Recently a piece of news has surfaced where a woman claims to have developed a relationship with a chimpanzee.
The woman, Adie Timmermans has been visiting Chita, a 38-year-old male chimpanzee who lives at Antwerp Zoo in Belgium, for the past four years. According to Timmermans, she and the chimpanzee have developed a strong bond and they love each other.
However, Antwerp Zoo officials told her that she is no longer to make contact with Chita. They said he’s already been excluded by other chimps within the group.
In conversation with regional news channel ATV, Timmermans said: “I love that animal and he loves me. I haven’t got anything else. Why do they want to take that away?”
She added, “We’re having an affair, I’ll just say. Other dozens of visitors are allowed to make contact. Then why not me?”
According to the zoo, Chita’s well-being may be compromised and it just wants the animal to be happy.
The zoo told Timmermans: “An animal that is too focused on people is less respected by its peers. We want Chita to be a chimpanzee as much as possible.”
“Outside of visiting hours at the zoo, he has to manage 15 hours [a day] in his group. We want to give him the chance to be as happy as possible.”
The spokesperson also said, “When Chita is constantly busy with visitors, the other monkeys ignore him and don’t consider him part of the group, even though that is important. He then sits on his own outside of visiting hours.”
Speaking to Radio 2 Antwerp, Sarah Lafaut, curator at the Antwerp Zoo, said, “Of course we are happy when our visitors feel so involved with the animals, but animal welfare comes first here. Chita was brought to the zoo 30 years ago because he was a pet at the time and became unmanageable. He learned chimpanzee behaviour with us, but the interest in humans has remained.”
Courtesy: ATV news