Owner of Travis the Chimp Dies of Aneurysm


The woman who owned the chimp that mauled a Stamford woman last year has died.

Sandra Herold died on Monday night of a ruptured aortic aneurysm, her attorney, Robert Golger, said.

She owned Travis, the 200-pound celebrity chimp, that went berserk on Feb. 16, 2009, and mauled Charla Nash.

On that day, Herold called Nash to come to her home and help lure the animal back into her house. But it didn’t work.

The chimp attacked Nash and ripped off her hands, nose, lips and eyelids.

Herold called 911 and her voice was soon heard on national television, again and again.

“He’s eating her! He’s eating her,” she hollered to dispatchers on that tragic day. “Bring the guns. You have to kill this chimp.”

She also stabbed her once beloved pet with a butcher knife. The animal died when  a police officer who was responding shot him.

"Ms. Herold had suffered a series of heartbreaking losses over the last several years, beginning with the death of her only child, then her husband, then her beloved chimp Travis, as well as the tragic maiming of friend and employee Charla Nash," Golger said in a statement. "In the end, her heart, which had been broken so many times before, could take no more."

According to reports, Herold treated the chimp almost like a person. He could dress himself, drink wine from a glass and use the toilet.

Following the attack, there were reports that Nash gave the agitated chimp Xanax, which Herold denied, but lab results showed traces of it in the chimp’s system, state’s attorney David Cohen said.

Nash recently underwent a preliminary evaluation to determine if she is a potential candidate for a face and hand transplant at a Boston-area Harvard-affiliated hospital.

No criminal charges were filed against Herold, but Nash's family is suing her for $50 million and wants to sue the state for $150 million, saying state officials failed to prevent the attack.

Golger said he expected the lawsuit to continue.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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