Crazed Chimp Had Troubled History

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 19, 2009 2:18 PM CST
Sandra Herold, owner of Travis the chimpanzee.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Travis, the Connecticut chimpanzee who was killed after he viciously attacked his owner’s friend, had a history of violence, the AP reports. A woman says he bit her hand in a 1996 incident, and then tried to pull her into a car. Leslie Mostel-Paul says she contacted police, to no avail. “If they had followed through,” she said, “maybe the laws would have been changed sooner.”

If her complaint had been heeded, Mostel-Paul said, it’s possible “this other woman wouldn't be in the hospital, fighting for her life now.” Authorities were also involved in 2003 when Travis escaped and ran amok in downtown Stamford, Conn. An animal control officer spoke to owner Sandra Herold about keeping him in line. “Male chimpanzees, once they reach maturity, can be aggressive,” she said. “I'm sure I did express that to her.”