Before he violently attacked his owner’s friend, Charla Nash in 2009 and nearly tore off her face, Travis the chimp was a well-known animal performer in his Connecticut town.
The chimp Travis
Travis Nash has known Charla Nash since he was a child, but in 2009, he attacked her.
On February 16, 2009, tragedy struck when Travis the Chimp, a chimpanzee who had grown popular around the country over the years, attacked Charla Nash, a close friend of his owner. Nash was terribly disfigured and Travis was killed in the attack. Travis had become increasingly violent days before the attack.
Nash continues to recover from the attack and Since the horrifying incident, discussions on owning exotic animals have only become more popular.
Early Years of Travis the Chimp
On October 21, 1995, Travis the chimpanzee was born in what is now known as the Missouri Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Festus, Missouri. At the age of three days, he was stolen from his mother Suzy and sold to Jerome and Sandra Herold for $50,000. After Suzy broke free from the refuge, she was later killed.
The Herolds’ house in Stamford, Connecticut was home to Travis. The chimpanzee was named after the country’s popular musician Travis Tritt. He accompanied the couple everywhere and frequently accompanied them to work, turning into something of a local celebrity.
Travis, who was raised alongside people, carefully followed the instructions the Herolds gave him. He paid more attention than my nephews, their neighbor once said.
In many ways, Travis resembled their child. He completed all of the household tasks, participated in family dinners, used the computer, and was well-versed in the schedule of the neighborhood ice cream trucks. He was reportedly a huge baseball enthusiast as well.
Travis and the Herolds shared many happy years together before tragedy struck.
Travis Received Care From Sandra Herold, He was treated Like A Member Of The Family
The Herolds’ only child died in an automobile accident in 2000. Jerome Herold lost his fight with cancer four years later. According to New York Magazine, Sandra Herold started treating Travis as a solace for her losses. They ate together, took daily showers together, and slept together.
Just prior to Jerome’s passing, Travis started exhibiting episodes of bizarre behavior. He ran away from their automobile in Stamford for a while in October 2003 after someone hurled rubbish at him through the car window.
The incident served as the reason for the state to enact a rule restricting primates’ weight as pets to 50 pounds and requiring owners to acquire a permit. Due to Travis’ extended stay with the Herolds, the regulation was waived.
After a pretty normal encounter, Travis made global headlines six years later when he attacked Charla Nash, a friend of Sandra Herold.
Charla Nash’s Cruel Attack by Travis the Chimp
Nash was a frequent guest at Herold’s house because the two had been close friends for a long time. She was with the couple when Travis broke out of the house with Herold’s car keys on February 16, 2009.
Nash pulled out his favorite toy, a Tickle Me Elmo doll, in an effort to get him back into the home. Travis the Chimp knew the doll, but Nash had lately altered her hair, which might have terrified or puzzled Travis. Sandra Herold had to step in to stop him from attacking her outside the house.
Prior to stabbing Travis in the back with a knife, she beat him with a shovel. “To do something like that — put a knife in him — was like putting one in myself,” she later reflected.
She frantically dialed 911 and reported that Travis’ might have killed Nash. To assist Nash, emergency services waited until the cops arrived. The chimpanzee attempted to enter the police car when they arrived, but the door was locked.
Travis circled the police car in fear, pain, and wrath until he discovered an unlocked door, breaking a window in the process. Travis was shot several times by Officer Frank Chiafari after he opened fire. Travis died after returning to his cage, which was probably his safe haven, inside the house.
Travis The Victim of The Chimp And The Long Road To Recovery
Charla Nash, the victim of Travis the Chimp, underwent hours of surgery by numerous surgeons in the days following the attack. Travis had nearly completely dislocated all of her facial bones, severed her eyes, nose, mouth, lips, and much of her scalp, left her completely blind, and severed most of one of her hands.
The Stamford hospital provided counseling sessions to the workers that treated her due to the severity of her injuries. After they successfully repaired her jaw and saved her life, she was transported to Ohio for an experimental facial transplant.
As the attack investigation went on, Travis’ head was transferred to a state lab to be analyzed. Despite taking medication to prevent Lyme disease, he had no infections.
Travis had been given Xanax on the day of the attack, as Sandra had told police, according to the toxicology findings. The substance may have exacerbated his anger because it occasionally caused hallucinations and mania in human users.
Nash made an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show on November 11, 2009, to talk about the incident, and her future. She claimed not to be in any pain and expressed excitement about going home.
The former friends’ lawyers were by that point involved in a $50 million lawsuit, which was resolved for $4 million in 2012.
Changes Made in the Country After Charla Nash’s Horrific Experience
According to report, Rep. Mark Kirk co-sponsored the Captive Primate Safety Act in 2009, which had the backing of both the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Humane Society of the United States. The Senate killed the bill, which would have outlawed the sale of apes, monkeys, and lemurs as pets.
Officer Frank Chiafari’s struggle to receive therapy for the despair and anxiety brought on by shooting Travis inspired a 2010 measure that demanded that mental health care be provided for police officers who were forced to kill an animal.
Travis’ assault on Charla Nash started a protracted debate about keeping exotic pets, a debate that is still going on today as animal rights activists and dealers publicly argue about what is right and wrong.