Don’t Befriend a Chimp Lover

It’s difficult to know where to begin with this gruesome tale.

So we’ll start with the 911 transcript, courtesy of NECN:

  • Caller: Please hurry up, he’s killing my girlfriend….
  • Operator: Address, someone has a gun and is trying to kill someone…
  • Caller: hurry up
  • Operator: They are are on their way
  • Caller: Hurry up.
  • Operator: They are on their way but I need you to give me some more information…who is doing this?
  • Caller: With guns…
  • Operator: Who has the gun?
  • Caller: Bring the guns…
  • Operator: What is the problem there?
  • Caller: Hurry up…
  • Operator: I need you to talk to me..I need you to calm down…why do you need somebody there?
  • Caller: What….please God…
  • Operator: What is the problem?
  • Caller: He is killing my friend.
  • Operator: Who is killing your friend?
  • Caller: My chimpanzee!

This is quickly becoming a huge national story, but for all our vacuum-like consumption of news media, we had completely missed this until our friend C. Dave tipped us off to it.

Blame it on the Pres. Day weekend news hole?

Anyway, we knew our readers would want to know the full story on Travis, the Connecticut chimp who chomped an innocent woman simply because she revitalized her look…

Like the Chicken Cow from the Wesley Willis song, Travis can rip your head off. He can bite your face.

The blue ribbon for most entertaining writeup goes to the pithy wordsmiths at the NEW YORK POST:

Each night, Sandra Herold and her beloved chimp, Travis, would share a glass of wine before snuggling in bed together.

The Connecticut widow says she still cannot fathom how that loving animal, whom she raised as her “child,” could turn violent, but when he began to maul her friend Charla Nash Monday, Herold said she didn’t hesitate to stop him – even if it meant killing him.

“I had to get a shovel, then a knife to get Travis off of Charlie,” the visibly shaken woman said yesterday. “It was very difficult to do this, but I had to save my friend. I am so sorry for what happened to Charlie. She is my dear friend.”

The violence began shortly after Travis consumed a meal of fish and chips and then Carvel ice cream, Herold said. He then went outside and couldn’t be coaxed back in. She tried to give Travis tea with Xanax to calm him, but he wouldn’t drink it, she said.

nypost cover

Herold, 70, phoned Nash for help getting Travis back into the house.

“When she came out of her car that she doesn’t normally drive, I don’t think Travis recognized her,” Herold said. “She was greeting him with a teddy bear, and that’s when he went wild.”

Travis had known Nash for years, but he might have been confused by her new hairstyle.

“She had just got her hair done. It used to be long and brown, but she changed it to short and blond and fluffy,” she said.

When Travis unleashed his fury on Nash, Herold stabbed the chimp repeatedly with a butcher’s knife and called 911.

“Oh, my God! He’s eating her! He’s eating her face!” she screamed. When one of the first responders arrived, he mistakenly believed that Nash – who cops said was mauled for about 12 minutes – was a man because she was so mangled.

“We got to get him out of here. He’s got no face,” the emergency worker said on the 911 tape.

The rampage ended when a cop shot and killed Travis.

The victim pictured with her attacker in happier times.

Actually, as the far more respectful (natch) NYTIMES story tells it, Travis’ final moments were much more dramatic than that:

Ms. Herold called 911, grabbed a knife and stabbed Travis several times, to little avail. When emergency service vehicles pulled up, Travis fled, leaving Ms. Nash face down in the driveway.

One team of officers combed the woods for Travis, while another formed a protective cordon around the paramedics ministering to Ms. Nash, who Captain Ackley said also suffered multiple broken bones.

After a while, Captain Conklin said, Travis returned and “went after the officers.” He knocked a mirror off the passenger’s side of a police cruiser with one swing of his arm, then ran around to the driver’s side, opened the door and attacked the officer in the driver’s seat.

“He’s trapped in his car,” Captain Conklin said. “He has nowhere to go. So he pulls his sidearm and shoots the chimp several times in close proximity.”

The officer, whose name was not released, was treated for trauma. Ms. Herold was not seriously injured, but was hospitalized.

Travis disappeared into the woods. Eventually officers picked up a blood trail, which they followed back to the house. There they found Travis in his living quarters, a caged-in area with a bed and other furnishings of comfortable captivity. He was dead.

Damn, that’s poignant, B.

The part we found truly astounding was this comment from a policeman at the scene:

Captain Conklin said that charges against Ms. Herold were unlikely.

“We’ll certainly speak to the experts and the prosecutors,” he said, “but we truly hope that there are no charges. It’s a modern-day tragedy.”

OK, maybe this is a tragedy in classical Greek terms – these ladies’ tragic flaw was their love of Travis the chimp? – but is Ms. Herold’s experience really a sad and pitiable event?

Certainly we feel terrible for poor Ms. Nash, whose only mistake was befriending this freak chimp lover and her deranged pet. This poor woman is literally scarred for life because she came to the aid of her disturbed friend who kept a chimpanzee as a life companion.

Attention dumbasses. Chimps are not a good choice of pet.

Even though they are intelligent and seem relatively domesticated, they are just smart enough to be uncontrollable, and way, way, way too strong to be overpowered.

Stuffing them with junky human food and drugging them up on a regular basis? That’s just plain idiotic.

This isn’t an isolated incident, either. GAWKER tipped us off to a lengthy and brutal ESQUIRE story about a Southern California couple who kept a chimp as a child.

Like Travis, who appeared in commercials and at public events, Moe the chimp had bit parts in movies and TV shows and hung out with Lucille Ball.

Then, the inevitable “tragedy” struck. Moe bit a woman and got sent away to an animal sanctuary. When the couple went to visit him for his “birthday”, the other chimps didn’t cotton to their human ways.

chimp child
Don’t keep a chimp as a child if you value your visage.

Without going into the gory details – and they are really, really gory – suffice it to say that these would-be chimp parents ended up with horrible disfiguring injuries. It turns out that chimps rely heavily on face-biting as a means of attack.

As one animal expert in Florida recounts, it’s incredibly unrealistic to expect that you’ll be able to handle your chimp after he has a full-scale freakout:

“Once they get inspired and fired up like that… it’s very difficult to calm them down!” said Terry Wolf, Wildlife Director at Lion Country Safari.

After hearing about the brutal attack by Travis the chimpanzee, the experts at Lion Country Safari, in West Palm Beach, were quick to emphasize what they have been saying for years…

“There’s a terrific lack of respect for this endangered species, by the way… chimpanzees are endangered” said Wolf.

Endangered… and not meant to be pets!

Folks like Terry Wolf, Wildlife Director at Lion Country, have been begging the movie and TV industries for years not to portray chimpanzees as cute and cuddly… they are in fact, wild and powerful animals.

“A 200 pound chimpanzee has the equivalent strength of the Miami Dolphins offensive line… so if you can hold off five Miami Dolphins offensive linemen… you can hold off that chimp.” said Wolf.

jake long
Think you can handle Jake Long x 5 in a wrestling match? You might be able to have a chimp as a pet…of course you may still end up looking like Leo in this film

Because chimps don’t talk it’s hard to say why one might attack… but it could be something very simple that we humans do everyday.

“It could be the slightest thing, like a look. A look to a chimpanzee if everything, since they don’t vocalize things… you can’t rationalize with them, by explaining things to them.. but if you look straight in the eye… to them that’s aggression… you might as well of poked them with a stick.” said Wolf.

Experts say the bottom line is that, although they look and act like us, it is a much more humane and safer existence for them to be with their own kind.

“They can be positively reinforced, they do understand what love is… but they very definitely understand what dominance is… and when we come into their space… we’re a threat.” said Wolf.

So, we have to beg to differ with good Captain Conklin. The horrifying incident in Connecticut is the fault of one person and one person alone:


The idiotic woman who guzzled wine with a chimpanzee before snuggling with it every night, Sandra freakin Herold.

If you want a pet, get a dog!

Otherwise, chimp attacks will continue. Getting a new ‘do should not condemn a person to a faceless existence.

The end.

About Alpine McGregor
Just like you, man. I got the shotgun, you got the briefcase. All in the game, though, right?

8 Responses to Don’t Befriend a Chimp Lover

  1. GoGoMrPoPo says:

    I believe he bit her hands off too, probably as she was trying to stop him from eating her face. I’m going to have nightmares for a month after this story. It’s profoundly disturbing.

  2. iminstitches says:

    I speak from 48 hours of personal experience when I say that cats make great pets, too. Even at his hungriest, my Arthur would never bite my face (and that cat gets mighty hungry).

  3. mark day says:

    It’s obviously no laughing matter, but there’s one Hollywood celebrity who might still get in on the whole chimp-chomping affair.

  4. Charlie was not her friend. sandy treated the monkey better than any human and treated Charlie like a slave.

    Pray for Charlie and her family.

  5. johnathan says:

    Many of Moes problems occured due to the time he spent in the Nasa space program and his time in the 101st Airbourne special forces.

  6. D.J. from NY says:

    Humans cannot impose their own sense of norms on other mammals, etc.. .and expect they respond like humans would It’s an unrealistic and unfair expectation to hold, considering that humans don’t always behave in predictable and humane ways to both their own as well as to other species

  7. Pingback: Announcement Blog

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