WATCH: Ailing Chimp Saves Her Last Smile for Old Human Friend

Kelli Bender

In the both heartbreaking and heartwarming clip we see Mama, a chimpanzee who used to live at the Netherlands’ Royal Burgers Zoo, curled up and unresponsive.

That friend is Professor Jan van Hooff, a man that first met Mama in 1972 when he was helping the zoo set up its ape colony. Over the years, the pair formed a deep bond.

So when the professor entered the room, Mama, even in her weakened state, took notice. In the clip, Mama responds to his presence by breaking her despondent trance to greet her long lost companion with a smile and a hug.

It’s easy to see the tender goodbye has an effect on both parties.

Mama died just a week after their farewell. To this day, she is remembered as a strong, compassionate matriarch by the humans who knew her.