Video of been shared of the moment a dying chimpanzee appears delighted to see an old human friend one last time.
Mama, a former matriarch of a colony of chimps at Royal Burgers Zoo in Holland, was refusing food from keepers until being visited by professor Jan van Hooff, whom she had known since 1972.
The 59-year-old chimp, who had been unresponsive and curled up in a ball, reacted with joy after recognizing the professor. Appearing to smile, she touched his face, held the back of his neck and brought his head down to hers.
Mama died just a week later.
Mr van Hooff, a professor in behavioral biology at Utrecht University, co-founded Mama’s chimp colony – the first ever to be raised in a zoo – in the 1970s.
After her death, Frans de Waal, a behavioral scientists who worked with Mama, said: “She had an exceptionally strong and dominant personality, so that no man who wanted to come to power could do so around her. She also brought consolation when there were tensions and mediated conflicts.
“She will be sorely missed, also by me, because I have rarely seen such an admirable character in both humans and apes.”