A lady has been prohibited from visiting a chimpanzee at a zoo in Belgium subsequent to starting up a relationship with the creature – despite wryly saying that they’re ‘having an affair.
Adie Timmermans has been visiting Chita, a 38-year-old male chimpanzee who lives at Antwerp Zoo in Belgium, for as long as four years.
During that time, she accepts that they’ve developed a bond so strong that they presently love each other.
But, Antwerp Zoo has now said to her she is no longer to connect with Chita, saying he’s now been excluded by other chimps within the group.
Addressing local 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 thinks that it’s not appropriate that others are as yet able to see Chita, adding: “We’re having an affair, I’ll just say. Other dozens of visitors are allowed to make contact. Then why not me?”
Antwerp Zoo said that Chita’s prosperity might endure if his relationship with humans proceeds and that it simply needs the animal to be ‘happy’.
According to Timmermans zoo said: “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.”
As indicated by a zoo representative, different chimpanzees prohibited him in the event that he had contact with people.
Addressing Radio 2 Antwerp, Sarah Lafaut, curator at the Antwerp Zoo, clarified: “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 behavior with us, but the interest in humans has remained.”