“Mama, 59 years old and the oldest chimpanzee and the matriarch of the famous chimpanzee colony of the Royal Burgers Zoo in Arnhem, the Netherlands, was gravely ill. Jan van Hooff (emeritus professor behavioural biology at Utrecht University and co-founder of the Burgers colony) who has known Mama since 1972, visited her in the week before she died of old age in April 2016. It took a while before she became aware of Jan’s presence.Her reaction was extremely emotional and heart-breaking.” Frans de Waal, author of Mama’s Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell us about Ourselves recently shared that this emotional response should not be a surprise to humans. He clarifies that we are all primates and share the same emotions. Mama’s last hug is a lesson in sharing our emotions.
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