A woman has been banned from visiting a male chimpanzee at a zoo in Belgium because of having an affair. Zoo officials declared their relationship unhealthy for the animal’s socialization with other chimps.
“I love that animal and he loves me,” Adie Timmermans told a Belgian TV channel. The woman had reportedly been visiting the male chimp, Chita, on a weekly basis for four years. She described it as a real “relationship.”
During their visits, the two lovers would reportedly blow kisses and wave to each other. Nonetheless, Timmermans believes that their attraction is mutual.
Unfortunately, the zoo has since put a ban on their unorthodox love affair. The relationship reportedly caused fellow apes to shun Chita.
“When Chita is with visitors, the other animals ignore him. They don’t consider him part of the group,” zoo curator Sarah Lafaut told the Belgian TV. Chita reportedly spends 15 hours outside of human visiting times completely alone.
Lafaut explained, “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.”
‘I haven’t got anything else’
Timmermans, for one, is devastated over her ex-communication from the zoo. “I haven’t got anything else,” the heartbroken woman protested. “Why do they want to take that away?’
She termed her exile as unfair as other zoo-goers are still allowed to visit her primate paramour.
Unfortunately, the ban may ultimately prove futile. Zoo officials don’t think that Chita will ever be able to re-integrate into chimp society. Why? Because his exposure to humans began at an early age.
The young chimp came to the wildlife facility at an age when he became unmanageable. He then spent 30 of the last 38 years in captivity.
As a result, Chita is very friendly with people to the detriment of his relationship with his own kind. He was once seriously injured during a 2008 fight with other male chimps.
Indeed, researchers from Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo have found that chimpanzees raised by humans had difficulties integrating with other chimps with social deficiencies lasting for decades after their release from captivity.
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Story Credits: New York Post
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