Chimpanzee Attack Way Too Sad


I love chimps. And this time, I'm not talking about the 3 wild monkeys I live with.

I'm talking about chimps, technically not monkeys, but part of the Hominidae family that includes gorillas, orangutans and humans. These animals are smart and capable in some ways, and vicious and wild in others. 94 percent of my children's--and all humans'--DNA sequence is the same as chimpanzees'. This has always fascinated me, and I adore Jane Goodall's books and documentaries.

I love them despite the news that Travis the chimpanzee--a TV star and electric toothbrush user--attacked a friend of his devoted owner. I am sad for the victim, and I'm sad that Travis had to be shot.

It had to be done.

And most heartbreaking to me is that Travis' beloved owner, Sandra Herold, had to do it to save her friend who was under attack. Herold stabbed her pet, banged him on the head, and called the police telling them to bring a gun. Click here to watch and hear the terrifying 911 call about the chimp attack. The friend, Charla Nash, was in critical condition Tuesday with injuries to her face and hands.

Such a sad story, and it's not clear exactly what happened or if Herold was negligent. But giving a 200-pound chimp Xanax clearly sounds a little off to me.

But the chimps do need us, and not to be their owners or their companions. I've been in touch with an organization in Louisiana called Chimp Haven since they opened in 1995. Chimp Haven is the first federally funded refuge for chimpanzees in the country. Dr. Linda Brent started it and runs it. Her story is that she took care of the chimpanzees used in medical testing at a facility in Texas. After tests were completed, the animals that had given so much to us--they are used in drug trials, for various lab research and in space programs--had no where to go. She also takes in pets that have become unruly and circus discards.

Her sanctuary now houses more than 100 chimps on their 200 hundred acres. These smart, emotional animals live in safe areas where they can play and pose no danger to humans. Chimp Haven hosts public events throughout the year where locals and kids can learn more and view the animals.

Learn about about chimpanzees here. There was even a recent birth at Chimp Haven, to baby Tracy, see the video above.

What do you think about this recent chimp story? Do you think the owner was negligent? Do you blame the chimp?

drugs, illness, in the news, medical tests


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MaryJ... MaryJane849

I was very angry when I read that she gave him a Xanax, what was she thinking, for that I do hold the owner responsible, I do not know if they can prove that it had anything to do with the attack, but I would think that it did. I feel horrible for the woman who was attacked, they are saying he ripped her face off and that she has no fingers, that is horrible. I feel terrible that they had to shoot and kill Travis, I do not blame the animal at all, I think he was out of it because of the drug that she had given him.

I like chimps also, I think they are very cool animals. The one in my avatar is Cheeta from the Tarzan movies and he is still alive, he is about 76 years old and lives in Palm Springs, CA. You can find him here,


You know...I think people who own such animals and not THINK twice about what type of harm they can 'possibly' do if not to the owners, but to other people then they need to be examined.  I am not sad at all about this situation...But who I am saddened for is the owner to think that she could own a pet --such as this-- and not be aware of the danger it could cause. ...Like it has. 

This reminds me of the tiger that killed the man at the Singapore zoo last year...People!! We gotta stop for a moment and use our brains. These are animals of the 'WILD'...that word alone should send up a red flag.



May God bless the woman who was attacked and give her a speedy recovery...



Renee822 Renee822

Why would anyone keep a Chimpanzee as a pet or as an exoctic pet?  I don't mean to judge but that is the way that i feel.  I only pray that the women that was attacked sorry

Peajewel Peajewel

This story is so sad for all involved.  I feel so bad for everyone and that poor chimp had no idea what he was doing was wrong.  The lady just chose to give him the Xanax on her own and they said that in people it can cause aggression when taken.  Plus he had lime disease.  When you hear her in the 911 call you can't help but feel sad for her.  I read that when he opened the door to the police car they shot him several times and he went in the house and back into his cage and died.  I just hope that other woman will be okay.  I keep praying for her.

lifei... lifeisgood176

this story is so sad,i too live in ct,and it breaks my heart.I heard the 911 tape that was edited,it was so friegtning,I could do nothing more than fight back tears i cant emaigen what the full version sounded like.I love monkeys and chimps my heart goes out to the wemon involved..

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