Woman banned from zoo for falling in love with chimp allowed back on 1 condition

A woman whose love for a chimp trapped in a zoo saw her given a ban has been allowed back . . . on one very strong condition.

In 2021, Adie Timmermans went viral after it emerged that she was a regular visit to Antwerp Zoo and had grown very attached to the chimp, who she visited regularly for four years.

The woman claimed she and Chita would both be distraught if they were not allowed to see each other anymore.

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Adie reportedly said at the time: “I love that animal and he loves me.

“I haven’t got anything else. Why do they want to take that away?”

The weekly meet-ups involved blowing kisses and waving through the glass of the chimp enclosure.

However, the friendship came to a bitter end as the zoo said it isn't good for Chita on a social level with other animals.

They pointed to the fact that most of the day he is with other chimps and it's important that he is able to get on well with them, but Chita had not bonded with the new chimpanzees he had been introduced to.

The saga led to the Ms Timmermans getting banned from the zoo for life, she claimed.

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However, in something that went very much under the radar, the ban was rescinded after a week and the zoo's bosses allowed her back in . . . as long as she changes her behaviour.

Communications Manager for the zoo, Ilse Segers told People Magazine: “We only asked Mrs Timmermans to change her behaviour towards this specific animal.

“There is no ban to see Chita, not for any visitor at the moment.

“He is an exception: he was raised with humans at home and came to the zoo almost 30 years ago.

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“He is still fond of humans, but for his own health, he has to be part of the chimpanzee group as much as possible.

“We asked Mrs. Timmermans to let him be a chimpanzee among chimpanzees and not to stay with him for too long nor attract his attention.

“We hope she will do so in the future.”

The Daily Star has reached out to the zoo's management for an update and to find out whether or not Mrs Timmermans still visit Chita, despite the warning.

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