One day, while the Detroit Zoo’s chimpanzee exhibit was surrounded by spectators, a playful chase between two chimpanzees suddenly took an unexpected turn and one of the chimpanzees fell into the muddy ditch surrounding the exhibit.
Unlike humans, chimpanzee’s bodies are not designed to naturally swim in water. So the poor chimp soon began to drown. None of the zoo staff dared to approach him, fearing the aggressive tendencies of the colony’s territorial chimpanzees. But one man, Rick Swope, couldn’t contain himself at the pitiful sight of the struggling chimpanzee. Instinctively, he jumped over the fence and dived straight into the ditch. But once again the murky water prevented him from seeing the chimpanzee.
By this time the crowd had started to applaud Rick. They guided him through the water and helped him reach the chimpanzee. When he brought the chimpanzee to safety, the chimpanzee family could do nothing but thank him and let him return unharmed. Rick’s brave and selfless act won our hearts!
Watch the video below to see how Rick risked his life to save the helpless chimp!