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Recent headlines have shown that many who dare to enter a zoo enclosure uninvited face dire consequences.

This time such daring actions were heroic and saved a life.

The day began as an ordinary trip to the Detroit Zoo in 1990 for truck driver Rick Swope.

However, it soon took a turn for the unusual when he took quick and unthinking action to head off disaster. While observing the zoo’s ape exhibit, a tussle ensued between Jo-Jo the chimp and another male primate. After the fight, Jo-Jo attempted to flee and ended up falling into a deep trench that was created as a safety measure to keep animals within the enclosure.

Chimps don’t swim so the Jo-Jo was soon fighting for his life.

“Everyone in the whole place was just standing around watching this monkey drown,” Swope explained to the Deseret News. “When he went down the second time I knew I had to do something.”

Though the zookeeper cautioned Swope to steer clear, he leaped into action. He climbed over a security fence to jump in after Jo-Jo, placing himself in harm’s way for the chimp’s sake.
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