Jan Van Hooff (emeritus professor behavioral biology at Utrecht University in the Netherlands) who has known Mama since 1972, visited her in the week before she died of old age in April 2016. The Chimpanzee’s reaction was extremely emotional and heart breaking when meeting her old care taker. Mama’s shaky ape hand, gently patting her caretaker, reminded us of every old human grandma who has ever patted a loved one. If anyone has any doubts as to the ability of these animals to show emotional connections, this touching moment should put any doubts to rest. Just look at her reaction when she finally recognized Dr. Van Hooff.
This is Mama, a 59 Year Old Terminally Ill Chimpanzee Recognizing The Man Who Used to Cared for Her