If you love something, let it go. A cliche, sure, but one that sums up this incredible video of legendary animal activist Jane Goodall saying goodbye to Wounda, a chimp she help save and return to health, just before sending the beast back into the wild.
The moment was captured on video, and even the most cynical are likely to be moved by the footage. When Goodall, who turns 80 in April, and her co-workers open the door of Wounda's cage, the chimp quickly exits and then looks around at her surroundings with what seems like an awed expression.
Before setting off for new adventures, Wounda (whose name means "close to death") reached out to Goodall and they share a tender hug. The final goodbye took place in June of 2013, but the footage is now going viral.
The pair have a long history, according to an explainer on the Goodall Institute's site. Wounda was found when she was near death in the Congo. She was taken to the institute's Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center.
Goodall and her team worked with Wounda for years, getting the chimp back to full health. And then, finally, Wounda was released onto Tchindzoulou Island, one of three islands that are part of the chimpanzee sanctuary.
In a recent speech, Goodall, who first began studying chimpanzees in 1960, said, "There's no really sharp line dividing us from the rest of the animal kingdom."
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- Jane Goodall