"We have been a couple for 4 years": Zoo forbids a woman to be with her chimpanzee partner
A woman was banned from visiting her favorite chimpanzee because the zoo says
A woman claims to be related to a chimpanzee and she was forbidden to see him.
A woman was forbidden to visit her favorite chimpanzee because the zoo says their "relationship" has alienated her from other chimpanzees.
Andy Timmermans is devastated as the zoo in Antwerp, Belgium, prevented her from visiting a 38-year-old chimpanzee named Chita because their relationship was considered problematic for his socialization with other chimpanzees.
Ms. Timmermans has been visiting the Chita chimpanzee on a weekly basis for four years. He says that they made a friendship in the beginning, but soon it turned into a real "relationship". During their visits, they were said to exchange kisses as if in love.
With a broken heart, he told the Antwerp television network: "I love this animal and it loves me. I do not have anyone else. Why do they want to destroy it?
"We have a relationship, I'll just say. Dozens of visitors are allowed to get in touch with him. "Then why not me?"
A zoo spokesman said other chimpanzees in Chita's cage were blocking him because he had contact with humans. Thus, when the zoo is closed to the public, it must spend 15 hours alone as a result of its isolation and marginalization.
Zoo curator Sarah Lafaut said: "When Chita is constantly surrounded by visitors, the other animals ignore him and do not consider him a member of the herd.
"An animal that is very focused on humans is less respected than its peers. "We want Chita to behave like a chimpanzee as much as possible."
Chita was originally a pet and was taken to the zoo at the age of eight, according to a post on the express-co-uk website.
Despite 30 years in captivity, his interest in humans remains undiminished, and zoo officials worry that Chita will never be able to re-integrate into the chimpanzee community.