Warning: heartbreaking, tear-jerking moment ahead.
The moving video of a dying chimpanzee reuniting with her long-lost human companion evoked varying degrees of melancholy and elation back in 2016 and it’s surfaced again online this week. This time around, nothing has changed; you’re bound to be moved by this sentimental moment between an old friend greeting a chimp on her deathbed, just as many were last year when the story broke.
The video and story of the dying chimp appear on the Independent‘s website. The short clip shows a 59-year-old chimp matriarch coming into contact with an old companion a short time before she expires. The site describes the heartwarming encounter as a “reminder of the compassion inside all of us.”
The chimp named Mama made the Netherlands’ Royal Burgers Zoo home for quite a time. Sadly, it became her final resting place. The video shows the frail chimpanzee curled up and not responding to efforts from caretakers to cheer up or take food.
All attempts to liven up the terminally ill chimp failed. But then, somewhat of a magical moment occurred: Mama managed a smile after a familiar face came to pay their respects.
Professor Jan Van Hooff first met the chimpanzee in 1972. At the time, he assisted a team at the zoo in setting up the primate colony. The pair developed a strong bond in the span of a few years, one that would last until the chimp died, some 44 years later.
It’s unclear why the chimp was dying, but she apparently didn’t have a long time left to live before the man arrived. As the video shows below, when her beloved pal walked into the room, she suddenly got a second wind and showed signs of life, albeit in an obvious weakened state, as the site explained.
“Mama responds to his presence by breaking her despondent trance to greet her long-lost companion with a smile and a hug. It’s easy to see the tender goodbye has an effect on both parties.”
Despite losing all her teeth, the dying chimp managed a smile of endearment at the arrival of the professor. While she stroked his hair tenderly, Mama let out a high-pitched sound of joy. The embrace went on for an extended time and her health appeared to improve in his presence. Some readers believe their meeting gave the Great Ape the will to live just a little longer.
Sadly, the chimpanzee died a mere week after the two reunited. Many remember the smiling chimp as “a strong, compassionate matriarch by the humans who knew her.”
Share your thoughts below about the tender moment.
[Featured Image by Edwin Butter/Shutterstock]