Mama celebrates her 50th birthday on May 3, 2007, with fruit and vegetables at the Burgers Zoo in Arnhem, Holland.

Animal videos are shared online nowadays at a pace that can be overwhelming.
Once in a while, though, a video offers a unique and unforgettable message.
Such is the case with a short video of the chimpanzee named Mama, curled up in her enclosure at the Royal Burgers’ Zoo in Arnhem, Holland. Shot in 2016 — but only now coming into wide circulation (I saw it for the first time two weeks ago) — the film shows an elderly ape too weak to eat or drink.
At age 59, Mama’s life is nearing an end.
To my eyes, Mama looks weak but peaceful, tended to by her human caretakers; somehow we know she is dwelling in her own mental world.
Then, something quite wonderful happens to stir Mama’s awareness and her spirit.
Before I explain more, please do watch the short clip for yourself:
Mama’s memory of, and love for, Jan van Hooff, renowned biologist and the …