Tearful Reunion of a 59-Year-Old Dying Chimpanzee and Her Old Caretaker


Meet Mama, the 59-year-old matriarch chimpanzee of the colony at the Royal Burgers Zoo in Arnhem, Netherlands. This colony heavily contributed to research involving primate behavior. The book Chimpanzee Politics by Frans De Waal features the primates of this colony.

In April 2016, Mama was nearing the end of her life. She became sick and unable to eat. Upon hearing the news, the co-founder of the colony and professor of behavioral biology, Jan van Hooff, rushed to Arnhem to pay his last respects to his old friend. The old primate and human had been friends since 1972 and shared a deep bond.

Mama, weak and weary from the sickness, didn’t recognize Van Hoof initially. It took a bit of time, but when she did, it was a beautiful sight and emotions were openly displayed.

See the video shows the incredible bond that was forged between man and animal.

Mama peacefully passed away a week later.

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