Who is Adie Timmermans? Woman banned from visiting chimp at zoo claims they're in love

No monkey business: The Belgian woman has been visiting Chita the chimpanzee for four years and claimed she had a real 'relationship' with him


                            Who is Adie Timmermans? Woman banned from visiting chimp at zoo claims they're in love
Adie Timmermans was banned from Antwerp Zoo's chimpanzee exhibit after her relationship with Chita the chimp was viewed as problematic (Breaking News Now/YouTube)

A Belgian woman has banned a local woman from visiting the park's chimpanzee exhibit after the animal began to show consistent antisocial behavior after being visited by her. The chimpanzee named Chita was being visited by local woman Adie Timmermans over the past four years and she's suddenly being asked to stop doing so. Timmerman visited Chita every week and formed a close bond with him which affected his behavior with the fellow chimps and other zoo patrons. 

Of bizarre news regarding zoos, the Borth Wild Animal Kingdom in West Wales which is reportedly one of the worst in Britain threatened to euthanize all the animals at their facility. The owners said they were running out of money to feed them amid pandemic and to care for 300+ animals was not easy for them. Footage from a zoo in Phuket, Thailand which emerged last year showed numerous animals, including tigers, bears, and alligators left for dead as the coronavirus pandemic has put a halt to tourism across the world and the owners abandoned the animals after caring for them got expensive. Earlier this year, people remembered Harambe the Gorilla who was shot dead at the Cincinnati zoo after a baby fell into its enclosure. 

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Adie Timmermans' 'unhealthy relationship' with Chita the chimp

The zoo banned Timmermans from seeing Chita saying their relationship was unhealthy for the animal's socialization with the other chimps. Following the ban, Timmermans has gone ahead to declare her love for the animal on national TV in various interviews. “I love that animal and he loves me,” claimed Timmermans according to a LadBible article citing her interview with Belgian channel ATV. During one such interaction, Timmermans also described what she shares with the animal is a real "relationship".

According to reports, Timmermans and Chita would blow kisses to each other and wave at each other. However, there was no monkey business involved and the relationship was strictly platonic to be very clear. But that doesn't stop Timmermans from hitting back at the Antwerp zoo for separating her from her lover. The zoo appears to be firm on their decision as Chita was being abandoned by his fellow ape friends over his relationship with Timmermans and it is not quite the ideal situation for him. 

“When Chita is constantly surrounded by visitors, the other animals ignore him and don’t consider him part of the group,” zoo curator Sarah Lafaut told ATV explaining that Chita was spending over 15 hours completely alone outside of human visiting times. “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," she explained. While Timmermans on the other hand lamented, "I haven’t got anything else. Why do they want to take that away?"

The zoo's decision might be viewed as cruel by Timmermans but it is a step in the right direction as zoo officials believe not much will come out from banning her from visiting Chita. The animal's exposure to humans began at a young age and he was raised as a pet before ending up at the zoo. Chita has spent 30 of his 38 years on earth in captivity and as a result, he's quite friendly with humans which in turn has proved detrimental for his relationship with his own kind. A study at Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo indeed found chimps raised by humans had trouble mixing with socially awkward chimps, a condition unfixable for years some times. Chita was even seriously injured during a fight with male chimpanzees in 2008. 

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