Recent events with the likes of ‘Harambe’ the Gorilla have shown that when the borders of a zoo’s enclosure are crossed it can easily lead to a deadly situation.
In 1990 while enjoying a visit to the zoo in Detroit, Rick Swope did something amazing and yet highly unadvised, but because of it, tragedy was thankfully averted.
As Swope walked around the ape enclosure he noticed that a fight that had broken out between two males, after the altercation Jo-Jo the smaller of the two, decided he was no match and fled the scene.
Unfortunately while escaping he ended up falling into the moat that ran around the outside of the enclosure to protect visitors.
Chimps are generally speaking unable to swim, and the fall was to prove almost fatal to Jo-JO.
“Everyone in the whole place was just standing around watching this monkey drown,” Swope told the Deseret News. “When he went down the second time I knew I had to do something.”
Despite being adamantly warned to not go into the enclosure by a nearby zookeeper, Swope couldn’t stand by, he swiftly scaled a security fence and dived into the water, and swam toward Jo-Jo.
You can watch how the dramatic event unfolded in the video below…