Heartwarming Video: This 59-Year Old Chimpanzee Says Goodbye To An Old Friend


It looked like she had no energy left, until her old friend came to say goodbye

The average life expectancy for a chimpanzee in captivity is 32.5 years for males and 40.1 years for females. Keeping this in mind, you’ll realize that this chimpanzee was very old. She had reached the ripe old age of 59.

Unfortunately, it seemed like the end was near for her. She wasn’t feeling well and had stopped eating. She had barely any energy left and spent her days laying around, ready to die. In order to cheer her up, the zoo in which she lived, decided to invite an old friend of hers to visit her.

Her reaction was extremely emotional and heartbreaking. It shows that primates like chimpanzees are just as capable of forming emotional connections as we are. Today we’ll show you what happened when her old friend visited her on her deathbed.

((Read until the end for the heartwarming video!))


The chimpanzee we’re talking about was called Mama. She was one of the oldest living chimpanzees on the European continent. Her age, 59, is considered as extremely old in chimpanzee-terms. Mama was born in the wild in 1957, after which she spent her youth in a zoo in Leipzig.

In 1971, Mama was transferred to a zoo in Arnhem in the Netherlands, along with chimpanzees Gorilla and Franje. There they formed a new chimpanzee colony that would become world-famous. They were the first example of several adult chimpanzees living in the same enclosure. This was a groundbreaking development.

Mama got really close to one of her caretakers: Jan van Hooff.

Jan van Hooff

Jan van Hooff is a Dutch biologist who is best known for his research involving primates. His grandfather was the founder of the zoo in Arnhem, so he spent a lot of time there. This is where he met Mama the chimpanzee. He first met her in 1972, a year after she had moved to the zoo.

They would remain good friends until her death in 2016. Before she died, van Hooff visited Mama one more time. This was captured on video and is extremely heartwarming.

Continue on to find out more!

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