A woman in Belgium who was reportedly having an “affair” with a chimpanzee at a zoo was asked to “change her behavior,” but wasn’t banned, a zoo spokesman confirmed to People magazine.
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In an email to People, Ilse Segers, the communications manager of the Antwerp Zoo, said: “There is no ban to see Chita, not for any visitor at the moment… We only asked [Mrs. Timmermans] to change her behavior towards this specific animal.”
A woman named Adie Timmermans had been visiting the 38-year-old chimpanzee every week for the last four years, according to media reports.
As a result, she developed a close bond with the animal during that time.
“I love that animal and he loves me,” Timmermans previously told Belgian broadcaster ATV.
Her weekly visits consisted of waving to Chita and blowing him kisses through the glass.
According to Segers, Timmermans had deprived the ape of the “bonding time he needs to have with his fellow primates.”
The communications manager added: “He is an exception: he was raised with humans at home and came to the zoo almost 30 years ago. He is still fond of humans… But for his own health, he has to be part of the chimpanzee group as much as possible.”
Timmermans was asked to let Chita “be a chimpanzee among chimpanzees and not to stay with him for too long nor attract his attention… We hope she will do so in the future,” People quoted Segers as saying.