The "affair" is affecting the ape's rapport with the other primates in the enclosure, and the zoo is now working to try and change that.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on August 27, 2021. It has since been updated.
You really can't help who you fall in love with, and a woman from Belgium has given the old adage a whole new meaning. The woman, named Adie Timmermans, has been a regular visitor at the Antwerp Zoo for the past four years. She has been coming in every week, and it's reportedly because she's having an affair with one of the primates in the park's chimpanzee exhibit.
Timmermans is said to have developed a rather close bond with a chimpanzee named Chita, who arrived at the zoo three decades ago. And now, the zoo has reportedly banned her from visiting the place because of the close bond she shares with the chimp. "I love that animal, and he loves me. I haven't got anything else. Why do they want to take that away," Timmermans said, per Newsweek. "We're having an affair, I'll just say."
Before your minds wander off, the "affair" Timmermans is talking about is nothing but the primate and woman waving and blowing kisses to each other from opposite sides of the glass that surrounds the ape's enclosure. While it seems like nothing is wrong, the zoo believes that the connection the ape has with the woman is affecting his rapport with the other chimpanzees there.
"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 zoo said, reports PEOPLE.
"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," the spokesperson for the facility added. According to New York Post, the chimp—who Timmermans believes is in love with her, too—was donated to the wildlife facility at an age when he became unmanageable and has spent 30 of the last 38 years in captivity.
Adie Timmermans began going to the zoo once a week and became friends with Chita, a 38-year-old chimpanzee— BreezyScroll (@BreezyScroll) August 24, 2021
They used to communicate by waving and blowing kisses at each other from opposite sides of the glass enclosure
Read more- https://t.co/fVcQMIAcfq pic.twitter.com/BJugdNeu27
This is why he gets along so well with humans, and not so much with his own kind. In fact, in 2008, he even got into a fight with the other male chimps, leaving him with some serious injuries.
Meanwhile, Timmermans believes that the exile is nothing but unfair because other people are still allowed to meet the love of her life, saying "other dozens of visitors are allowed to make contact. Then why not me?"
Via #ItsOnSite Contributor: @Niara._ 🤎— Onsite! Tv (@Its_Onsite) August 25, 2021
A woman has been restricted from a Belgium Zoo after the owners learned she has been maintaining a relationship with one of their primates. Yes, that's right!
Adie Timmermans reportedly held a 4-year affair with pic.twitter.com/soxnrLdiYc
Now, the zoo is trying to work toward helping Chita learn to interact more with his fellow primates. Hopefully, he learns to love his own kind, and Timmermans moves on!
Cover Image Source (Representative): Getty Images | Diana Haronis dianasphotoart.com