Although much of the coverage on the tragedy of Travis, the chimpanzee in Connecticut who mauled Charla Nash and was subsequently shot and killed, has been frustrating to say the least, there have been a couple of good interviews included in media items very recently which I wanted to share.
This video segment includes an interview from an expert at Save the Chimps Sanctuary in Florida.
This article adds more information to the bigger story. Here’s are a few excerpts from the article:
“A chimpanzee who was shot and killed earlier this week for mauling a Connecticut woman was the offspring of a chimpanzee who made headlines eight years ago when a Festus teenager shot and killed her…..
In 2001, Travis’ 28-year-old mother, Suzy, escaped from Connie Braun Casey’s farm along Highway CC near Festus…..
April Truitt, a primate expert who runs the Kentucky-based Primate Rescue Center Inc., said chimps are too wild to be privately owned. She put more blame on the Caseys for the Connecticut incident than on Herold. She said the Caseys should not have been breeding and selling chimps.”
You can read my reaction to the mauling in this post from Tuesday. One aspect of this story that has not been getting enough coverage is how the demand for chimpanzee “actors” helps to fuel breeding operations like Connie Casey’s. Chimpanzees should not be pets, should not be used in entertainment, and should not be used in biomedical research. There is no legitimate reason for a chimpanzee breeding operation to exist.
Jamie and Burrito were both “raised” by humans for the first years of their lives and used as “entertainers” when they were young. When they became unmanageable like any chimpanzee would, they were put into biomedical research.
Thankfully they now live in a safe, secure, and social environment at Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest, but others like them are not in sanctuaries, and the tragedy of Travis will occur again if laws are not put into place to make the private ownership of chimpanzees and their use in entertainment illegal.
One immediate action that you can take is to urge your federal representatives to support the Captive Primate Safety Act which would make the interstate and foreign commerce of primates illegal. Learn more from the Humane Society of the United States.
I just sent a personalized email via the Humane Society’s link – but when I tried to call, I was told that phone messages may only be made during the week.
Thought I would let you all know to wait until Monday to make the phone calls.
Margaret and Karen says
Thank you for your post, Diana. The only possible good thing to come from tis tragedy is if we can use it to get appropriate laws in place.
Linda (Portland, OR) says
Please tell everyone that if they don’t want to go the phone-call route, it takes less than 5 minutes to send the message to your state representatives, which is also done over the internet via the same location. A copy goes to the representative, with a copy back to you. I’m not sure about other state’s reps, but I know that my Oregon rep also sends a hard copy reply back to you to let you know he has seen your letter. The internet is a very powerful tool. Please get people to use it. If you can’t do it for yourself, please do it for Travis and the others.
Let’s hope with the power of the internet and people’s interest in Travis his death will catalyze action. Then he won’t have died in vain.
I have a letter I wrote to NBC about their coverage, I am going to rework it a little and send it to my legislators encouraging them to vote for GAPA. The bill has to be reintroduced since it’s a new Congress. If you want a copy, I would be happy to send you one. My eamail is [email protected]
I have written all my representatives asking them to support the bill and have also written a letter to Dr./Senator Tom Coburn who somehow got the bill halted (according to the USHS) last year. These tragedies will continue unless our legislators wake up and make sure this bill is signed into law without any further interference. I also believe that the all chimps in homes, labs, and entertainment companies should be confiscated by law and sent to sanctuaries where they will be safe.
The woman who sold Travis after snatching him away from his mother, should be shut down and prohibited from breeding chimps. She calls her business “Missouri Primate Foundation.” Talk about misleading! She had a web site at one time but I have been unable to find it while searching for the last few days.
Jeani Goodrich says
Thank you Diana for all the information. I also have written to my legislators and am advising everyone I know to also take action. As others have already said hopefully Travis will be remembered for furthering the cause of giving the chimps sanctuary from human use and entertainment purposes.
Travis was given to his owner when he was only 3 DAYS old. I remember when his mother was shot, the boy who did it shot her in the back after she had been tranquilized. In any encounter between animals and people the animal always loses in the end.
Theresa – I’m afraid the new website for the breeding operation in Missouri is even worse now. They are now calling it “The Missouri Chimpanzee Sanctuary” – it’s very, very upsetting that they are trying to pass the business off as a sanctuary. Here is the website: http://chimpparty.com/
Thank you for the link Diana. I have written Connie Casey a letter expressing my feelings for her practices and questioning her so called “love” of chimps when she dresses them up and takes them to parties. She is using these chimps for her own gain and calling her establishment a “sanctuary” is not going to change the fact that the Connecticut tragedy began with her irresponsible actions. The blog on the site is inactive but I wrote her via [email protected].