A jealous chimp called Romeo bit off the fingers of a zookeeper because he thought he was flirting with his female partner.
The chimp also bit off a chunk of the Ukranian zookeper’s ear in a fit of rage, after the female ape called Juliet tried to kiss the zookeeper.
Clearly jealous, Romeo began attacking his partner and when Sergey stepped in to split up the fight, Romeo turned on Sergey.
As well as taking his fingers and ear, the ape also gave Sergey a black eye.
This happened at Feldman Eco Park zoo in Lisne, north-east Ukraine.
Romeo began beating Juliet with his hands in the throes of rage when Sergey stepped in to separate the two monkeys, when he attempted to do so, Romeo turned on Sergey and bit off his fingers and part of his ear.
After managing to escape the beating, Sergey was rushed to a nearby hospital where he underwent surgery for the injuries sustained in the pen.
Hospital spokesman, Andriy Kozechenko, said:
The man’s right ear and fingers on his left hand had been chewed and some parts of his ear and fingers are missing as they were missing as they were bitten off.
We did our best to save what was left.
Spokeswoman for the zoo, Valeria Ivashenko, said:
Chimpanzees are very dangerous animals with strong jaws that can easily tear off flesh.
He should not have entered the cage.
But he has been looking after the pair of chimpanzees for six years and had feelings for them.
Sergey was known to have a close relationship with the two primates, and this is the first incident of its kind involving the animals.
When Juliet kissed me through glass, Romeo became very angry. I think he attacked me out of jealousy.
Romeo and Juliet are parents to a young chimp, who they had a few months ago.
Sergey said he knew he shouldn’t have entered the cage but he broke the rules on purpose so Juliet wouldn’t get injured.
Chimpanzees are known to be very aggressive, particularly the male of the species.
They are very territorial of both land and fellow chimps and have made headlines throughout the years for behaving extremely violently towards people they have been in close contact with.
One of the most famous examples of chimp violence is the ferocious attack by a chimp of a woman in Stamford, Connecticut in 2009.
The chimp, named Travis, attacked 55 year old Charla Nash and tore her face apart when Charla was visiting Travis’ owner at home.
The chimp was shot dead by a police officer, whom the animal also attacked when they were called to the scene.
As tragic as these events are, it’s a ticking time bomb when humans put animals such as chimps in captivity and live and work in close proximity to them.
Chimps are not domesticated animals, and do not belong in cages or even in homes, they are wild animals and should be kept in the wild.
Especially considering the fact that adult chimpanzees are around seven times stronger than a person of the same size. They are not something that should be kept as a pet.
Sergey is now looking forward to going back to work.