We may think that animals are just animals and they do not understand that much or remember for long especially those that live in a more wild habitat. Although a lot of people had a curiosity to spend time and try to create a bond with them and surprisingly most have succeeded. In 1972 a zoo in the Netherlands took a colony of chimps and trained them to live in a more closed but still natural habitat. The colony would either be a huge success or it would have failed because of the chimps not getting used to the environment or them getting ill.
But they successfully made it and took care of each other while getting comfortable in their new habitat. The chimps continued on with their life and they looked very happy throughout the years. They eve bonded with their caretakers a lot by smiling to them and giving them affection with a hug or a pat. Jan Van Hoof was one of the caretakers of the chimps and also played a huge role in the founder of the colony. He bonded with all chimps a lot but the one he showed more interest in was Mama chimp since they had something in common. Mama chimp was the caretaker of the little ones of the colony while Jan was the caretaker of the whole colony.
Soon Jan found a job as a professor at a university in Utrecht located in the Netherlands. He no longer was the caretaker of the now-grown chimps but he would still miss them and come and visit them from time to time. Years past and the visits would be rarer from Jan as he was getting old.
Mama chimp was getting old too and at the age of 59, she suffered from illness. At that point doctors were sure that she had come across her final days and was getting too old to live like the other chimps. She was really weak and she knew that time had come for her. Feeling sad she would just lay almost all day at a corner in a fetus position and just stare at nothing or just sleep. Caretakers tried to give her food and water several times a day but Mama would refuse.
The news came to Jan’s ears and he knew he just had to meet Mama for one last time. So he quickly came to visit the chimp. The caretakers warned him that the chimp might not remember him because through years he has gotten older and there has been a large time gap since the two met. But Jan wanted to see Mama one last time. As he entered her room she was still staying at the same position she had been for days and did not see who was entering her space because of the fact she was too ill. When Jan approached he started gently patting Mama on her arm and showing her affection.
He also gave her a treat which she surprisingly managed to eat. It took her quite a while to get around and finally see Jan. as soon as she saw him she put a big smile on her face and reacted surprised and excited for seeing an again. That moment was so heartwarming for everybody to whiteness; the last bond between long good friends.