easy,” Aliet said.

She pointed out that the local chief advised her to take the baby monkey to wildlife officials in the town of Kuajok. The Director of Wildlife Service in Gogrial State, Emilio Aleu Wol, has appreciated Aliet Diing for saving the baby monkey’s life.

Wol said he will share the matter with his boss in Juba on how to handle the issue. “In the history of our people, it has never happened for a child to be breastfed with a baby monkey. But if it has happened this way, we thank the woman because she has saved the life of the monkey,” he said.