This is Mother, 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 including primate habits, leading to the book Chimpanzee Politics by Frans De Waal.

Old mama chimpanzee Saying goodbye

Back in April 2016 she was coming to the end of her life, ill and unable to consume. On hearing the news, co-founder of the colony and teacher of behavioral biology Jan van Hooff returned to go to Mama and pay his last aspects. He understood her considering that 1972 and the set shared a deep bond. At very first Mama, weak and relatively accepting of her nearing end, didn’t acknowledge Jan. When she did though, the feelings are clear for all to see and are just a thing of beauty that is heartbreaking. Enjoy the video below to see the fantastic bond that can be created between animals and human beings, and don’t forget the Kleenex.

Mama died quietly one week later at the Royal Burgers Zoo in Arnhem, the Netherlands in April 2016. We found out about this story today and wanted to share how the bond between monkeys and humans can be.

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She was coming to the end of her life, ill and unable to consume

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Hearing the news, her old good friend Teacher Jan van Hooff returned to go to Mother and pay his last respects

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Initially Mother, weak and relatively accepting of her nearing end, didn’t recognize Jan

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

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They had actually understood each other because since 1972 they shared a deep bond

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View the video listed below to see the incredible bond that can be forged between animals and humans, and remember the Kleenex