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Steve Likes to Curse
Writing, comics and random thoughts from really a rather vulgar man
In loving memory of Travis the Killer Chimp 
Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 | 04:28 pm [commentary, news]
Steve

From the “Well, what the fuck did you think was going to happen?” files, a 170-pound chimpanzee ran amuck in Stamford, Connecticut yesterday and mauled a woman, sending her to the hospital with serious injuries, nearly killing her. The chimp, whose name was Travis, had been behaving violently all day, may have been annoyed because he wanted to go for a ride. He stole his owner’s keys, let himself out of the house, and was making his way up the street tapping on the windows of cars when Charla Nash, a friend of the chimp’s owner, arrived to help coax the chimp back inside. Perhaps mistaking her for an intruder, Travis set upon Nash and inflicted injuries to her face and hands which the New York Times describes as “horrendous.”

 

Travis had been on medication for Lyme disease, and earlier in the day his owner, 70 year-old Sandra Herold, had slipped him some Xanax in a cup of tea in an attempt to calm him down. It didn’t work.  Herold called 911. The responding emergency vehicles spooked Travis and he abandoned his assault on Nash and ran off, returning a few minutes later to menace the police who had since arrived on the scene. He opened the door of a police cruiser before the officer had a chance to get out. Trapped in his car and faced with an irate chimp with the strength of five men, the officer pulled his sidearm and shot Travis several times at very close range. Travis fled again, and after Nash and the traumatized Mrs. Herold were taken to the hospital, police found him dead inside his furnished cage.

 

There are three parties in this story I feel very bad for. The first is obviously Ms. Nash, who according to some reports I’ve heard nearly had her hands torn off. The second is the police officer Travis attacked, who was forced to defend himself the only way he could. The third is Travis, who brutalized Ms. Nash out of instinct and fear, not out of malice.

 

There are two parties in this story for whom I have not the tiniest shred of sympathy. They are Sandra and Jay Herold, the owners of Travis.

 

Five years ago Travis first made headlines by escaping from Sandra Herold’s SUV and holding up traffic in Stamford. Police shot the chimp with tranquilizer darts and returned him to the custody of the Herolds. He was a local celebrity, known for riding around town with his owners, even accompanying Jay in his tow truck, sometimes riding along in the vehicle being towed. The Herolds had also trained Travis to drink wine from a stemmed glass, wear human clothes, give himself a bath, and surf the internet. The New York Times article reports that Sandra Herold raised Travis “almost as one of her own children.”

 

One of her children who slept in a cage. Okay, it does say almost . . .

 

Chimpanzees are our closest relatives in the animal kingdom. Humans and chimps share 94% of their DNA, and may have shared a common ancestor as recently as five million years ago. They can make and use tools, hunt in groups, display signs of empathy, and practice deception. They even laugh. Chimps are the most sophisticated and intelligent non-human animals known to exist, and as such make exceedingly poor pets. Domesticated chimps go way back in the Congo, but the Congo ain’t the United States. Despite their intelligence and social sophistication, a house in Connecticut is about the last place they belong.

 

As I’ve mentioned a few times already, Travis weighed almost 200 pounds and had the strength of five adult men. The Herolds may have wanted him to be a child, but he wasn’t. He was a wild animal. There’s no shame in that, but that’s what he should have been allowed to be. Chimpanzees didn’t evolve in suburban homes; they aren’t adapted to tow trucks and SUVs. They belong in the wild, among the trees. It’s only natural we should feel some affinity for them, but they aren’t us, and we have no right to expect them to be.

 

Some years ago the young son of my best friend was bitten in the face by a dog that belonged to his grandparents. The dog, a big male black lab, had never been trained, didn’t obey commands, and spent most of his time locked up in a pet carrier in the kitchen while his owners were at work. When not cooped up in the carrier, he was outside on the end of a chain. Prior to the arrival of the grandkids a few years before, the dog had never been around young children. When he turned on the boy — nearly biting his lower lip off, a nasty wound that needed stitches to close and left a scar on the little guy’s chin — I didn’t blame him for what he had done. I blamed the shit-clueless morons who owned him, who had allowed him to grow into adulthood without teaching him how to behave around people, and who had forced a large, naturally active animal to exist most of the time in a space too small for him stand up in.

 

So I blame Jay and Sandra Herold, not poor Travis. I don’t think they’re legally liable for anything, but I do think they bear some responsibility here. Travis didn’t know any better. The Herold’s did. Or they should have.

Comments 
Wednesday, February 18th, 2009 | 12:00 pm (UTC)
Anonymous
Just in case any other silly, sad, rich old women are considering the purchase of a chimpanzee or other exotic surrogate child, husband, rent-boy or whatever it was that the former "owner" of Travis was after: consider the adoption of a human child instead, or give some money to a charity that takes care of chimps, humans, or other beings in need. Most of what's been written about this case is idiotic beyond belief, and fails to consider or challenge the important subtexts of the story. Why should ANYBODY even consider bringing a chimp into their house, and why should a community have put up with this irresponsible and probably mentally unbalanced woman's interest in forcing a chimp to behave like a "human", particularly after the first biting incident? Yes, Travis, when out on his own recognizance a few years ago bit a passerby and local constabulary decided that the matter wasn't worth pursuing. What kind of sorry-ass excuse for law enforcement did they have in this town..the Sheriff sounds as responsible and responsive as the guy from the Simpsons. Given that chimps are intelligent being that share at least 96% of our DNA, do they have rights to what to them is a "normal" life, which includes normal behavior upon becoming sexually mature, which for chimps means at times aggressive? What kind of sick person assumes that an animal's sex drive and normal behaviors can be controlled with Xanax...and why the hell would you even want to make this poor thing behave like some sort of diaper-clad church going suburbanite? Jeezus.
Wednesday, February 18th, 2009 | 02:22 pm (UTC)
It certainly makes me wonder what the hell these people could have been thinking. You raise a great point about adoption — if the Herold's wanted a surrogate child, why not adopt a human child, of which there are unfortunately thousands in want of proper parents?

I'd like to think that even if I did adopt a chimp, I'd recognize that something potentially dangerous was going on when the chimp got to be up around 200 pounds. Again and again, the more I hear about this, my only question remains, "What did you think was going to happen?"
Thursday, February 19th, 2009 | 05:51 pm (UTC)
I hate chimps. Always have, always will. If someone told me as a kid that one day a cop in Connecticut would be able to put two rounds in the chest of a chimp, I might have pursued a career in law enforcement. Then again, I hate cops.

Thursday, January 14th, 2016 | 02:13 pm (UTC)
Anonymous
Yesssssss! Me toooo! Thank you. They are filthy, disgusting, and i would love to drive them to extinction
Thursday, February 19th, 2009 | 11:21 pm (UTC)
Anonymous
Tragic though it is, this was no accident. Chimpanzee's do not make pets, I repeat Ms Herold, CHIMPANZEE'S DO NOT MAKE PETS" in their natural habitat they kill each other, their young, and other animals, they are by nature a particularly powerful and agreesive animal and have the inherent ability to be individual or pack animal killers even known to "take on" leopards and other big cats. Salt water crocodiles "PROBABLY" make better pets...........!!!!!

UK Observer.
Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009 | 04:10 am (UTC) - travis the chimp
Anonymous
The owners are to blame for this situation, not Travis because it was the owners that willingly gave him xanax allowed him to be just like a human in so many ways. In the wild these animals are extremely intelligent and strong, they can easily rip us apart and won't break a sweat when they do it. They can out wit us with their intelligence on a every day bases and being ignorant owners we wouldn't know it until it's to late . So as humans I think we should stick to what we know. Domestiated animals (dogs, cats, livestock etc.) and not try to tame wild animals beyond our ability.
Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009 | 04:28 am (UTC) - Travis the chimp
Anonymous
okay eveyone should know that exotic animals (DO NOT MAKE GOOD PETS) it is not poor travises fault it is the lack of care and respobilty of the owner how clear dose it have to be to understand not to give a chipanzee human drugs knowing how it could affect the poor creature and force it to be shot in gunfire! now these owners think of this exotic animal to be a pet uslay pets are dogs,cats,ect... i don't know of ANYONE that would give there pet Xanax like these careless so called pet owner to drug up a massively strong animal not know how it would of turned out i am so sorry for not only travis but the cop how was phicaly forced to do this to the animal but you got to do what you have to do and poor woman that had to have gotten hurt and i am treeably sorry for you so that is my opion of what has happend the carless owners should have done somthing betterfor the dised chip!!!!!!!
Monday, June 13th, 2011 | 06:27 am (UTC) - Robo Monkey
Anonymous
It sounds like the Chimp was possessed and used
as a hit-man for the Agency. Also, rent the
video Love Potion Number 9 and watch the scene where
the chimp is given some of that strange chemical.
The chimp breaks through a wall in order to get some
chimp sex. Also, Travis the chimps owner was named
Sandra and Sandra Bullock was a star in the movie
LP number 9. Also, very strange that Sandy Herold's
family was being systematically wiped out. The daughter, the husband, etc.... somebody was eating her family.Cancer, strange car accident. I'm sure Sandra was next. And, sure enough, Sandra Herold was killed
by whatever was threw out the rest of her family.
I suspect she is a victim of the ZionNakki and it is
legal for the Zionists to exterminate human Gentiles as long as they use the Agency to do the dirty work.

From Evil Santa Monica,

Wayne E. Manzo, PhD
Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011 | 11:10 pm (UTC)
Anonymous
Travis shouldnt have been in a stupid situation like this. He could still be alive in the wild with his chimp friends. Instead he was adopted by a owner that didnt know anything about him, and though "oh hey im going to teach this big 200 pounder chimp how to act like a human".. What the fuck were you thinking!. You can maybe teach them something but by the end of the day I bet they wont remember what you tought them that day. So if your going to say no to a chimp you better run the fuck away because your going to die!. Better yet dont take a exotic animal out of its habit. So if the owner is looking for sympathy im not giving it..
Thats what I got to say!!.
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