Greencastle woman has unusual connection with Indy Zoo orangutan

Posted at 7:29 PM, Aug 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-15 18:46:03-04

INDIANAPOLIS – A Greencastle woman with severe burns down the front of her chest experienced an unusual connection with an orangutan at the Indianapolis Zoo recently.

While visiting the zoo with her fiancé, Darci Miller got the attention of an orangutan named Rocky who was intrigued by her bandages.

As she stood near the glass at the observation window, Rocky began pointing to her bandages on her neck and became curious about her tattoos.

“He wanted me to pull back my bandages so he could see everything,” said Miller. “He was just so engulfed in what was going on. I wanted to talk to him so bad. I wanted to know what was on his mind. That was kind of frustrating but amazing at the same time.”

The exchange was so intense, visitors gathered around to watch Rocky’s new obsession and her fiancé recorded the event. She eventually pulled off her bandages to show Rocky what was underneath.

The video was posted on YouTube and quickly gained over 2 million views.

“At first I was like ‘no…because you see videos like that all the time’ but when he was really into it and was not paying attention to anyone else I knew,” she said.

Miller said after spending 20 minutes with Rocky, she saw the rest of the zoo and wanted to visit Rocky again before leaving just to learn if the incident was a “fluke.”

“Sure enough as soon as I walked up, he spotted me,” she said.  “I’m really glad I got it on video so it’s a memory I'll have for the rest of my life.”

Miller said her injuries were the result of a 2015 accident that happened when she was attempting to burn trash in her yard.

“In the country, we can burn our trash,” she said. “I went to burn in the pile and I was blown up by gas fumes in my backyard.”

Since the accident, Miller has undergone several surgeries to regain range of motion.

“Mostly kids want to point, stare or ask what’s going on and I’m more than willing to talk to anyone and everyone that has questions in what to do or not to do when starting a fire,” she said.

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