Posted by: Loren Coleman on February 17th, 2009
I’m really not interested in going into all the details, because these kinds of attacks seem more and more routine. But since I’m now hearing from people in Iraq telling me about it, I best let you know, yes, I’ve heard there’s been another chimp that’s flipped out. Apparently this is the email topic of the day online, and the one being discussed in lunchrooms at work. You can easily find details about this story all over the web, as well as on television and radio.
In summary: a Stamford, Connecticut woman was attacked by a 200-pound, 13-year-old chimpanzee on Monday. She remains in critical condition Tuesday as investigators try to figure out what set the chimp off. (Reports that the chimp could surf the web have not been tied to any reading of any specific websites, however.)
The chimpanzee, named Travis, was shot dead by police officers after attacking Charla Nash and later a Stamford police cruiser Monday afternoon, February 16th.
“The chimpanzee was rambunctious this afternoon and actually took the keys to the house and opened the lock to the kitchen door and allowed itself out onto the property,” Capt. Richard Conklin, Stamford Police Department, said Monday.
“It was a very brutal attack,” said Stamford police Cpt. Richard Conklin, adding that the woman’s “hands were mangled.”
Conklin said the chimp was in a frenzy earlier in the day and that the owner had given the ape the anti-anxiety drug Xanax in some tea.
He also said the animal may have attacked Nash because she was wearing her hair differently and had failed to recognize her.
“There was no provocation that we know of,” said Conklin. “One thing that we’re looking into is that we understand the chimpanzee has Lyme disease and has been ill from that, so maybe from the medications he was out of sorts. We really don’t know.”
After the 3:30 p.m. attack, Travis ran away and started roaming Herold’s property until police arrived – setting up security so medics could reach the critically injured woman.
But the chimpanzee returned and went after several of the officers, who retreated into their cars.
Travis knocked the mirror off a cruiser before opening its door and starting to get in, trapping the cop.
That officer shot the chimpanzee several times.
“The animal had cornered him,” Conklin said. “He had no other recourse.”
The wounded chimpanzee fled the scene, but Conklin said police were able to follow the trail of his blood down a driveway, into the open door of the home, through the house and to his living quarters, where he died of his wounds.
Earlier images you might see on the news are of Travis, when he escaped in 2003, and blocked traffic during a two hour standoff. He is shown being taken back into custody by a handler.
Planet of the Apes’ early history does not seem to be in the cards today.