There are some moments caught on camera that will just touch your soul and reduce you to tears. This is one of them.
Mama, a 59 year old chimpanzee, the oldest and the matriarch of world renowned chimp colony of the Royal Burgers Zoo in Arnhem, the Netherlands was gravely ill and nearing the end of her life.
Jan Van Hooff, emeritus professor behavioural biology at Utrecht University and co-founder of the Burgers colony, has known Mama since 1972.
Mama was refusing to eat, drink and even acknowledge zoo staff, that was until Jan entered her enclosure.
Initially she ignored Jan’s presence, but when she realised her friend of over 40 years had come to see her one last time her mood instantly changed.
Whilst particularly emotional and heartbreaking, you can feel the joy Mama exudes when she embraces Jan. She even eats when he provides treats for her!
Sadly Mama passed away shortly after this meeting; but we take comfort in knowing that she was without pain and had lived incredibly well, providing for her colony, allowing humans to learn from her behaviours for so many years and I think it’s clear that she held the relationship she had with Jan very close to her heart.
Be sure to embrace your pets when you get home just like Mama and Jan’s touching moment, like and share this with all your friends.