'Help! My chimpanzee is killing my friend'

'Help! My chimpanzee is killing my friend'

Joined: August 3rd, 2004, 1:23 pm

February 18th, 2009, 9:53 pm #1

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world ... 25557.html

'Help! My chimpanzee is killing my friend'

By John Christoffersen, AP

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

In this 2003 photo, Travis the chimpanzee, sits in his playroom at the home of Sandy and Jerome Herold. The 200 pound (90 kilogram) chimpanzee kept as a pet was shot and killed by a police officer after it attacked a woman visiting its owners' home

AP Photo/The Stamford Advocate, Kathleen O'Rourke

In this 2003 photo, Travis the chimpanzee, sits in his playroom at the home of Sandy and Jerome Herold. The 200 pound (90 kilogram) chimpanzee kept as a pet was shot and killed by a police officer after it attacked a woman visiting its owners' home

The frantic owner of a pet chimpanzee that attacked her visitor begged police: "Hurry, please! He ripped her face off"

Police in Stamford released tapes of Sandra Herold's desperate call to police Monday as her 15-year-old chimp, Travis, was attacking 55-year-old Charla Nash.

The chimp can be heard grunting at times on the tape, as Herold cries, "He's killing my friend!"
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The dispatcher says, "Who's killing your friend?"

Herold replies, "My chimpanzee! He ripped her apart! Shoot him, shoot him!"

After police arrive, one officer radios back: "There's a man down. He doesn't look good," he says, referring to the disfigured Nash. "We've got to get this guy out of here. He's got no face."

The chimp attacked Nash as Herold, 70, frantically stabbed her beloved pet with a butcher knife and pounded him with a shovel.

"He looked at me like, 'Mom, what did you do?"' Herold told NBC's "Today Show" in an interview aired Wednesday. "It was horrific what happened and I had to do what I had to do, but still, I'll miss him for the rest of my life."

Nash remained was in critical condition with major injuries to her face and hands.

Police said they are looking into the possibility of criminal charges. A pet owner can be held criminally responsible if he or she knew or should have known that an animal was a danger to others.

Police said that the chimp was agitated earlier Monday and that Herold had given him the anti-anxiety drug Xanax in some tea. Police said the drug had not been prescribed for the 14-year-old chimp.

In humans, Xanax can cause memory loss, lack of coordination, reduced sex drive and other side effects. It can also lead to aggression in people who were unstable to begin with, said Dr. Emil Coccaro, chief of psychiatry at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

"Xanax could have made him worse," if human studies are any indication, Coccaro said.

Investigators said they were also told that Travis had Lyme disease, a tick-borne illness with flu-like symptoms that can lead to arthritis and meningitis in humans.

"Maybe from the medications he was out of sorts," Stamford police Capt. Richard Conklin said.

Nash had gone to Herold's home in Stamford on Monday to help her coax the chimp back into the house after he got out, police said. After the animal lunged at Nash when she got out of her car, Herold ran inside to call the police emergency line and returned with a knife.

After the initial attack, Travis ran away and started roaming Herold's property until police arrived, setting up security so medics could reach the critically injured woman, Conklin said.

But the chimpanzee returned and went after several of the officers, who retreated into their cars, Conklin said. An officer shot Travis several times after the animal opened the door to his cruiser and started to get in.

The wounded chimpanzee fled into the house and retreated to his living quarters, where he died.

Herold, a widow whose daughter was killed in a car accident several years ago, told the Today Show that the incident was "a freak thing."

She said Travis "couldn't have been more my son than if I gave birth to him," and rejected criticism that chimpanzees are inappropriate pets.

"It's a horrible thing, but I'm not a horrible person and he's not a horrible chimp." she said.

The unexplained attack was uncharacteristic of Travis, a veteran of TV commercials who could eat at the table, drink wine from a stemmed glass, use the toilet, and dress and bathe himself.

Don Mecca, a family friend from Colchester, New York, said Herold fed the chimp steak, lobster, ice cream and Italian food.

Travis brushed his teeth with a Water Pik, logged on to a computer to look at photos and channel-surfed television with the remote control.

Colleen McCann, a primatologist at the Bronx Zoo, said chimpanzees are unpredictable and dangerous even after living among humans for years.

"I don't know the effects of Lyme disease on chimpanzees, but I will say that it's deceiving to think that if any animal is, quote-unquote, well-behaved around humans that means there is no risk involved to humans for potential outbursts of behavior," she said. "They are unpredictable, and in instances like this you cannot control that behavior or prevent it from happening if it is in a private home."

When he was younger, Travis starred in TV commercials for Old Navy and Coca-Cola, made an appearance on the "Maury Povich Show" and took part in a television pilot, according to a 2003 story in The Advocate newspaper of Stamford.

Joined: August 3rd, 2004, 1:23 pm

February 18th, 2009, 9:54 pm #2


Joined: August 3rd, 2004, 1:23 pm

February 21st, 2009, 7:43 pm #3

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... -bath.html

Drug-crazed rampage chimp shared owner's bed and bath

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 1:16 PM on 21st February 2009

The crazed celebrity chimpanzee shot dead by police after mauling a woman shared an 'intimate relationship' with its owner, it has emerged.

Travis, the 14 stone pet chimpanzee, took long baths with doting owner Sandra Herold and even shared the widow's bed.

He was fed the finest food and given wine in long-stemmed glasses. Travis would even brush the lonely 70-year-old's hair each night and would pine for her if she was away.

The 15-year-old chimp, who appeared in several TV adverts including one for Coca Cola, was potty trained and could log on to a computer, brush his teeth, dress himself, drink wine from a glass, and use the TV remote to change channels.

Friends said Mrs Herold treated him as her son.
travis the chimp
sandra herold

'Unusually close': Travis the chimp's bond with owner Sandra Herold could have played a role in the attack, experts claim

Now animal experts believe this unusually close relationship could have played a role in Monday's horrifying attack.

Travis went beserk when Mrs Herold's friend Charla Nash visited their home in Stamford, Connecticut, tearing her face apart, ripping her hair out and biting her fingers.

Mrs Herold tried in vain to pull Travis off her friend before she stabbed him with a kitchen knife. Police later shot him dead.


* Drug-crazed celebrity chimp is stabbed and shot to death after he mauled a woman and attacked police officers

Experts believe Travis may he been confused by the close relationship with his owner and seen Ms Nash as a threat.

Stephen Rene Tello, executive director of Primarily Primates, a sanctuary for chimps in Texas, said: 'This is a crazy relationship.

'He was probably very bonded with her. I can kind of see it in his eyes this is his surrogate mother.

'If there is another person entering his space, he might consider it a threat to his territory, or even his mate.'
sandra herold with travis

Like a son: Mrs Herold had reared Travis from birth

Police say Travis attacked Ms Nash when she arrived at the house to help lure the chimp back into Herold's house.

Herold speculated that Travis was being protective of her and attacked Ms Nash because she had a different hairstyle, was driving a different car and held a stuffed toy in front of her face to get the chimp's attention.

The 55-year-old suffered massive injuries to her face and hands, requiring more than seven hours of surgery by four teams of doctors.

She was transferred in critical condition to the Cleveland Clinic, which two months ago performed the first successful face transplant in the US.

It is unknown whether Ms Nash will be a candidate for a face transplant.
travis the chimp

TV star: Travis had appeared in television commercials

It was also claimed that Travis had bitten someone before, 13 years ago.

Leslie Mostel Paul claimed the chimp grabbed her hand and bit it hard enough to draw blood, while the animal was sitting in Herold's car in a Stamford office parking lot in 1996.

Paul said she had tried to shake Travis' hand after Herold gave her permission to say hello.

It is unclear whether Herold will face criminal charges as Connecticut state law allowed her to own the chimp as a pet.

It is not known why the chimp suddenly attacked. Herold has said it suffered from Lyme disease and was on medication.