59-Year-Old Chimpanzee Refused To Eat Until He Recognized His Caregiver’s Voice

In April 2016, a critically ill 59-year-old chimpanzee, named ” mom“, was refusing to eat and preparing to die when her beloved carer, Jan van Hooff, came to visit. Mama, the oldest chimpanzee and matriarch of the Royal Burgers Zoo chimpanzee colony in Arnhem, the Netherlands, had known Jan since the colony was formed in 1972.

chimpanzee
Jan ARAM van Hooff

The chimpanzee colony is famous for being the basis for pioneering research into primate behavior, which resulted in the book Chimpanzee Politics by Frans De Waal.

But one day, when Mama was very ill due to her age and couldn’t even eat, colony co-founder and professor of behavioral biology Jan van Hooff heard about Mama’s condition and returned to her. visit to say a final goodbye, according to Laughing Squid.

chimpanzee
Jan ARAM van Hooff

A chimpanzee wouldn’t eat until he saw his former guardian.

The man shared a very special bond with Mama.

At first, the chimpanzee was very weak and apparently accepted his end, and did not recognize Jan. It took her a few minutes to acknowledge it, but once she did, the emotions were clear to all and it’s just a beautiful thing.

friends
Jan ARAM van Hooff

Mom came over to hug her old friend with a big smile.

This effort of heartbreaking beauty and emotion took a lot of energy, but Mama clung to her friend for as long as she could, and was actually very happy to see him again. Sadly, mom passed away a week later.

love
Jan ARAM van Hooff

Don’t miss to watch the video to see the incredible bond that can be woven between animals and humans:

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