Here is a story that will warm your heart. It comes to us from the Royal Burgers’ Zoo in the Netherlands, where an aged chimp named Mama was facing her last days on earth.
After a fruitful and active 59 years, Mama was becoming tired. She no longer had the energy to play or the desire to eat or drink. Instead, she curled up in her cage and quietly waited for her life to end.
And then something amazing happened. Biologist Jan van Hooff, who first met Mama back in the 1970s, came to pay his old friend a visit. Van Hooff helped cofound Mama’s colony at the Royal Burgers’ Zoo, and he worked intimately with her and many of her fellow chimpanzees.
However, Mama had not seen Jan van Hooff for many years. And now, she was exceedingly old and frail. She became non-responsive to everyone and everything. The team at Royal Burgers’ Zoo were not sure that Van Hooff’s visit would even register for Mama.
Boy, were they wrong.
As you can see from this touching and powerful video, Mama does indeed remember her old friend. It takes her a few seconds to realize who is stroking her fur. But when she finally sees that it is a beloved friend from her past, she comes to life in an incredible way:
Anndddddd, now I’m crying.
It’s easy to see from this short clip that animals are not so different from humans at all. Just look at that expression of joy and fulfillment Mama has on her face:
Even with her advanced age, she clearly recognizes her old friend and finds one last burst of energy to snuggle and smile at someone dear to her heart. Love is what it is all about, even for chimpanzees.
Sadly, Mama passed away about a week after Jan Van Hooff’s visit to her.
If you found this video of Mama touching and you would like to do some good for the other chimps in need out there, please visit Save The Chimps. These endangered creatures need our help if they are going to bringing their love and light into the world.