It’s one thing for people to be animal lovers, but when a woman claimed to be a ‘lover’ of an animal, everyone was taken aback.
An Antwerp Zoo has barred a Belgian woman after officials found she had been spending too much time with a particular chimpanzee. The woman later claimed that she spent more time with the animal because she was having an ‘affair’ with it.
Adie Timmermans began going to the zoo once a week and became friends with Chita, a 38-year-old chimpanzee. They used to communicate by waving and blowing kisses to each other from opposite sides of the glass enclosure.
Her visits lasted four years before the zoo administrators decided that something had to be done about their blossoming bond.
‘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,’ Timmermans said.
However, the zoo authorities think that Chita’s love affair was damaging to him as it prevented him from forming a bond with other 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 authorities said.
The chimp lover, on the other hand, believes the zoo is being unfair and is questioning it ‘Hundreds of other people are permitted to make contact. Why not me, then?’