One woman has made a special connection with Chimpanzee, and now she is being banned from visiting the zoo. Adie Timmermans has visited Antwerp Zoo in Belgium for four years to see Chita every week. The relationship that she formed with Chimpanzee was so strong that they would blow kisses at one another through the enclosure’s glass.
“I love that animal and he loves me,” she said. “I haven’t got anything else. Why do they want to take that away?”
“We’re having an affair, I’ll just say,” Adie said.
“Other dozens of visitors are allowed to make contact. Then why not me?”
However, Chimpanzees are not permitted to contact humans, and due to this behavior by chimpanzees, Timmermans was forbidden from visiting Chita any longer.
The Chimpanzee is a primate and has been in captivity for 38 years. Chimps cannot be released into the wild due to their lack of survival skills outside of an environment that they have learned over many years (Zoos). Chimps also tend to develop mental illnesses when taken out of their natural habitat. The Antwerp Zoo bans all contact with humans for this reason. But does this mean Adie Timmermans should never visit her “friend” Chita again?
Timmermans is hurt by the decision from the zoo but feels she needs to respect it because it’s what would be best for Chimpanzees. She said: “I’ve spent four beautiful seasons there – I’ve seen Chita grow up. Chimpanzees are intelligent animals, and it is possible for them to have relationships with humans – I am not the only one who thinks so.”
— www.THEPIGEONEXPRESS.com (@TPE_connect) August 23, 2021
Zoos provide refuge from poaching and deforestation that threaten Chimps’ natural habitat, but should we instead focus on preserving their natural way of life? The zoo bans contact between Timmermans because Chimps are not permitted to have contact with humans. Chimps in the wild cannot survive outside of captivity because they don’t know how to hunt or look after themselves. As soon as you release a Chimpanzee into the wild, they develop all sorts of mental illnesses like depression which can lead to suicide-related behaviors,” she said.
What is your opinion on this situation? Should Timmermans visit Chita at Antwerp zoo, or do Chimpanzees need their natural habitat more than human companionship? What do you think about zoos providing refuge from poaching and deforestation that threaten Chimps’ natural habitat? Do we focus too much on preserving Chimps’ life without considering what’s best for them in the long run?