The vast majority of trips to the zoo are mundane. You walk around, look at various animals in states of repose. There may be some shows, like seeing seals performing tricks. But there are few things out of the ordinary. The animals seem to know that the zoo visitors are there to see them… and they act as boring as possible. Every now and then, though, something happens… some of it funny, some tragic and some dramatic. This video falls into the third category.
Sometimes animals try to get at the people that are visiting. Thank goodness there’s usually a VERY tall fence and a VERY thick layer of glass between the two. Sometimes though, people – both kids and adults have managed to get through the various levels of deterrents and managed to get into the enclosures. One such recent event was when a kid climbed into a gorilla enclose at the Cincinnati Zoo, and it resulted in one of the inhabitants, a gorilla named Harambe, being shot and killed.
This video has nearly similar circumstances, but the purpose was to save an animal’s life, not end it. It took place at the Detroit Zoo in 1990. The zoo had just opened and people were flocking to a Chimpanzee exhibit. There was one chimp who was being bullied by others – his name was Jo-Jo and he was forced to flee into a water moat. The problem is… chimps can’t swim. It looked like he was doomed to drown. Enter a truck driver named Rick Swope, who was determined to save the chimp.
When you’re talking about a fine line between bravery and stupidity… this is a PRIME example. Swope had the right intentions, but he was risking A)Jo-Jo not recognizing what he was doing and causing both to drown and B) Other chimps descending on him and ripping him apart before zoo staff could do anything. Well, Swope got Jo-Jo on land, not much worse for the wear and then successfully departed the enclosure before the other chimps could do anything. Phew.
This was more dramatic than some prime-time rescue shows, don’t you think? What do you make of what Swope did? I know this was over 25 years ago, but hindsight is always 20/20. Please leave your thoughts in the comments section. Also, it would be great if you “Like” us on Facebook.
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