Animal

Zoo won’t save drowning chimp, so man jumps into enclosure to rescue him

Zoo won’t save drowning chimp, so man jumps into enclosure to rescue him

A zoo is a happy place for visiting families. Parents and children get to see many animals up close in their enclosures, while the staff makes sure everything runs smoothly. However, accidents happen when you least expect it, so the whole pleasant atmosphere dissipates in a split second. That’s what happened at the Detroit Zoo 30 years ago when a chimpanzee suddenly slipped into the moat.

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The unfortunate incident in the chimpanzee enclosure.

By: YOUTUBE SCREENSHOT

Families were flocking to the newly opened chimpanzee exhibit at the Detroit Zoo in 1990, including Rick Swope and his family. He had brought his wife and three children into the enclosure, expecting to have a good time with his family. Everyone was enjoying watching the chimpanzees swing and leap from branch to branch. The sight of this splendid spectacle took away everyone’s worries and painted a lot of smiles on the faces of the crowd.

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Everything was going well until something unexpected happened.

By: YOUTUBE SCREENSHOT

Jo-Jo, one of the chimpanzees in the exhibit, was playing house and chase with another male chimpanzee in the patch of grass near the moat. There was an obvious size difference between the two, and Jo-Jo has that disadvantage.

BY: YOUTUBE SCREENSHOT

As they continued their skirmish, Jo-Jo ran towards the trees, prompting the great ape to chase him. The chase continued, but the great ape eventually immobilized Jo-Jo, who then attempted to escape. During the struggle, Jo-Jo unexpectedly falls into the moat, causing the audience to exclaim in horror.

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People froze, including the staff, leaving the chimpanzee to drown helplessly in the situation.

BY: YOUTUBE SCREENSHOT

Chimpanzees can’t swim and the ditch was deep enough for the little chimp to drown. The whole event was shocking and disturbing, but the astonishment left people unable to act, including the zoo staff.

“Everyone in the whole place was standing around watching this monkey drown,” Swope told the Deseret News.

Jo-Jo was able to keep his head in the water, but he was getting exhausted trying to stay still. After a while, he slipped into the water.

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A man in the crowd jumped into the moat to save the little guy.

BY: YOUTUBE SCREENSHOT

“When he fell the second time, I knew I had to do something,” Swope bravely said.

The zoo immediately saw Swope trying to jump over the fence and they went to warn him about the dangers of slipping into the monkeys’ territory. But Swope didn’t heed their warning and dove into the moat to save Jo-Jo, who was drowning.

BY: YOUTUBE SCREENSHOT

He swam to where the chimpanzee was, and as soon as he approached him, Jo-Jo immediately grabbed Swope’s arm, desperately trying to hold on for dear life.

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Swope then propelled himself to the surface while wrapping one of his arms around Jo-Jo. Swope almost let Jo-Jo slip into the water, but he was able to act quickly, catching the chimpanzee and bringing him safely to the surface. Swope’s heroic attempt ended well, and everyone behind the barriers cheered.

Swope’s heroic act is something people today should know about.

BY: YOUTUBE SCREENSHOT

Even though the incident occurred 30 years ago, Rick Swope’s heroic act and undeniable love for animals are timeless. Hopefully, this story will continue to serve as an example for the next three decades.

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Article Sources: YOUTUBE/ANIMAL PLANET
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