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59-Year-Old Dying Chimp Refuses Food, But Then She Recognizes Her Old Caretaker’s Voice
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59-Year-Old Dying Chimp Refuses Food, But Then She Recognizes Her Old Caretaker’s Voice

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This is Mama, a 59 year-old chimpanzee who was matriarch of the colony at the Royal Burgers Zoo in Arnhem, the Netherlands. The colony is famous as the basis of groundbreaking research involving primate behavior, resulting in the book Chimpanzee Politics by Frans De Waal.

Back in April 2016 she was coming to the end of her life, sick and unable to eat. On hearing the news, co-founder of the colony and professor of behavioral biology Jan van Hooff came back to visit Mama and pay his last respects. He had known her since 1972 and the pair shared a deep bond.

At first Mama, weak and seemingly accepting of her nearing end, didn’t recognize Jan. When she does though, the emotions are clear for all to see and are just a thing of beauty. Watch the video below to see the amazing bond that can be forged between animals and humans, and don’t forget the Kleenex.

Mama passed away peacefully one week later.

H/t: Laughing Squid

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This is Mama, a 59 year-old chimpanzee who was matriarch of the colony at the Royal Burgers Zoo in Arnhem, the Netherlands

She was coming to the end of her life, sick and unable to eat

Hearing the news, her old friend Professor Jan van Hooff came back to visit Mama and pay his last respects

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At first Mama, weak and seemingly accepting of her nearing end, didn’t recognize Jan

When she does though, the emotions are clear for all to see

They had known each other since 1972 and they shared a deep bond

Watch the video below to see the amazing bond that can be forged between animals and humans, and don’t forget the Kleenex

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James Caunt

James Caunt

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James is a Bored Panda reporter who graduated with a BA in Peace And Conflict Studies and an MA in African Affairs. Before Bored Panda, he was an English teacher and also travelled a lot, doing odd jobs from beer-slinging to brickie's labourer and freelance journalism along the way. James loves covering stories about social and environmental issues and prefers to highlight the positive things that unite us, rather than petty internet squabbles about fictional characters. James is the grumpy, contradictory one who thinks that Bored Panda, due to its large audience, has a social responsibility to inspire and inform its readers with interesting issues and entertaining, well-researched stories. Let's do our bit to make our little corner of the internet a smarter, more truthful and less angry place!

Read less »
James Caunt

James Caunt

Author, Community member

James is a Bored Panda reporter who graduated with a BA in Peace And Conflict Studies and an MA in African Affairs. Before Bored Panda, he was an English teacher and also travelled a lot, doing odd jobs from beer-slinging to brickie's labourer and freelance journalism along the way. James loves covering stories about social and environmental issues and prefers to highlight the positive things that unite us, rather than petty internet squabbles about fictional characters. James is the grumpy, contradictory one who thinks that Bored Panda, due to its large audience, has a social responsibility to inspire and inform its readers with interesting issues and entertaining, well-researched stories. Let's do our bit to make our little corner of the internet a smarter, more truthful and less angry place!

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