There are countless stories to show the deep connection that could exist between a wild creature and a human being.
The way many animals confide in the people who care for them is still unexplainable, yet extremely heartwarming.
One such powerful bond was between a chimpanzee matriarch and her caretaker.
When Jan van Hooff, Emeritus Professor of Behavioral Biology at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, first met Mama, the chimpanzee, the primate was 15 years old.
It happened in 1972, when van Hoof founded the chimpanzee colony at Royal Burgers Zoo in Arnhem. For a short time, the professor was the guardian of the colony.
Since then, he and Mama, the colony’s matriarch, have begun to share a very special friendship. But little did they know that this connection would last until the end of Mom’s days on this Earth.
In 2016 mum – then 59, was extremely weak as she filled up she was on the verge of death.
The old woman was just sitting in her enclosure not interacting with anyone. She even refused to eat. That’s when the zoo staff decided to call Jan van Hooff, Mom’s old friend.
What happened next was an extremely emotional moment for everyone.
When van Hoof entered the chimpanzee enclosure, she made no move, but when mom heard her former caretaker’s voice, she was completely shocked.
Seeing her friend one last time gave her the peace she needed. Shortly after this moment, mom passed away peacefully!