Chimp banned from seeing woman who loved him by zookeepers is doing well

A chimpanzee whose romance with a human visitor was ended in scandal is said to be "doing well" – after the woman was banned from seeing him.

In August last year, Adie Timmermans claims she was forbidden by staff at Antwerp Zoo, in Belgium, from visiting her favourite chimp Chita, whom she "loved".

The woman claimed that both she and 38-year-old Chita would be distraught if they were not allowed to see each other any more.

She 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?

“Chita is 38 and has been used to people from an early age. On average chimpanzees live to about 40 so his behaviour isn’t going to change now is it.”

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

However, the zoo claimed it was not good for the animal, who needed to learn how to socialise with other chimps and seven months later is now doing "very well".

A spokesperson for Antwerp Zoo told the Daily Star: "We asked Ms Timmermans to change her behaviour towards Chita, as when he was near, she would try to catch his attention or the other way around.

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"We asked Ms Timmermans more than once not to focus on him anymore. Chita has to focus on the other chimpanzees as much as possible, he has to be part of the group for his own wellbeing.

"Because he was raised with humans at home and came to the zoo almost 30 years ago, 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 Ms Timmermans to let him be a chimpanzee among chimpanzees and not to stay with him for too long nor attract his attention.

"He is doing very well and Ms Timmermans is following our rules for now."

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