Although some people still doubt whether animals are able to show real emotions, this video should convince them once and for all. This video surfaced online, showing the emotional reaction of a female chimpanzee when she met her old friend, and for good reason: it triggered a wave of comments and reactions from internet users.
The female in question was named Mama, who was the matriarchin the chimpanzee community in the Royal Burgers Zoo in Arnhem in the Netherlands. In 2016 when she 59 years old, Mama fell seriously ill. She was very week, wasn’t eating and hardly moving; until a very special man came to visit her.
Jan van Hooff is a Professor in behavioural biology at the University of Utrecht and is also one of the founders of the chimpanzee colony in the Arnhem Zoo. The scientist had known Mama since 1972 and had managed to establish a strong bond with her. Although, when he came to see the chimp, she didn’t immediately recognise him.
A Socially Important Female Figure
Mama played a socially important role in the chimpanzee colony in Arnhem; a community that many specialists have closely followed to learn more about the social lives of these large monkeys. This is the case especially for the famous Dutch primatologist, Frans de Waal, author of the 1982 works Chimpanzee Politics.
According to the scientists that looked after Mama, she played a very significant role in the chimp colony. 'She was so powerful that all the male adults tried to stay on her good side but she was also a source of comfort and support for all those that were in need, as long as they didn't threaten her position' de Waal said on Facebook.