Belgian woman banned from zoo after four-year ‘affair’ with chimp
25th August 2021
A Belgian zoo has banned a local woman from visiting the park’s chimpanzee enclosure after she began an ‘affair’ with one of the animals.© Provided by Evoke.ie
Chita, a 38-year-old male chimpanzee, arrived at Antwerp Zoo 30 years ago. Adie Timmermans has been visiting the chimp once a week for the past four years.
However, her ‘close relationship’ with the animal has forced the staff to ban her from the exhibit as it has ostracised him from the other apes.
In fact, their ‘affair’ has led to him being alone for up to fifteen hours a day as the other animals exclude him.© Provided by Evoke.ie Adie and Chita blow each other kisses when she visits the Belgian Zoo Pic: ATV
‘I love that animal, and he loves me. I haven’t got anything else. Why do they want to take that away? We’re having an affair, I’ll just say,’ Adie Timmermans said,
Adie feels like it is unfair that she is the only person who has been banned from visiting the chimp.
She went on to say that she was involved with the primate. Adie and Chita spend her visits waving and blowing kisses to each other from opposite sides of the glass surrounding the ape’s enclosure.
The zookeepers have stated that their ‘close relationship’ has damaging consequences on the animal.
‘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,’ a spokesperson for the 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.’© Provided by Evoke.ie Adie and Chita blow each other kisses when she visits Pic: ATV
Antwerp Zoo explained that Chita’s fascination with humans is due to the fact he was a pet before he was donated to the zoo three decades ago. Heartbreakingly, as he grew older became ‘unmanageable’ and his owners donated him to the zoo.
Although he has adapted to life in the chimpanzee enclosure, he has always had trouble ingratiating himself with other animals.