Watch the beautiful moment this dying chimp recognises her old carer

Publish Date
Thursday, 19 October 2017, 12:04PM

This is the magical moment a dying chimpanzee recognises 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.

The terminally ill chimp, who was fast approaching the end of her life, can be seen reacting with pure joy when she realises who has come to see her.

Screeching with pleasure and smiling in delight, Mama can be seen stretching out her hand and stroking Professor van Hooff's head in greeting.

Initially she had not recognised him and persisted in her unresponsive behaviour, the MailOnline reported.

Earlier in the video she can be seen refusing food and water as she lies in a weak state among hay.

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 video was filmed in April 2016.

Mama died just a week after giving her old friend a heartfelt farewell.

This article was first published on dailymail.co.uk and is reproduced here with permission.