A zoo in Antwerp, Belgium, has barred a woman from seeing her favorite chimp because their relationship is interfering with the chimp’s ability to bond with his other monkeys,
The Antwerp Zoo informed Adie Timmermans, a frequent at the zoo’s primate enclosure, that she would be barred from seeing Chita, a 38-year-old chimpanzee she refers to as “the apple of her eye.”
Timmermans told Belgian television channel ATV that she “loves that animal, and he loves me,” and that she had been visiting Chita every week for four years.
Timmermans described her contacts with Chita as a “genuine relationship,” and said she felt like she was having an affair with the monkey.
She posted videos of herself pressing up against the monkey enclosure’s glass, “kissing” Chita through it, and waving to him.
Timmermans believes it is unjust that she is barred from seeing Chita when a large number of others are permitted to do so. She stated that the chimp is “all” she has.
“I’m at a loss for words. Why are they trying to take this from me?” Timmermans told ATV with tears in his eyes. “How come dozens of other visitors are allowed to speak with Chita, but not me?”
The prohibition, according to Antwerp Zoo spokeswoman Sarah Lafaut, who oversees the zoo’s mammal collection, had a solid cause.