Tuesday, February 13, 2018

"One Last Smile For My Old Friend"

"One Last Smile For My Old Friend"
by Iain Burns

"This is the magical moment a dying chimpanzee recognizes her old friend and gives him an emotional farewell. 
Mama, the 59-year-old former matriarch at Royal Burgers Zoo in the Netherlands, was curled up in a ball and refusing food until the arrival of Professor Jan van Hooff, who she had known since 1972. At first she did not realize that her old friend had come to see her and remained on the floor as he stroked her. But her bond with Professor van Hooff - who co-founded her chimp colony at the Arnhem zoo - was deep enough to shake her from her gloom.  The terminally ill chimp, who was fast approaching the end of her life, can be seen reacting with pure joy when she realizes who has come to see her. Mama screeched with delight and beamed with a smile while greeting the professor. Screeching with pleasure and smiling in delight, Mama can be seen stretching out her hand and stroking Professor van Hooff's head in greeting. The video was filmed in April 2016.  Mama died just a week after giving her old friend a heartfelt farewell.”

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