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.