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Mama- A 59 Year Old Dying Chimp Recognizes and Is Relieved By Old Caretaker

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posted on Oct, 18 2017 @ 01:22 PM
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* Tissue Warning *

I wrestled with the idea of posting this because of it's emotional impact, but as an avid animal lover I cherish moments of sentience from animals and while this story and video are sad, also included are a bit of joy, relief and farewell that I was glad to witness. 59 years..wow! In captivity concerns me of course, and I hope she was treated well even though being confined in a zoo, which I really detest in general but understand to a certain degree.

Tears a rollin as Mama recognizes her old caretaker and reaches out. Regardless of story's entirety,I am so thankful they got to see each other one last time. She certainly knows who he is and you can see hr light up. I sometimes wish I lived in a parallel universe where animals were honored planet wide. I feel that our relationships with animals could be on another level altogether if things were different.


This is Mama, a 59 year-old chimpanzee who was matriarch of the colony at the Royal Burgers Zoo in Arnhem, the Netherlands. The colony is famous as the basis of groundbreaking research involving primate behavior, resulting in the book Chimpanzee Politics by Frans De Waal. Back in April 2016 she was coming to the end of her life, sick and unable to eat. On hearing the news, co-founder of the colony and professor of behavioral biology Jan van Hooff came back to visit Mama and pay his last respects. He had known her since 1972 and the pair shared a deep bond. At first Mama, weak and seemingly accepting of her nearing end, didn’t recognize Jan. When she does though, the emotions are clear for all to see and are just a thing of beauty. Watch the video below to see the amazing bond that can be forged between animals and humans, and don’t forget the Kleenex. Mama passed away peacefully one week later. H/t: Laughing Squid



RIP Mama

ETA: Source for those who can't watch vid
edit on 3pmf31243931 by waftist because: (no reason given)

edit on 10/18/2017 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)




posted on Oct, 18 2017 @ 01:26 PM
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I was going to post this last night...
Couldn't bring myself to it as it saddens me so very much. Here's some photos I was going to use in the thread...

***feels trip***


Still tearing up..
edit on 18-10-2017 by Bigburgh because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 18 2017 @ 01:30 PM
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That took me down watching that, thank you!

My mom died last year on my birthday, which coincidentally is tomorrow, after a year of her in the same condition as this chimp.

She would light up when old friends stopped by weeks before, but otherwise she just layed there waiting to go.

Thanks waftist, I didnt know I needed to see that.



posted on Oct, 18 2017 @ 01:35 PM
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a reply to: Butterfinger

oh that made me cry...she realy did reconize him and was so happy to see him!



posted on Oct, 18 2017 @ 01:47 PM
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a reply to: waftist

Yet so many people get upset at the thought we are related to chimps...
I see that as a compliment.



posted on Oct, 18 2017 @ 01:54 PM
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a reply to: waftist

I was having a good day..



posted on Oct, 18 2017 @ 01:55 PM
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a reply to: waftist


On hearing the news, co-founder of the colony and professor of behavioral biology Jan van Hooff came back to visit Mama and pay his last respects.

"Behavioral Biology", i.e., research labs?

Imo, this reaction could be construed either way.

Maybe the recognition and submissive gestures was her begging from fear, "pleas, pleas don't stick, poke, and prod me with diseases anymore!!"

"Don't worry mama I'm not here to take you back to the labs."

I love primates, hate seeing them in used in 'research'.



posted on Oct, 18 2017 @ 02:15 PM
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a reply to: Bigburgh
I hear ya Bigs, powerful stuff for sure, had me bawling basically. Thanks for the pics and comment and at least she made a connection with love and gratitude before her departure.

a reply to: Butterfinger
You are welcome and condolences on your loss as well. Tis a daunting reality we all will face and one can only hope that most at that doorstep can experience some love, touch and comfort before they pass. Thanks for adding your comment.

a reply to: research100
She certainly did recognize him and yea it's heavy stuff but I hope it serves as a bit of awe and wonder.
Another recognition piece from years ago:


a reply to: Bluntone22


a reply to: notsure1
i hear ya, but at least there is a slice of joy in the mix I hope.

a reply to: intrptr
Yea testing on animals, particularly primates breaks my heart. I understand the argument and benefit to us as a result, but I'd still vote no on such endeavors, and think it is deplorable and infuriating.
I think her gestures were more along the lines of genuine nurturing recognition and bonding, but I see your point, and could understand a "help, get me out of here" perspective too. So sad..



posted on Oct, 18 2017 @ 02:25 PM
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a reply to: waftist

I saw this story on another website earlier today...I was in tears just reading the story and looking at the pictures.
I cannot bring myself to watch the video yet.



posted on Oct, 18 2017 @ 02:32 PM
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a reply to: waftist

I despise the whole primate research thing as well.
At least in this case Mama's smile and affection towards Dr. Hooff speaks volumes. You can bet he treated her with great tlc. Good on him for making time for the visit also.



posted on Oct, 18 2017 @ 03:26 PM
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End all animal captivity and testing. That is all. Researcher is possibly a sanitised name for a torturer.
edit on 18/10/17 by LightSpeedDriver because: Clarification



posted on Oct, 18 2017 @ 03:35 PM
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This absolutely broke my heart when I saw it on the web yesterday. I hate zoos and have protested the Primate Labs in Atlanta for years. Reminded me of a primate "rescue" near Tampa that was a horror-steel cages,....awful. I did what I could to help close it down but unfortunately not enough people or the "right" people seem to care.

I guess real animal rights just isn't politically correct yet.



posted on Oct, 18 2017 @ 04:09 PM
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a reply to: waftist

Thank you for this...even though I've got streaks of mascara all down my face now. So glad she got to see someone she clearly loved again before she passed through the Veil. Blessed Be, Mama. Safe journey, sweet one.



posted on Oct, 18 2017 @ 04:16 PM
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a reply to: waftist

I wasn't expecting to be this moved watching it...thanks for sharing.



posted on Oct, 18 2017 @ 04:44 PM
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a reply to: Butterfinger

Yeah it hit me too. Sorry to hear about your mother. I've lost both my parents in the last 3 years. My mom a few days after Christmas in 2014 and my father earlier this year, three days before his birthday and week before mine.

I kept telling myself that it's the natural order of things and most everyone will go through it but my parents were both relatively young and it just seemed like they'd gotten really screwed over. My dad never got to enjoy retirement, he went from working straight into dialysis three times a week. My mom was in pretty good health and probably could have lived another 15-20 years if not for a fall in the kitchen that led to complications.

Life is too damn short.



posted on Oct, 18 2017 @ 05:27 PM
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My dog died right after labor day. When Mama put her head up and ate that piece of food reminded me of the last time when Shatzie was laying on the floor refusing food and water I brought her a piece of a burger we made on the grill and she kind of shimmied over on her side and took it from my hand and ate some of it. She sat there with me for awhile I put her head on my lap and cleaned her eyes with a cloth. It was the last time she ate anything. This video reminded me of this so much.



posted on Oct, 18 2017 @ 05:28 PM
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a reply to: RazorV66
I understand and it is tough to watch, but at the same time it is humbling to witness a creature overtaken with empathy, both giving and receiving. I am really grateful Mama got to experience those moments.

a reply to: Illumimasontruth
Agreed, thanks for the comment


a reply to: LightSpeedDriver
I am with you on that Driver, thanks for chiming in.

a reply to: Justso
Heartbreaking, yes and I too cringe when thinking about how animals are regarded and treated in testing facilities. My hope is one day technology will allow testing without an actual sentient creature, somehow. Tidbit

a reply to: tigertatzen
You are most welcome tigertatzen, and yea it had me literally streaming tears. But I too am glad she had one last commune with someone who loved or cared for her.

a reply to: kelbtalfenek
My pleasure and I personally feel the more this moves an individual, the more that individual understands and empathizes in general, which imo is a good thing that sustains my faith in humanity.

I appreciate the comments folks and I hope one day a visit to the zoo will be an interactive virtual one from the comfort of our home or something. I understand families/people wanting to go see the animals at zoos, and their intention is actually positive, but to confine these animals to life in a pen just doesn't sit right with me.

If we must continue making animal centers,maybe various regions within the US(or other countries) could set up an expansive reserve of sorts, where animals can be in a more natural habitat with room to move and play and people can observe from cars like a safari or something. Maybe a dozen so that they are all within a drive for each state's citizens. Granted there would still have to be some barriers or fences, but give all the animals large spreads of land and fresh creek or lake.



posted on Oct, 18 2017 @ 06:57 PM
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No , I am not crying.
Just "allergy time" . Yes , that's it.
Almost looks at first that Mama didn't recognize Jan because of the white hair
Then it almost looks as if Mama is making a little fun that the hair is white..."look here old man..."
Be at peace Mama



posted on Oct, 18 2017 @ 09:09 PM
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One thing that struck me since posting is that I hope she was not alone during her troubled times, or in the 59 year span in general. I noticed she's by herself and I believe chimps are super social creatures. I'd much rather see another elderly chimp there with her.

I wondered about their lifespan too, cuz 59 is a long life. Apparently there is a 74 year old chimp in Florida. They live 40-50 years in the wild and 60-80 in captivity...wow!



posted on Oct, 18 2017 @ 10:32 PM
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originally posted by: LightSpeedDriver
End all animal captivity and testing. That is all. Researcher is possibly a sanitised name for a torturer.


My husband works making animal medications. His rebuttal is that someone has to use it for the first time. Would you prefer we shoot up Fido?

The same argument applies to human medications, someone always has to go first, people or animal.

Well, honestly, it applies to everything in life. Someone has to go first.



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