Eighteen years ago, Linda Koebner did something that changed these chimpanzees’ lives. But that was a long time ago and now they were meeting under very different circumstances, so she wasn’t expecting them to recognize her. But as you’ll see when you watch the emotional reunion video below, it would be impossible for these chimps to forget someone they hold so close to their heart…
When Linda Koebner was 23, she witnessed the end of an era in her grad school laboratory. After years of being subjected to science experiments, a group of chimpanzees was finally given relief and was set to be released back into the wild. But since these chimps hadn’t even seen outdoor light in six years, they needed help transitioning if they were going to successful in their new life. And this was Linda’s job—to be a surrogate mother to two of the chimps.
Linda spent four years caring for Doll and Swing until they were finally ready to be released back into the wild. Now, 18 years after saying goodbye, Linda visits them in the wild for the first time. And she’s quite sure they won’t recognize her since they’re wild now and it’s been so long.
Not knowing how they’ll react, Linda reaches out her hand to Swing. And he embraces it and pulls her in for a hug! When Dolly sees the two hugging, she rushes toward them. Then, all three share a beautiful moment together. It’s a joy to watch and it brought me to tears.
Watch the tear-jerking family reunion below!
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