A female chimpanzee named Chichi recently escaped from a zoo in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv but was persuaded to return by a friendly zoo employee who offered her a raincoat and a ride back on a bicycle.
Various news outlets have released footage of the chimp wandering through the city before stopping in a park where a female zoo caretaker sits with Chichi to try and persuade her to come with her. When it begins to rain, the caretaker offers Chichi her rain jacket, which the chimp gratefully accepts, giving the zookeeper a hug in return.
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Chichi was eventually convinced to go back with her friends and rode back to the zoo on top of a bicycle.
The Guardian UK reported that Chichi was evacuated from the Feldman Ecopark, an outdoor zoo on frontlines in the Kharkiv region, earlier in the war. The city centre, where the zoo is located and where Chichi is currently residing, is under less bombardment than other regions, but that has changed in the last week, with daily shelling being reported.
Chichi, like the humans in the city, is still in relative danger from the war. According to the zoo’s owner, Oleksandr Feldman, she is, however, lucky to be alive. He told the British newspaper that more than 100 animals died during the evacuation from the Ecopark and that six people who volunteered with the evacuation were also killed. One volunteer was 15-years old.
Despite the ongoing horrors being reported, it is heartwarming to see such moments of kindness in the face of the daily tragedies being endured by the citizens throughout the Ukraine.