TV star chimp shot dead

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TV star chimp shot dead

I read about this disturbing story
yesterday in the paper.

Travis, a 15-year-old chimpanzee who has appeared in
TV commercials and a talkshow, badly injured a woman
and attacked the police before an officer cornered
in his car was forced to shoot the simian, the Associated
Press reports.

The woman, who is in a serious condition in hospital,
was visiting Sandra Herold at her Stamford, Connecticut
home when long-time family pet Travis leapt on her as
she emerged from the car and attacked her face.

Ms Hergold ran inside to call police and fetch a weapon
after she failed to wrestle the chimpanzee off her friend.

“She retrieved a large butcher knife and stabbed her
longtime pet numerous times in an effort to save her
friend, who was really being brutally attacked,” Stamford
police Lieutenant Richard Conklin said.

Travis finally retreated but was still on the Herold
property when police arrived and surrounded the woman
so medics could treat her.

The enraged chimpanzee charged at officers who retreated
to their cars.

Travis was shot by the police, and dissapeared into the
surrounding woods.

He was later found dead in his living
quarters, a caged area with a bed and other furnishings.

Travis had appeared in TV ads for Old Navy clothing stores
and Coca-Cola.

He had also been a guest on the Maury Povich talkshow and
performed in TV pilot, The Advocate.

Though he has previously run away and obstinately refused
to lured back, until the violent outburst Travis was mostly
a docile pet.

Wild animals as pets?

This is an all around pretty sad story.

Travis was one of the family, and treated
like that, YET he is a wild animal.

Not a domestic pet- like a dog or cat.

Tragic for the woman who was attacked,
tragic for Travis’ ‘owner’, and ultimately
tragic for Travis as he was killed.

In reading the last part of the story, I
was most struck by how Travis died in his
room- he was torn between being a wild animal/
and being one of the family.

In my opinion, exotic animals shouldn’t
be pets-

I would love to hear what you have to say.

Feel free to comment on my blog:

It’s at:

Dr Andrew Jones’ Blog


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Best Wishes,

Dr Andrew Jones, DVM

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50 thoughts on “TV star chimp shot dead”

  1. I think it is tragic that she would have fed this chimp zoloft for the first time and then he went ballistic.

    another example of how terribly bad those antidepressant drugs are.

  2. This woman should be prosecuted for animal cruelty as well as for the assault on her friend. It is bad enough that we have “domesticated”(enslaved) other species for our use, but Chimpanzee’s are not one of those species and never will be.
    This story brings out the sad life of most nonhuman “actors.” Paraded around to fatten the wallets of their human captors.
    Travis was most probably ripped from his murdered mother’s arms while she lay dead or dying. Washoe, the chimp who can use sign language, related how she still remembers her mother’s death and her capture.I dont think giving him anxiety pills would make up for all the indignities heaped on him for 14 years.
    The last betrayal was when this woman who claimed to love him like a son stabbed him. I think Travis went slowly insane, just like those circus elephants do. He is better off now.

  3. This was indeed a heartbreaking tragedy on so many levels. Aside from the human issues, this poor animal had not been allowed to live as he was intended; wild and free and among his own kind, but rather in a manner very foreign to his innate nature.

    How sad it must have been for the owner to have to stab Travis in an attempt to save her human friend. Such a sad position to be in.

  4. I feel more for the Chimp then the Humans. Humans should know better not to keep a 200 Lb Chimp in the home…the owner was 70 years old. She had no business trying to keep and raise the chimp on her own!

    Again…my heart goes out to the chimp..not the humans!

  5. I find it tragic to see any animal suffer and I wonder sometimes if this isn’t the case with exotic (wild animals) that people deemed to be domesticated. They believe since the animal has been in their company for so many years and never acted aggresively towards them that the animal is safe to be around. They tend to forget that this animal was born in the wild or even in captivity is still a wild animal prone to sudden changes in behavior.

  6. Too bad the lonely owner blurred the lines so much for Travis.

    As much as I love ’em, my summer job at the zoo and observations of people have led me to the conclusion that exotic animals, especially of the large and potentially violent/dangerous sort should be kept as pets, especially in extremely urban/suburban settings. Usually I found the animals more civilized than some of the visitors who had to be monitored in their interactions with the caged animals.

    The people like this lonely widow are guilty of extreme anthropomorphism and in doing so confuse the animal and obviously themselves. They forget to respect the nature of the beast.

    I have been telling people this for decades, but darn it if they just don’t listen. I had someone send me a wolf cub as repayment for something, and they didn’t even bother to check first, just sent it via a third party. I was living in an apartment and the poor animal ended up with lord knows who…later, someone tried to give me a shepherd/wolf hybrid, from over 200 yrds away, I could tell there was something odd about the animal as she stood in the pick-up truck bed. She had the perfect, classic, saddle back markings of the German Shepherd, but she was HUGE, her teeth were HUGE, and her eyes, they were almost green…
    I refused again as I was living in tiny residential area in a very rural place where there were small children and simply didn’t have the money necessary to build a suitable fence, then a retaining fence around that…

    ARGGHHHHHHHHHh, people, please have some common sense, and if you truly love these animals, have some respect for them and their true nature.

    My thoughts are with the injured woman, Travis’ owner, and poor Travis.

    That said, everyone please check out the plight of Tony the Tiger in Iberville Parish, Louisiana, Big Cat Rescue has info and a petition up.

  7. “In reading the last part of the story, I
    was most struck by how Travis died in his
    room- he was torn between being a wild animal/
    and being one of the family.”

    This story is tragic all around. My heart goes out to all three (owner, friend & Travis).

    The owner has to live with the fact that she stabbed the animal she loved like a child AND the fact that her friend may not recover AND losing a loved one.

    I’ve heard animal experts explain about the hormones and the aggressive tendencies that occur in male chimps at this age (which is when they battle for dominance, in nature).

    I believe with all my heart that this woman loved Travis, but she needed to be a more informed caregiver once she had taken on the responsibility, rather than resorting to drugs.

    We use these “wild animals” for our own benefit (whether it’s commercials or animal experimentation) without taking into consideration what is best for THEM.

    A perfect example is the numerous elephants, and other wild animals kept in confinement in zoos, circuses, etc. for the entertainment and/or education of the human species.

    We may “domesticate” them for our own ends, but they usually are the ones to pay the price.

    It’s heartbreaking all around!

  8. Dear Andrew & friends
    I am an animal communicator and wanted to share my own insight into this tragedy. A fellow AC had told me about the news article (I’m based in the UK) so I went to read the article. I didn’t intend to connect with him, as I avoid that with media articles when I know there’s nothing I can do to help the situation.

    I looked at the picture of Travis in the news article and the first thing that struck me was that this poor boy was…not right,
    mentally, which didn’t fit with the description of him and his abilities, but I still was convinced that he was mentally disturbed.
    I’ve worked with disabled children and adults and it felt like some of the same kind of stuff – I’m finding this very hard to describe.
    He didn’t really understand his situation…….his head / mind
    didn’t feel right. As it was happening he was thinking “Why am I doing this?”, and the distress as his human was stabbing him repeatedly …….the screaming and shouting, hair pulling…..I thought I’d be in tears but I wasn’t – I was just bewildered and
    confused. Why why why? (His words, not mine)

    Then I read the rest of the article – he’d been medicated with a human drug. How do they know that was safe for a chimpanzee, or how his body would respond? It corresponded with what i was feeling. I didn’t feel like a maturing, hormonal boy exerting his power and position, I felt
    confused and like my brain wasn’t functioning right. I felt obese, sluggish, confused, “stupid” or “dopey” and miserable.

    And interestingly he went back home to pass over, not off to the freedom they say he was craving.

    I’m glad his human will never know what I felt,
    as she must be distraught already.

    Travis just said to me “I needed someone to know. I’m not a bad boy. I loved my Mum but I’m glad it’s all over.”

    Please understand I have no ill feeling towards his human or any of the people involved in this tragic affair. I will be sending healing
    to everyone involved.

    But I agree with you, Andrew – wildlife belongs in the wild. No matter how domesticated we think a wild animal is, we can never be sure, as this tragic case shows.

    Finally, as a clinical Homeopath of 14 years experience, I can’t help wishing someone had offered Travis some homeopathic help for his frustrations instead of medication.

    With love

  9. Regarding Travis the chimp: the newscast I watched said that Travis was being treated & was on medication for lyme disease. Not sure how long he was on it & not sure what the treatments are (you would know better Dr. Jones). Since he never had this kind of behavior in his entire life, I think the medication could have had significant side effects which may have caused the outburst. I hadn’t heard that he had made his way back to his cage before he died. That really breaks my heart enve more.

  10. Hi Andrew:

    Wild animal babies are so adorable, and if raised as pets, become members of the family the same as a dog or cat. Unfortunately, some of the ‘wild’ instincts are born into them, and can surface at any time, suddenly and without warning. As much as we love all animals, I personally don’t feel that it’s a good idea to keep a wild animal as a pet. To nurse an injured or abandoned young wild animal back to health is one thing, and I would be the first one to be there to help, but I believe that keeping them as pets is not fair to them (or to ourselves as we become so attached to them).

    Carol Johnston
    Kitchener, Ontario

  11. Sad, yes…I can’t say whether wild animals should or should not be kept as house pets. Even though I work specifically with aggressive dogs even they cannot all be changed from all triggers at every single case. So as humans. Will we ever be able to trust all humans from committing violent crimes?

    With that said, I think we have a complex problem here that is at least twofold if only for the purposes of this article alone. One being that is it healthier for the animal to be domesticated and two is it safe?

    I don’t think we can speak specifically about the recent chimp because we don’t know all of how he was raised. Was he given too much authority to become alpha in some way? Why exactly did he attack? Some of the reports have been spotty so it’s hard to tell without speaking to the owner, but it seems from her comments on the news, that she acknowledged even she was surprised. Animals only know the hierarchy given to them so if they are treated as an equal or too much as a “friend” rather than a parent child or subordinate relationship, things can go awry. This is seen amongst teens and young adults also.

    The other issue is it healthy, and pleasurable for the animal to be kept in a domestic situation? I would say yes and no to that. As we have also given up much of our attachment to nature, that can be considered unhealthy yet we have made great progress and live quite luxurious lifestyle compared to living in the wild. I think the same applies to animals. BUT since they are not allowed to carry out meaningful experiences in their life it may be a cause of much frustration that cannot be communicated. Usually, they do not have the usual things that they ought to have like dating, mating, hunting and foraging and protecting their young. It is the equivalent of taking away our jobs, our ability to reproduce, and living with highly controlling parents governing our social lives and ability to form bonds and various relationships has mostly been taken away from them. It’s like eating processed food all the time and never getting fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s sustenance but never quite healthy.

    If we one should decide to keep a wild animal, as with any animal, it is important that we start providing all that the animal needs just as we would a child. Lots of proper socialization with other animals. We need more support so that these animals are allowed to be animals as well as understand their position. Perhaps she was treating the chimp too much as human, but that is only from what I hear in the news, which may or may not be true.

    I do not think all is lost with wild animals living amongst us, as much as I don’t think we should isolate ourselves from human relationships because of a few bad people. Could it be like saying because we have so much domestic violence we should not live amongst each other? I think we have to take the good with the bad and have a better understanding that whether it’s a pit bull, a chimp, a child or a poodle, we all have our own set of personalities and needs and these lives are not meant to be lived out for the needs of others.



  14. I would be very curious to know what kind of medication Travis was taking and what effect they could had on him. Also if he had any injuries prior to his death.

  15. Chimps are cute when they are little; furry little babies or dolls. But they grow up into strong, sometime unpredictable animals. Males like Travis are territorial as well. In the wild chimp society can be violent; humans seem think wild animals will stay cute and cuddly forever. Animals will always respond in instinctual ways no matter how much they are habituated to living with humans, and humans need to never forget this basic fact. Travis deserved better than this story relates.

  16. The story of Travis, the TV star chimp, is very sad. I believe that even though people make pets of wild animals, the “wild” is still there and never totally leaves them. Maybe Travis did not get good vibes from the woman, perhaps her body language triggered something within him and he was disciplining her or using his ingrained survial skills. The law for wild animals is survival of the fittest. He should have been let live the life of a chimp in the jungle where he belonged. Rest in peace dear Travis.

  17. This wild animals as pets issue always has several angles. They are a wild animal and probably shouldn’t be kept as pets. But because of Travis’ past, he can’t be in the wild environment anymore. It’s good that he was in such a caring environment because you can just imagine all the alternatives for where he could have ended up. However, the human tendancy is usually to love and care for animals in our homes and the consequence of that is forgetting the “wild” in an animal. It’s unfortunate that Travis did what he did but the only blame I can see here is just like when someone thinks their dog would never react like that and it does. It’s their responsibility because it’s their pet.

  18. I was deeply saddened by this story. I felt for the chimp, he was confused, & suffering for soem reason. I wonder if the drugs she gave him had a bad reaction, I bet they did. Anyway, to keep a 200 pound chimp in your house all its life, just isn’t fair on the animal. She should have had some kind of taser to stop the animal incase of any out burst like what happened, instead, she was totally unprepared for this terrible event, & it ended up a nightmare for the animal & the person who got hurt. I think she should be responsible for what happened both to the chimp & ther friend. I agree, you can’t keep a wild animal like that in a cage with out others chimps, and kept like a person, NOT RIGHT!!! I think she must have lost it after loosing her husband & daughter both, the chimp was all she had. How sad the whole story was. The chimp probably went thru great confusion & upset before it was KILLED! Not right again, the lady should’ve never owned that chimp!

  19. I was deeply saddened by this story. I felt for the chimp, he was confused, & suffering for soem reason. I wonder if the drugs she gave him had a bad reaction, I bet they did. Anyway, to keep a 200 pound chimp in your house all its life, just isn’t fair on the animal. She should have had some kind of tazer to stop the animal incase of any out burst like what happened, instead, she was totally unprepared for this terrible event, & it ended up a nightmare for the animal & the person who got hurt. I think she should be responsible for what happened both to the chimp & her friend. I agree, you can’t keep a wild animal like that in a cage with out others chimps, and kept like a person, NOT RIGHT!!! I think she must have lost it after loosing her husband & daughter both, the chimp was all she had. How sad the whole story was. The chimp probably went thru great confusion & upset before it was KILLED! Not right again, the lady should’ve never owned that chimp!

  20. OK, everyone, this isn’t gonna be a real popular comment, but oh well…
    FAMILY is just that – FAMILY!!!
    For the last almost fifteen years, I was privileged to share my life with a Wolf-Rottweiler hybrid. OK, so he wasn’t a purebred Wolf (I’ve had one!), but guess what – he was the VERY BEST canine I’ve ever known! He loved children, anybody’s by the way, and he loved kittens and puppies. He NEVER became aggressive – he was the cool head in the house, and he kept me centered and focused. Unfortunately, he inherited hip displaysia
    from his Rottie dad, and he had bad hips,even after surgery, and especially later in life. I will miss him til the day I die! I had to put him down two days ago, as his hips went out, and he was just too big for me to handle by myself. I had to get help for him to go outside, and I couldn’t see my friend suffering. He’s waiting for me as I type, but my heart has a hole in it bigger than Texas!
    All that being said, my guy WAS a hybrid, so maybe I can’t really put my two cents worth in here, but he was SO very special! I would not have traded him for any other animal in the world! I guess he inherited the best of both breeds(?), except for the bone structure.
    They say hybrids are worse than pure bloods, but I don’t believe it. I will say, from personal experience, that a pure-blooded Wolf made an antsy pet, but that could’ve been cause she was over 3 months old when I got her(shoulda known better). Other species I truly don’t know that much about, but I do think that Travis’s case is not something to judge all animals by. I have known people who’ve shared their lives with “exotics”, and who’ve had
    both good AND bad experiences with them. I knew a man once, who’d had a Siberian tiger from the time she was a tiny kitten. She was wonderful, very affectionate, but basically a one person creature. She had her own enclosure that she lived in, her own pool, her own den. Anything and everything she wanted, she got. When I went to visit, she’d come and say hi to me, but she WAS behind bars. He was VERY careful with her, but she never knew anyone that didn’t like and respect her. Great cat!
    Same man also had a chimp that was an older critter – nobody was allowed near him, since he was a cantankerous old man! He also had a younger chimp that was very, very sweet, a very nice little guy. But my friend never took chances with his animals.
    Basically, I think if you’re gonna keep an exotic, you just hafta be extremely careful. Personally, I never considered my hybrid to be a wild animal – he was a well-mannered, sensitive four-legged person, and he was raised with love and respect, and that’s what he gave back to me. How you raise the animal determines how they’ll act. But I also don’t think that anyone has a right to treat anyone with mood-altering drugs, especially without
    a doctor’s prescription! That’s what I have an issue with – poor Travis, he probly didn’t know what he was doing, had an episode that he’d never had, and paid for it with his life.
    Shame on her – she should be held liable – betcha she knew better!
    And that’s the name of that tune!
    Thanks for reading my thoughts – you may not agree with me, and that’s ok too. But, again, thanks – for me and my kid.


  21. I am inclined to aggree with DR Andrew Jones, I have been an animal lover both domestic and wildlife all my life (44 yrs) My fav that being the silver back gorilla. But if offered one as a pet would i take it? NO!!! These creatures are a beautiful site to watch but should never be raised by humans unless in a speciallised conservational place is offered to them for spacific reasons. Wild animals will always have the wild gene in them so they should never be taken for human comapnionship. I feel sorry for the woman involved in what happened, but my heart goes out to the chimp, he died a poor sad and very confused death!!!! Let there be laws passed for this, to stop it happening to any other wild animals again!!!

  22. What does a 70 year old women think of when it comes to handling a 200 pound chimp? The human factor makes me feel terribly sad, but more so for the innocent chimp. Once again human ingnorance, and greed, rears its ugly head. That poor creatures last moments were horrific, no less a life of captivity making money for those ignorant people.

  23. I think we humans are horrible for even keeping a wild animal trapped outside of their own habitat. Poor Travis died a violent death because of our stupidity. We have beautiful dogs & cats to keep us company, & we choose to keep wild animals instead. I personally would never have a wild animal as a pet. I even hate zoo’s because I hate to look at the animals kept caged up. Circus animals even have it worse. I do not go to either what is wrong with our society!!! The story about Travis broke my heart.

  24. I saw on the News that Travis had bitten a woman about 4 years ago. She’d seen the owner sitting in her car with the chimp and asked if she could shake Travis’ hand. She said when she reached in,
    Travis pulled her arm in and chomped down. She had not been seriously injured, but did report it to the police station. The police were friends with the woman and did nothing. About 2 years later after reading a newspaper article about this woman and chimp, she contacted them, telling her story. They weren’t interested. Sad. The current victim may lose her hands and her face was chewed off. Supposedly the owner started having problems with the chimp in the last year or two and had him caged most of the time.
    This is disgusting. No one, animal, human or even a BIRD lives life in a cage happily. To think
    that Travis was taken in as a baby to end up in a cage is appalling. I have nothing against babying your pets, but when it’s not only capable, but it’s natural instinct is one of violence (and supposedly chimps in the wild can be very very violent against intruders) you are asking for trouble. Even large dogs that were bred to be viscious, even if babies, can revert in a second. They are driven by instinct.
    Totally sad and yet another disgusting story about our LACK of humanity; about our desires coming above all else without consideration of consequences. Animals are more civilized.

  25. So sad…for all involved. It should be against the law to own a ‘wild’ animal…The woman who was attacked is now here at Cleveland Clinic. A friend has seen her…She is a mess, poor soul.
    It’s difficult to believe humans are so stupid…

  26. Hellooo???
    The chimp was put on a so-called anti-depressant brain-disrupting DRUG!.
    We have enormous amounts of evidence in the human world as to the insanity they produce.

    Of course he was depressed! No life, no mate, no hope.
    That poor animal was sent insane by a psychotic-inducing drug. If he had been human, he would have committed suicide – like the incredible number of children who do today, with no reason.

    To all of you out there: THINK about the total importance of a mate to all animals – including us.
    Don’t keep animals unless in mated pairs AND families.
    OOOH, couldn’t afford THAT? Then you can’t afford to keep/mistreat animals.
    I think Andrew is going to be an even more endangered species soon if he keeps blabbing the secrets about forbidden subjects like: natural medications and….. CURING Cancer.

  27. I totally agree wild animals should not be kept as pets.It’s not fair on them and not fair on people to see them confused and suffering if things go wrong for them.They do have their place in society but not a pets for the pleasure of the humans who do not understand these intelligent creatures.

  28. My cat is part Siamese and 1/8 Bobcat. She’s spent her entire life inside and, except for a love of climbing on the highest things she can find, is just like any other domestic cat. While I love my pet and she’s the most affectionate cat I’ve ever had, I wouldn’t try to keep a full or even half-blooded Bobcat as a house pet.

  29. Hello Dr. Andrews, I was sorry to hear about Travis and the woman he attacked. It must have been horrifying for everyone. As much as having an exotic pet may sound, they will alway’s have the “wild gene”- even if they are born and raised in captivity. My dad, every now and then speaking about my domestic dog’s, say’s, “Don’t completely trust them- they’re still animals”. Thank’s for listening. LoriAnn, Tacoma, Wa.

  30. I too love animals, but wake up world, animals are not human! They don’t think, act or react like we do, yet we treat them as if they were little 4 legged people. We love them to death. Literally. Sad and heart breaking for all involved.

  31. My heart goes out to all involved including Travis. He was a wild animal that did not get to enjoy life as God intended, wild and free. It was a very tragic ending for all. Why do people seem to think wild animals would make great pets. I understand people that raise wild animals but let them live as wild animals even keeping in touch as some with lions that I have read about but they didn’t confine them.

  32. Travis was given Xanax. Many drugs used to calm adults, i.e. phenobarbital, act in complete opposition with children, making them anxious instead. The same may be true when a chimp is given such medication. Having raised him from “childhood” it would have been difficult for her to give him up. He was a friend and companion, yes, but where could she send him. A zoo would have been a terrible place, and he would have never survived the wild. He was used in film and TV, but had no provisions for his life after his owner’s death. Chimps live very long lives and his owner was near the end of hers. Chimps, like young children make lovely companions in their youth but most are sullen and unhappy as they age. Their lives are dull and far removed from their natural needs and their highly functional brains. They live in family groups in nature and Travis, though loved and cared for must have been lonely and bored. Dogs and cats have adapted to domestication over the centuries. They have formed a pact with humans. Not so chimps and tigers and racoons and eagles. They should not be part of a household.

  33. I live in Africa and have a healthy respect for all animals wild or not. THe problem is that people tend to humanise animals and that causes a lot of problems and also tragedies like this.

    I do not believe that keeping exotic animals as pets is wise. You can live in the bush all your life and if you do so wisely you will survive if you become foolish you will soon come to harm. It is the same with these animals. They are wild!!!!!

  34. The sad life of this chimp has finally come to an end. His history was probably one of having his mother killed and then ripped away from her dead body and shipped across the world. Else, he was bred in captivity in unnatural surroundings. He should have spent his life with a family of his own species in the jungle, but instead was forced to do tricks and “perform” for humans entertainment and as a money making commodity for his owner. They are highly intelligent, sensitive creatures and it is time for laws to prohibit the keeping of any and all wild animals. He is better off dead than having to endure such an abnormal life.

  35. People should not be allowed to own a wild animal as a pet. Private and public zoos have to go through a lengthy process of acquiring all different types of permits – to protect themselves and the animals under their care. This woman may have loved this ape as a pet, but let’s face it….this monkey worked for a living and she made money off of him. Wild animals are unpredictable – they should be left in the wild or in a zoo. I can’t imagine the horror both ladies and the cops must have endured. I can’t imagine what the monkey must have endured either. It is a sad situation – hope the old lady is insured – if he lady survives the attack – she will need a lot of reconstructive surgery..let alone the pain and suffering. The monkey had enough sense to revert to his comfort zone to die. He must have been so confused – poor women and monkey. The cop did the right thing. The lady needs to stop lying – she has changed her story – several times – about the drugs. If the monkey was stressed enough to be taking prescription drugs….he should have been removed from the home/neighborhood a long time ago. He should have never been in the home. Animals will revert to the wild – unexpectedly. Even domesticated animals will act wild at times. Hope people wake up and stop keeping wild animals in their homes ….they belong in the wild.

  36. I agree about circus animals, some will be abused. As for zoos…most are good facilities – where we – our children can observe and learn about them. The neighbors had complained about Travis being mean before this happened. He was being a monkey. You can’t expect an exotic animal to be ‘human’….if they reached into a car – they were invading his territory. He reacted by biting….that should have been a wake up call for the ‘greedy’ woman. Travis was a celebrity – and did bring home a little ‘bacon’ from time to time. He should have been placed with other monkeys so he could live with his own kind. Maybe she thought she was an adequate substitute….showed the same intellect by her actions.

  37. It is absolutely fascinating how close these beings are to ourselves. They can be so simular that people forget that they are still wild animals. It is just another reinforcement that it is ALWAYS a bad idea… matter how “human-like” they can be. They will always be more dangerous than a human being (without a weapon, of course). It broke my heart that he went to his “room” to die. It gave him a false sense of security……poor thing.

  38. did anyone ever here the story about the 3 to whatever year trusting family pet snapped attacked someone ,cornered a child ,vicious attack,from our best friend the dog.the dog still has some wild in the animal and I have seen people treat their dogs very well in the house,maybe spoil once or twice?A chimp seems really smart,I would bet medication rumor may have contributed,sometimes things break,like the minds of people,dogs,and family pet chimp who I bet could become part of the family not unlike dogs, which I have one and remind myself he is an animal.Very sad ending ,but I bet he had a decent life,not unlike your pets life.

  39. speaking about wild….as a previous owner of 44 toy and miniature sized domestic dogs living inside my home(NOT CAGED)and after many years, i came to understand that you CANNOT TAKE THE WILD OUT OF THE ANIMAL. even the dogs had kept their instinct as wolves and i witnessed on so many occaisions their wild instinct enacted upon, towards other animals and towards humans. these were all family pets and i raised them around my own 6 children. i understand the wild in ALL ANIMALS now.

  40. Estoy totalmente de acuerdo con usted Dr. Jones. Animales salvajes no deberian tomarse como mascotas. Para eso tenemos perros, gatos, peces y aves criadas para ese fin.
    Felicidades por su sitio Web.
    Now I will try it in english:
    I agree with your opinion of left the wild into the wild and not try to take them as pets.
    Thanks for your web page that is very instructive for a pet ouners and also for me as a veterinarian in Mexico.
    Plese send me recomendations of books to lern more about natural medications.

  41. It is never a good idea to keep a wild animal confined for any reason. A lot of us don’t even really understand our dogs which has a close association with humans. Dogs are truly domesticated animals, but it did not hapen over night. It was a process of evolution over a period of ±14 000 years. Breeding a wild animal in captivity or hand rearing one does not make it a domesticated animal. It is still a wild animal and it belongs in nature where it can function and live the way it is suppose to live and fulfill the role that nature intended it to. Humans will never be able to give a wild animal what it needs. Humans who confine a wild animal are just very arrogant in thinking that they can fulfil the necessary emotional and physical needs of this animal. The truth is we can’t and we will never be able to. Let us rather concentrate on understanding the language of the animals that evolved with us, the dog.

  42. I agree with Theresa Kamal. You can take an animal from the wild, but you can never take the wild from the animal! It’s debatable what wild means though… for them and for us!
    It’s truly a heartbreaking story. I always get very upset when animals are killed, as it is always and solely our fault. We feed our selfish egoes by keeping animals imprisoned. I feel sorry for the attacked lady. I feel sorry for the owner who had to stab her pet. What a double damage tragedy!
    And, poor thing, went back “home” to die! Sad! 🙁 I doubt the story will have any effect, but I do hope!

  43. Chimps belong in the wild, not as pets. You can’t domesticate them the way you can a cat & dog. If you are looking after them as a rescue animal in a sanctuary that’s one thing, but to make them a family pet that is wrong. They need to be with their own kind, they need their habitats to be saved. Leave looking after chimps to the experts, like the people at the Jane Goodal institute.

  44. I totally agree with you Dr. Jones. Wild animals should be left in the wild. That’s where they are meant to be and that is where they are happy. I know most of these animals are cute and fuzzy, but reality is, they don’t belong in a home with us. It’s ok to help them if they’re injured but to keep them as a pet it’s simply not right. I personally think it’s selfish on our part to keep them from the wild. Let’s reverse the roles for a minute. Imagine how it would be if a gorilla for instance, came and grabbed someone and brought them and held ’em captive in the wild. I’m sure no one would be living happily. Or, imagine having to live with King Kong for the rest of your life! It’s not the first time that we hear of someone getting hurt by a wild pet animal. You’d think people would get it after a while. Oh, well by the way I realy enjoy reading your e-mails. Have a great day!

  45. My husband and I have a saying “that a wild animal is always a wild animal, no matter what” and that refers to the chimps, the big cats, the bears, the elephants and whatever else that humans think that they can “humanize” as a pet or something closer like a “human being” saying that they can reason and think and are so much like us humans in their interactions with each other. NO THEY ARE NOT – they will KILL in the wild to protect their own from a predator or even a mate, if something goes wrong between them – we humans usually do not do that (of course there is the criminal element within our race that has to be addressed,) but for the normal, most part we do not act that way. Once a lion, always a lion – you can not change its color or natural instincts, the same with a chimp, even though they have made far more advances with them as far as communication skills, etc., they are still a chimp, which is a wild animal that has adapted to a human aspect – some form of communication, but that does not change it from being a wild chimp inside. That’s like saying we can all just get a long and the world will be just lovey dovey – well there is evil in the world and we all can’t get along peacefully – there are some people that want to kill other races of people and that is just how it is – no ifs, ands, or buts, that’s the way it is with animals, no ifs, ands, or buts – they are still wild animals. Why don’t people get a clue and let them live the life that wild animals are meant to live and not try to humanize them??? An animal is NOT a human being – people, get a clue!!! Oh sure, I love my pet dogs like the dickens, but I don’t humanize them, they are dogs, they don’t sit on my couch – that is mine. They have to sit and lay on the floor, but I get them nice soft beds to lay on, to show them how much I love them and pet them and play with them, and hug them and feed them the best food possible, etc, etc., but I know they are still dogs! Yes, I cry when I lose one to natural death – it breaks my heart because they love unconditionally and I try to love them back the same way, so human emotions do get in my way, but I still realize that they are an animal, and not try to humanize them…but I would not exchange their true love for anything else in the world. So, love your dog or cat every day and have a great day! Remember, a wild animal is just that – a WILD animal and will always be – no matter what.

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