Ever thought that waving at a monkey could get you banned from a zoo? Me neither, but apparently if you spend the best part of four years waving and blowing kisses at a chimp then it might get you booted off the property for good!
That is exactly what happened to Adie Timmermans, who was banned from the Antwerp Zoo for having an ‘affair’ with a chimpanzee called Chita. Visiting him once every week for four years, Adie developed a relationship with the primate, waving at each other and blowing kisses back and forth through the glass of the enclosure.
“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.”
Chita arrived at the Antwerp Zoo 30 years ago. Previously being a pet, Chita has always been more interested in humans than his own species. The zookeepers claim that Chita’s relationship with Adie is negatively impacting his rep with his fellow chimps.
“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,” 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.”
Taking Chita’s well-being as a priority, the Zoo has banned Adie from entering the premises, effectively breaking up Adita (or maybe Chidi, I’m not sure if they’d ever agreed on a relationship nickname!)
Adie was heartbroken that her furry friend was being taken away from her, saying, “other dozens of visitors are allowed to make contact. Then why not me?” as reported by Newsweek.
I’m fully aware that the way the Zoo handled the situation is none of my monkey-business, but did any of them consider asking Chita what he wanted? I’ve seen chimps use typewriters before, I’m sure they would have gotten something out of him!