O Me of Little Faith

O Me of Little Faith

The True Story of Travis the Enraged Chimp

Did you hear the story earlier this week about the pet chimp who went crazy and attacked, in violent fashion, a friend of its owner? It was kind of a sad story — the chimpanzee died, and the lady it attacked ended up in the hospital. But it was also about an enraged monkey, and in my world, that counteracts the sadness in a major way.

I wrote a piece about it earlier in the week for another publication, but it ended up not getting published. So I’m giving it to you. I think the story should be told. Here’s the absolutely true run-down in factual order:

1. Sandra Herold, a 70-year-old resident of Stamford, Connecticut, used to have a chimpanzee for a pet.


2. According to news reports, Ms. Herold, who is a widow, loved her chimp like a son.

3. The chimpanzee was named Travis. He was 14 years old.

4. On Monday, Travis inexplicably flew into a rage and began attacking Ms. Harold’s friend, 55-year-old Charla Nash.

5. Nash had been trying to help Ms. Harold coax Travis back into the house, as he had gotten out and become agitated.

6. It is not known what caused the chimp’s agitation, but earlier that day Ms. Harold had put Xanax in Travis’ tea.


7. Apparently, chimpanzees drink tea.

8. Anyway, as soon as Travis attacked Charla, Ms. Harold began stabbing the chimp with a butcher knife. When that didn’t work, she went after him with a shovel.

9. That’s right: A shovel.

10. Ms. Nash spent the next few days in critical condition at a local hospital, with major injuries to her face and hands. No word on how many of these injuries were shaped like the blade of a butcher knife, or a shovel.

11. After the attack, Travis just roamed around the yard for awhile until police arrived. That’s when he became aggressive toward the police officers. One of them fatally shot Travis when the chimp tried to climb into his police vehicle.


12. This story is totally true. You can read about it here.

13. Also noteworthy? The transcript and recording of Ms. Herold’s 911 call during the attack. You can hear Ms. Herold scream things like “Send the police, with a gun…He ripped her face off!” and “Bring the guns…you have got to kill my chimp!” Pretty chilling stuff, even for a monkey attack.


Wanna bring up this story at, for instance, an Oscar party this weekend? Some tips:

Appropriate Conversational Usage: “Stop laughing, you guys! That lady was seriously injured! It’s not funny! Well, the part about hitting him with a shovel is funny. And so is the part about the tea. But the rest of it is really sad!”

Inappropriate Conversational Usage: “Chimpanzees rarely make good pets, unless you’re a long-haul trucker with a fondness for Alabama football.”

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