Owner Says Chimp Attack Was "A Freak ...

Owner Says Chimp Attack Was "A Freak Thing"

There are 126 comments on the Hartford Courant story from Feb 18, 2009, titled Owner Says Chimp Attack Was "A Freak Thing". In it, Hartford Courant reports that:

Travis the chimpanzee, a veteran of TV commercials, was the constant companion of a lonely Connecticut widow who fed him steak, lobster and ice cream.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Hartford Courant.

First Prev
of 7
Next Last
Nina Helfand

Marina Del Rey, CA

#1 Feb 18, 2009
It is horrible, for everyone involved. I hate when wild animals are killed just because someone thinks they make a good pet. He is in heaven and the owner should go to hell!
orlando

United States

#2 Feb 18, 2009
just a sad situation..put blame wherever you want...all i know is that it sure sounded like a freak accident. I feel sorry for the chimp because he was unable to speak or indicate what was wrong with him leading up to the events (one reason why i feel sorry for any animals abused or killed due to random accidents...they cant talk for themselves..they cant describe what they are thinking or doing) and I feel sorry for all those involved/injuried...
Phil Monroe

Salinas, CA

#3 Feb 18, 2009
I owned multiple capuchin monkeys for 38 years. One thing I could always count on, was that they would bite or scratch at any time, for no reason. All wild animals are unpredictable, and it was something I always had to keep an eye on. My monkeys did not react well to valium. Using Xanax on the chimp was probably a very bad idea. Still, I don't believe this woman is criminally culpable, as her pet had no record of violence, and she just didn't know--or believe--the huge, powerful beast was capable of such destruction, especially on someone that it knew. Wild animals don't make good pets. None of them. Period. I used them in entertainment, but when we retired, I took the remaining three to a sanctuary in Texas, where they are very happy.
kkolay

New York, NY

#4 Feb 18, 2009
She's traumatized? that's rich indeed. Perhaps she better get over it real quick and come up with a plan on how to support Mrs. Nash and her 17-year old daughter. This was a horrific crime not a freak accident - Mrs. Herold is totally responsible for it.
BillyTP

Shelton, CT

#5 Feb 18, 2009
"At the end of the day, they are not human and you can't always predict their behavior and how they or any other wild animal will respond when they feel threatened."

But that is an exact description of human behavior!
Joe

Newington, CT

#7 Feb 18, 2009
It is a very, very sad thing what happened here. However, this chimp DID have a record of prior incidents..in 2003 he chased another motorist and, luckily, did not catch him. A chimp is not a suitable pet, it's ridiculous to have one in a residential area, they are simply unpredictable. There WAS a history of violence, the owner did not heed it. She should be responsible, 100%. Yes, she never meant for this to happen, but the victim will never, ever be the same (she had her face ripped off, for god's sake)...It's all very tragic, but at the end of the day..if this was a pit bull there would be an outcry to punish the owner..an unpredictable animal is an unpredictable animal..there is no in between and we are responsible for the pets we choose to own. God bless this poor victim..
lady

Hartford, CT

#9 Feb 18, 2009
What really bothers me is that only a day after the attack happened this lady is on the Today Show talking about it like it happened a month ago. If that was me I'd be by my friend's side in the hospital 24/7 and block the world out!

This Chimp knew the friend and she says on the video clip that maybe because her friend had her hair different that day the Chimp went crazy. Give me a break! The Chimp would obviously recognize the friend's scent, right?

And the Chimp went crazy only 5 minutes after been giving Xanax, on top of him having lyme disease?? Was that a good idea?

This lady acts like she is a Chimp expert, but is she really? She was lonely and wanted a companion, but did she really knew what was involved when she got this wild animal? Probably not, like so many people out there in the world...buy wild animals and think they can be pets. They can't!

My friend's Mom had a pet Raccoon and I remember that thing chasing me around the house trying to bite my feet! Cute to play with but not cute when it was trying to bite!

And my friends have 2 monkey's...they told me one time of the monkey's viciously ate their parrott!!! And yet they still have the monkey's!!! I seriously think this lady is liable for everything.

It was her pet, aren't you responsible for what your pet does?

The owner specifically says in the 911 tapes for the police to come there and kill the chimp, and specifically says the chimp is killing her friend. What more do you want to prove that she knew her beloved pet was doing wrong and now she must pay for the actions of her pet.

I love all animals, but if they try to kill humans or other animals they must be put down and the owner's must be held liable. You are your pet's keeper...you are the one who should be held liable.

Just my opinion.
Bill

Hartford, CT

#10 Feb 18, 2009
I blame alcohol - they said he drank wine from stemmed glasses.

Travis could have joined Judge Cofield in alcohol education classes.
Cayo

Bloomfield, CT

#12 Feb 18, 2009
A freak thing is snow in May

A freak thing is getting hit by lightning

Having a wild animal go off- not a freak thing
okthen

Downers Grove, IL

#13 Feb 18, 2009
chimps belong in two places- 1)the wild. 2) a zoo. Not in a residential neighborhood. This is much different than a bear, fisher cat, coyote, etc entering someones property and attacking because chimps are not indigenous to Connecticut or really North America for that matter.
Maybe I'll just go to africa and pick up a baby elephant. this is ridiculous.
doityourselfweat her com

Woodbury, CT

#14 Feb 18, 2009
BillyTP wrote:
"At the end of the day, they are not human and you can't always predict their behavior and how they or any other wild animal will respond when they feel threatened."
But that is an exact description of human behavior!
And as this case shows some humans make emotional decisions (to have a wild animal and mother it to fulfill an inner emotion craving) which puts not only themselves but others at risk. Everyone involved with this
arrangement being allowed is culpable.
Diana S

United States

#15 Feb 18, 2009
Chimps are wild animals and you can never take the wild out of any animal like that. They aren't supposed to drink wine, eat human food or dress in clothing. They should be left in the wild where they can survive on their own, they are not pets. Time and time again this happens and this shouldn't have. The police knew that she didn't have the license for it but turned a blind eye as it had been used in ads and was a notoriety in their town. They should have been doing their jobs instead. Its not the chimps fault and not the woman who has been severely mauled. This pet is not a child, she didn't give birth to it. Use your common sense, get a dog or a cat if you need to look after something. Go to the nearest Humane Society.
Jamie M

United States

#16 Feb 18, 2009
Very sad all around, especially for the victim, but I also feel for the animal and even the owner, as well as the cop who shot the chimp who is traumatized.

I don't doubt that the owner loved this animal. But exotics make lousy pets! If you want a pet, go to an animal shelter.

Thar's why we need laws outlawing these animals as pets.
Aradia

Putnam, CT

#17 Feb 18, 2009
My heart goes out to the poor victim who was trying to help a friend. But, also, to poor Travis being kept by a person so ignorant she would give alcohol & drugs to him. This whole thing makes me ANGRY! It seems doubtful to me that this animal had the kind of intelligent, humane, positive training necessary for him to live safely so close to humans. He retreated to his only home to die after having been stabbed, beaten & shot at a time when he probably had no idea what was going on due to the Xanax.
Why was this abuse of an animal allowed to go for 14 years? Stamford is not CT farmland, it's a big city. This is as inappropriate as that tiger they found living in a NYC apartment. This whole tragedy could have been prevented.
John

United States

#18 Feb 18, 2009
Did the Chimpanzee have a prescription for Xanax? No, yet Herold gave him Xanax. He went nuts and hurt someone. That sounds criminal to me.
I am not

Warren, NJ

#19 Feb 18, 2009
I wonder if chimp tastes any good?
CtMC

Boston, MA

#20 Feb 18, 2009
I will not judge this lady, instead I feel sorry for her. She did the right thing in stabbing and hitting the chimp in an attempt to save her friends life and even told police to bring a gun and shoot him. Let's remember that as different as it may sound, the chimp was as good as her own child. In retrospect, she should have called animal control rather than her female friend, but this animal was never violent before. She will have a lot of nightmares for the rest of her life. I for one, hope she can cope with her loss. As for her friend, wow, we'll see if she can forgive her. That is their business.
CtMC

Boston, MA

#21 Feb 18, 2009
Joe wrote:
It is a very, very sad thing what happened here. However, this chimp DID have a record of prior incidents..in 2003 he chased another motorist and, luckily, did not catch him. A chimp is not a suitable pet, it's ridiculous to have one in a residential area, they are simply unpredictable. There WAS a history of violence, the owner did not heed it. She should be responsible, 100%. Yes, she never meant for this to happen, but the victim will never, ever be the same (she had her face ripped off, for god's sake)...It's all very tragic, but at the end of the day..if this was a pit bull there would be an outcry to punish the owner..an unpredictable animal is an unpredictable animal..there is no in between and we are responsible for the pets we choose to own. God bless this poor victim..
When the chimp was involved in an incident in 2003, someone in another car threw something at him. When I was younger I was riding my bike and someone threw a sandwich at me. I picked it up, rode my bike to the car now stopped at a red light, and threw it back in his face. The chimp did what I would have done. When the police showed up, the chimp played a "game" with the officers but was not violent, or aggressive. I lived in Stamford and am familiar with this chimp. He had a liking for the police.
john pignone

Newington, CT

#22 Feb 18, 2009
word is the chimp, excuse me, this domesticated "pet" was eating her friends hands and fingers...apparently that hasn't been talked about, only the term, serious injuries...xanax and wine...you must be kidding!!! did anyone take a real serious look at what this woman owner looked like on the news??? tell me she wasn't part mentally ill...be honest.
john pignone

Newington, CT

#23 Feb 18, 2009
ok, fine w/your finger food issue, but did you eat the person's fingers and hands and bite her face half off??? If so, you're the new hannibal, congrats...Sorry guy your sick if you think this chimp was almost human...again, take a good look at the owner's face and reaction, I can almost assure you she's mental ill...just watch the news fella!!!
CtMC wrote:
<quoted text>
When the chimp was involved in an incident in 2003, someone in another car threw something at him. When I was younger I was riding my bike and someone threw a sandwich at me. I picked it up, rode my bike to the car now stopped at a red light, and threw it back in his face. The chimp did what I would have done. When the police showed up, the chimp played a "game" with the officers but was not violent, or aggressive. I lived in Stamford and am familiar with this chimp. He had a liking for the police.

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker
First Prev
of 7
Next Last

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

New Canaan Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
News Study: Illegal immigrants having more kids in US (Apr '09) 2 hr Juan Illota 5,751
News Bristol Palin says abstinence best path for teens (May '09) Dec 5 Minimum wage 2,651
News Landlords looking as Fortunoff stores prepare t... (Mar '09) Dec 4 Vickie 17
News Norwalk Man Arrested For Allegedly Bilking Aili... (Sep '10) Dec 3 Frank 4
News Wanted Bridgeport house-keeper nabbed in car ac... Dec 1 BPT 2
News Connecticut home to fewer homeless Dec 1 America Gentleman... 3
Is Brett Saltus still shooting Heroin? (Feb '13) Nov 28 Buzz 35

New Canaan Jobs

More from around the web

Personal Finance

New Canaan Mortgages