On Monday, Travis the Chimp, a famous and very talented monkey and commercial star, went berserk in Stamford, Connecticut. Travis the Chimp went on the attack and severely hurt a friend of her owner, then attacked police officers until he was shot down. As new details emerge on the attack, and as the victim of the attack fights for her life, the Travis the Chimp story has taken a life of its own. Foremost among the story is a 911 call released during the attack.
The 911 call was made by Sandra Herold, the 70-year-old owner of Travis the Chimp. The attack was set in place when Travis escaped from his home, and family friend Charla Nash tried to help get him back. But on the way back home, Travis the Chimp lost it and put Charla Nash in the crossfire.
Charla Nash was brutally attacked and scratched by the chimp, causing Sandra Herold to make a 911 call. The tape of the 911 call was released yesterday, in which Travis’s brutal attack on Nash is heard in the background.
Herold is heard to yell that Travis was “ripping” Nash’s face off in the 911 call, and pleads for officers to “shoot him.” Herold goes so far as to yell that the chimp “killed her!” in the 911 call, but Nash was not dead yet.
However, even cops were mistaken about Nash, as the 911 call continues. When police arrived at the scene, Nash’s face looked so disfigured thanks to the chimp, that a cop on the scene said “he’s got no face.”
As the media took control of covering the Travis the Chimp story and attack, Herold went on the media circuit on shows like The Today Show. Herold is in mourning for Travis the Chimp, even as the 911 call shows that she wanted him shot to save her friend.
Charla Nash remains in critical condition, as her face and hands are still disfigured. Herold has not escaped trouble yet, as police are looking into whether she can be charged for the attack. Since the chimp was ultimately a danger to others, Herold could be held responsible if she had any idea this could happen.
Before the attack, the chimp was given some tea which had Xanax in it, which was not prescribed for Travis. The chimp was rumored to have Lyme’s Disease, but had never gone on the warpath like this before.
Since Travis was a special chimp, appearing in TV commercials and on Maury Povitch, and having learned how to drive, Herold was allowed to keep the 200-pound chimp in her home. This exempted her from Connecticut law in which she needed a permit to keep a chimp heavier than 50 pounds in her house.
Associated Press- “Chimp owner begs police in 911 call to stop attack” www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jvlkKth37Fp__GL6KYdl2b1s6dBgD96E1APG0
New York Daily News- “911 tape captures chimpanzee owner’s horror as 200-pound ape mauls friend” www.nydailynews.com/news/2009/02/17/2009-02-17_911_tape_captures_chimpanzee_owners_horr-2.html