Mama, the 59-year-old former matriarch at Royal Burgers Zoo in the Netherlands, was curled up in a ball and refusing food. That was until the magical moment the dying chimpanzee recognizes Professor Jan van Hooff, whom she had known since 1972.
The terminally ill chimp was fast approaching the end of her life.
She did not realize who he was at first, so her old friend remained on the floor and stroked her.
But when Mama finally recognizes him, she reacted with pure joy.
Mama screeched with delight while greeting the professor.
Mama can be seen stretching out her hand and stroking Professor van Hooff’s head in greeting.
Mama sadly passed away just a week after giving her old friend a heartfelt farewell.
Her bond with Professor van Hooff, who co-founded her chimp colony at the Arnhem zoo, was deep enough to shake her from her gloom.
Here is Mama celebrating her 50th birthday in 2007.
She first met the professor in 1972 and was the Dutch zoo’s chimpanzee matriarch in her prime.
If you know someone who might like this, please click “Share!”