That’s a bit of a crazy headline isn’t it, but it isn’t quite what it seems as the woman wasn’t actually shagging the chimpanzee, but it’s definitely the words of the zoo and the woman involved though so you can’t blame me for the headline. Not really anyway.
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The story concerns this woman Adie Timmerman who has been visiting 38 year old chimpanzee Chita at the Antwerp Zoo over in Belgium at least once a week for the past four years, saying the following about him:
I have a real relationship with Chita, akin to having an affair.
I love that animal, and he loves me.
I haven’t got anything else. Why do they want to take this away from me?
Other dozens of visitors are allowed to make contact with Chita, but why not me?
That does sound a bit harsh on the face of it doesn’t it, but when you hear what the zoo have to say about the situation it all makes a bit more sense. Take it away Antwerp Zoo spokesperson:
Every visitor can still visit and see Chita if they want, included Mrs. Timmermans.
We only asked her to change her behaviour if Chita is near and she tries to catch his attention or the other way around.
Chita has to focus on the other chimpanzees as much as possible, he has to be part of the group for his own wellbeing.
Because he is an exception, he was raised with humans and came to the ZOO almost 30 years ago, he is still fond of humans.
But, for his own health, he has to be part of the chimpanzee group as much as possible.
We asked Mrs Timmermans to let him be a chimpanzee among chimpanzees and not to stay with him for too long nor attract his attention.
We explained Mrs. Timmermans why we ask this from her (and all our visitors) and why it is better for Chita himself. We hope she will do so in the future.
When Chita is constantly surrounded by visitors, the other animals ignore him and don’t consider him part of the group.
An animal that is too focused on humans is less respected by its peers.
If you love someone, set them free Mrs. Timmermans – it sounds like a perfectly reasonable request from the zookeepers? Also, if you’re presumably married Mrs. Timmermans, it’s kind of weird that you’re saying all that you’ve got in your life is a chimpanzee that you visit once a week at a zoo. Maybe work on your marriage or try getting a hobby or some friends or something? Just an idea.
For more of the same, check out this video of a chimpanzee scrolling through Instagram. Highly evolved.