First and foremost: we don't think wild animals belong in zoos. Chimpanzees, for example, should be allowed to live their lives in freedom.
No matter how much space they have to move about and no matter how well they're taken care of, they're still better off in the wild.
Having said that, we couldn't help but share this rescue video with you. It shows a man disregarding a zoo's warning signs and rules — and throwing himself into an enclisure to save a chimpanzee.
Now, that's what we call heroism!
Back in 1990, a chimpanzee named Jo-Jo happened to fall into a man-made moat in a chimpanzee enclosure at the Detroit Zoo. He had been chased by another more aggressive chimpanzee and managed to jump over the fence that was supposed to keep him out of the water.
Jo-Jo panicked and struggled to keep his head above water. At the same time, about 10 shocked spectators looked on as he was drowning in the water.
One of them was 33-year-old truck driver Rick Swope, who was there with his wife and three children. When he saw the panic in Jo-Jo's face, he knew that he had to act — and threw himself into the water to save the great ape.
Now, remember that chimpanzees are up to five times stronger than humans. The chimpanzee was also in an area that was off limits to visitors, and there were a bunch of other chimps inside the enclosure that could have become aggressive at any time.
But Rick didn't hesitate. His family watched in awe as he pulled Jo-Jo out of the water and onto dry land. And it wasn't the easiest thing...
At one point Rick lost hold of Jo-Jo and the he disappeared under water. But after another attempt, Rick was eventually able to rescue the 18-year-old, 200-pound (90 kg) chimpanzee.
When Jo-Jo got out of the water, he was in poor condition — but still alive. Rick had saved him.
"He was looking at me. I think he knew what was going on," Rick told the Chicago Tribune.
Watch the brave rescue here:
Please share this video to pay tribute to the truck driver's great heroism!