It’s hard to watch this and say that animals can’t feel emotions.
A touching 2016 video is making the rounds again, and rightfully so. The clip of a dying 59-year-old chimpanzee matriarch reuniting with an old friend is an important reminder of the compassion inside all of us.
In the both heartbreaking and heartwarming clip we see Mama, a chimpanzee who used to live at the Netherlands’ Royal Burgers Zoo, curled up and unresponsive.
According to The Independent, at the time of this video, Mama was terminally ill and nearing the end of her life. Prior to filming, the chimp matriarch was unresponsive to others and refusing to eat, but then an old friend walked into the room.
That friend is Professor Jan van Hooff, a man that first met Mama in 1972 when he was helping the zoo set up its ape colony. Over the years, the pair formed a deep bond.
So when the professor entered the room, Mama, even in her weakened state, took notice. In the clip, 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.
Mama died just a week after their farewell. To this day, she is remembered as a strong, compassionate matriarch by the humans who knew her.