Mama is a 59-year-old chimpanzee whose health was fading in her old age. She could no longer consume food or water and had essentially given up on living. She'd lived a full life - after being born in the wild, she eventually came to live in a zoo in the Netherlands, where caretakers say she quickly became the dominant matriarch in her colony. She also gained quite a bit of fame.
Now bedridden with illness, Mama knew her time was drawing to a close. The rest of the colony agreed with that assessment, and most of them had already said their goodbyes to her. One friend, however, had not yet come to say goodbye.
Jan van Hooff was a professor who had been friends with Mama since 1972 and was responsible for co-founding the colony that Mama went on to lead. He came to visit her a week before she passed away, and although she was too weak to notice his presence initially, she quickly perked up when she heard him speak. The sound of an old friend's voice was all it took to change her whole demeanor.
Mama and Jan shared a warm embrace as the memories came flooding back to her, and she's clearly overwhelmed with happiness. It's pretty hard to watch this touching reunion without getting a little choked up yourself.
Not long after this visit, Mama passed away and the zoo mourned the death of its oldest chimpanzee. Mama was a grand old lady who kept her colony in line and never hesitated to step in and settle conflicts. She will be sorely missed.