We have been witnessed to some unbelievable bonds between wild animals and the humans they’ve interacted with. However, nothing compares with the connection between this 59-year-old chimp and her old caretaker.
Jan van Hooff, an emeritus professor behavioural biology at Utrecht University and co-founder of the Burgers colony, first met Mama, the chimpanzee in 1972. For a short period of time Mr. van Hooff used to be the chimp’s caretaker. Even so, an incredible bond was formed between the two of them. A very deep connection what reunited them back in 2016, in such an emotional meeting.
Mama, matriarch of a famous chimpanzee colony was very ill. She just sat there, in her enclosure and she even refused to eat. So the staff at the Royal Zoo in Arnhem, the Netherlands reached out van Hooff, the man Mama was so fond of. When hearing his old friend is dying, the professor immediately paid her a visit. The result is one of the most touching moments I have ever seen between a human being and a wild animal.
At first, when van Hooff stepped into Mama’s enclosure, she doesn’t made any gesture. She just sat there, unmoved, waiting for her life to end. But, when the chimp finally heard the old caretaker’s voice, her reaction was absolutely heart achingly. Seeing her old friend was like she finally found her peace. A week later, Mama passed away!
Such a touching moment!