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Would You Risk It All for This Chimp?

He was a chimp. She was a person. Can I make it any more obvious? Photo: Anup Shah/Getty Images

I don’t know how to tell you this, but a woman has been banned from a Belgian zoo after having a four-year “affair” with a chimpanzee. I’m sure you have questions, like, “What does that mean?” and “Why would you tell me that?” Let’s discuss.

A chimpanzee named Chita has been living at the Antwerp Zoo for the past 30 years. However, life didn’t really begin for Chita until four years ago, when he met human woman Adie Timmermans. Since meeting Chita, Timmermans has apparently visited the chimp at the zoo every single week. They wave, blow kisses to each other — standard human-chimp PDA. There is also a video of them kissing through the glass enclosure where Chita has a Titanic-style hand against the glass, which will be the last thing I see before I die. “I love that animal, and he loves me,” Timmermans said, according to Newsweek. “We’re having an affair, I’ll just say.”

Okay, “affair” makes it sound more salacious than it actually was. The two never made physical contact. But still, their relationship (?) caused concern among zookeepers as it appeared to negatively impact Chita’s interactions with the other chimpanzees. “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,” a zoo spokesperson told Newsweek.

Well, the zoo has now banned Timmermans from making any contact with Chita. It’s unclear why they only placed the ban now, after all this time. And still, I have more questions: Did the “affair” go unnoticed for four years? What was Timmermans’s end goal? Have they told the chimp??

Timmermans is, of course, upset by the ban. She thinks the zoo is being unfair, saying, “Other dozens of visitors are allowed to make contact. Then why not me?” Adie, please. You know why.

Anyway. I think that’s enough news for today.

Would You Risk It All for This Chimp?