This morning on the way to work I heard a story about a 70 year old women who owned a 14 year old, 200 lb chimpanzee. This chimpanzee, you may recognize from commercials like Old Navy, attacked a 55 year old friend of the owners, Sandra Herold's. Herold raised the chimp since he was three years old and gave him everything he wanted. She considered him her son basically. Unfortunately, this woman lost both her daughter and husband recently and was relying on the chimp. He was known to cause problems, sometimes involving police, like driving the car or causing scenes in the middle of streets, but on Friday I personally believe this womans' ignorance drove this chimpanzee to attack her friend. The friend, who is now in very critical condition and who doctors are claiming is not doing very well, is well known by the chimpanzee but was only wearing her hair differently that day. The owner claimed that she felt the chimp did not recognize her friend and saw her as a threat and was overly excited. The owner decided to give him a cup of tea accompanied with the anti-anxiety medicine XANAX. Five minutes later the chimp attacked. I heard the dispatcher's conversation with the owner who was very unclear and frantic. You hear them going through regular sets of questions like what is going on? who is there? who has the gun? can you help your friend? Once they get to this question the audio becomes very disturbing! The women tells the dispatcher that she can not help her friend because the chimp "ripped her face off", "ripped her apart" and was trying to attack her if she came close. The woman in her friends defense tried to beat the chimp off with a shovel and was eventually forced to stab him with a butcher knife. When police arrived, the chimp was already outside. The police saw the downed friend and rushed to her aid only to GO OVER AIR ON THE RADIO and report that they needed to get her out of there because "she has no face." Because of safety concerns, the officers were forced to shoot the chimp until he was dead. Now this poor friend, lays on the brink of death because of this woman's ignorance.
First of all, I can not believe that a 70 year old woman is taking care of a 14 year old, 200 lb chimpanzee. Even as babies, monkies are incredibly strong and can do quite a bit of damage. A 70 year old woman is in no condition to be taking care of animal that is that big. Second, I sympathize with this woman's losses but I think that she has some mental issues that need to be resolved because she needs to realize that substituting a monkey for her family members was not healthy. Third, WHAT IN THE FUCK WAS GOING THROUGH HER MIND THAT MADE HER THINK IT OKAY TO GIVE A MONKEY ANTIANXIETY PILLS to calm it down. Antidepressants are even completely safe for humans so why would they be completely safe for animals. Regardless of how closely these animals are related to us and how medicines and treatments are tested on them, does not mean that we are in the clear. I think this woman is totally retarded and should have removed the chimpanzee from the area that the friend would be in. . .put him in his cage and let him resolve his aggression in there. It would have been the safe and logical thing to do. Fourthly, I can't believe that the officer reported that woman's condition of "not having a face" over air. And finally, I am a huge huge animal lover. I literally will watch Animal Planet all day as long as its not talking about ants or mice [lol]. Orangutans are one of my favorite animals and being a close relative of chimpanzee's I'm am absolutely outraged by this story. I strongly believe that animals should be left in the wild in their natural habitats at all time. I do not believe we should have them in zoo's on display or as pets or as super stars for movies, commercials, etc. These things are not natural for animals and it is extremely easy for humans to form bonds with these animals and FORGET THAT THEY ARE WILD! That's when ignorance or even the tiniest mistakes occur and situations like this happen, where handlers or innocent bystanders are critically injured. I understand that some zoo animals are refugee's that have been hurt or abandoned or whatever in the wild and had to be saved, but I do not believe that just because of that we should display them in zoos in unnatural habitats, cramped quarters, and filthy living conditions. I think these animals should be placed into rescues where they can be better cared for and then people can travel to the rescue centers in order to become educated about the different animals instead of viewing them in zoos. This woman is an idiot and I think that if I was the friends family I would more than likely be pressing charges for wreckless endangerment.
You can view an interview with the owner as well as read the story at MSNBC.COM.