While one man enjoyed a day at the Detroit Zoo with his family, something unexpected happened. As he and his group passed the chimpanzee exhibit, he noticed something bizarre happening that compelled Rick Swope to act. Two chimpanzees were playing around and having a great time. But when one fell into the water, in a deep part of the water, Swope was the only one willing to risk life and limb to rescue the poor animal – and it was all caught on camera.
The chimps were running from tree limb to tree limb when one slipped by accident. When the chimp fell into the water, it quickly became obvious that it was struggling to survive. The water was going to take the poor animal’s life unless someone came to its rescue. The other chimps did not know how to save the animal, and the zookeepers were nowhere in sight. That’s why Rick Swope defied the zoo’s rules, jumped over the enclosure, and dove into the most – eager to rescue the animal’s life.
Afterward, he spoke to the Chicago Tribune about the animal rescue, admitting that he was compelled to act in favor of the animal.
“It was the most pitiful thing I ever saw. This chimp had his hands up, and his head was sticking out of the water. He was looking at the crowd. It was like he wanted someone to rescue him.”
Rick watched the animal in the water and knew that it was he who had to save the animal. He started climbing the wall of the enclosure. Then he dove into the water after the drowning chimp.
Because the exhibit was large, he could not see the chimp. The crowd above him guided him to where the primate was drowning, and Swope swam right over to it.
“People were showing me which direction he was in. The water was so dirty you couldn’t see through it. I swam around on the bottom. Finally, I found him,” he told the Chicago Tribune. “He was pretty lifeless, but you could see he was still alive. He was looking at me. I think he knew what was going on… The monkey never made any attempt to do anything to me.”
After getting hold of the chimp, Swope had to figure out what to do.
“I was thinking, what do you do now? Do you do mouth-to-mouth on a monkey? I remember thinking he might bite me if I did that. Then I looked up and saw there was another one coming down the hill with his teeth bared. I didn’t know if he was going after the other monkey or after me, but I got the hell out of there.”
After pulling the dying chimp from the water, Rick managed to leave the enclosure before he was attacked or harmed in any way. When he escaped, the people watching erupted into cheers and applause as they realized that Rick had just saved the animal’s life.
Watch the footage included below to see the chimp rescue for yourself.
What do you think of his courage?
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