An "unhealthy" bond between a Belgian woman and a male chimpanzee named Chita has resulted in her being prohibited from entering her local zoo. Adie Timmermans has been regularly visiting the elderly primate in his Antwerp Zoo enclosure for several years, with the pair showing affection by blowing kisses and waving at each other through a glass window.
Nevertheless, zoo staff have informed her that Chita must concentrate on interacting with other animals, necessitating that she discontinue her visits, leaving Adie heartbroken.
1. Adie Says She Hasn't "Got Anything Else
Adie felt devastated after the ban and said: "The problem is I'm having an affair I'd say with a chimpanzee. I love that animal and he loves me. I haven't got anything else. Why do they want to take that away?"
2. The Four-Year Relationship Had To Come To An End
According to zoo officials, Chita has been excluded by other chimpanzees due to his frequent socialization with Adie. They warn that unless Chita begins to interact more with his own kind, he will face complete isolation and rejection.
"They actually leave [Chita] to the side," curator Sarah Lafaut explained. "They are social animals. They seek social contact and to play with each other."
3. Chita's Health Could Be In Danger If He Doesn't Spend More Time With Other Chimps
"If they are continuously busy with visitors then for the duration when those visitors are gone he has nothing to do, he just sits there alone and for a social animal (that) is absolutely not ok for his wellbeing," Lafaut added. Chita has reportedly been getting into fights at the zoo.
4. To Be Fair, Chita Is Used To Humans
He was originally kept as a household pet, but when he grew too large for his owners to keep, he was given to the zoo. His past as a pet has made it difficult for him to fit in with the other chimps.
5. Adie Believes Chita Needs Her
"Chita is 38 and has been used to people from an early age," Adie said in an interview "In average, chimpanzees live to about 40 so his behavior isn't going to change now, is it?"