Chilling 911 call moments after family's pet chimpanzee unleashes brutal attack on woman
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A chilling 911 call captured the horrifying moment a chimpanzee attacked its owner's friend and almost left her without a face.
It was 16 February 2009 when Travis the chimp unleashed his attack on the close friend of owner Sandra Herold, prompting the phone call in which she screamed: "He's killing my friend!"
Warning: Distressing Content:
Travis lived with Herold in Connecticut and had become a local celebrity in the area, but prior to the attack his behaviour became increasingly erratic.
Herold's friend, Charla Nash, was a frequent visitor to Herold’s home and was at the home on 16 February when Travis stole his owner's car keys.
In a bid to lure him back to the house, Nash held out a toy to try and entice Travis. He recognised the doll, but is thought to have been confused by Nash after she recently changed her hair.
He attacked her outside the home, with the 911 call capturing Herold's frantic description of the disaster as well as Travis' screeches.
"This is Sandy," she could be heard shouting down the phone. "Send the police... the chimp killed my friend, he's killing my friend... he ripped her apart, hurry up!... he's eating her!"
Herold hit Travis with a shovel in an attempt to get him to stop his attack, and later stabbed him in the back with a knife.
Police arrived at the scene, but Travis managed to open an unlocked door on one of their cars as he continued his rampage. Officer Frank Chiafari opened fire and shot Travis multiple times, after which the chimpanzee returned to his cage, where he died.
In spite of Herold's fears in the phone call, Nash thankfully did not die in the attack. However, she was left with broken bones in her face, with Travis having torn her eyelids, nose, jaw, lips and most of her scalp. He left her blind, and had fully removed one of her hands from her body.
She required hours of surgery after the attack, and after her jaw was reattached she later flew to Ohio for an experimental facial transplant.
Following Travis' death, a toxicology report determined the chimpanzee had been given Xanax on the day of the attack. Sandra had reported this to police, but it's thought the drug may have fuelled his aggression.
The attack sparked discussions and movements to ban primates being sold as pets. Following the attack, Nash sued the State of Connecticut for for doing nothing about the ownership of Travis.
Topics: Community, US News, Animal Cruelty, Animals