The Daily News has obtained “graphic audio” of the 911 call concerning Travis, the crazed chimpanzee who attacked a woman in Stamford, Connecticut and was killed by police. You can hear, at appalling length, Travis’ owner Sandy Herold hysterically telling the dispatcher that the chimp has assaulted her friend, Charla Nash, “ripped her face off,” is “ripping her apart,” and is “eating her.” “This is a chimpanzee, right?” the dispatcher asks at one point. Herold says in the tape she “tried stabbing him,” and implores the dispatchers to “shoot him.” The dispatcher repeatedly asks her to stay in her car and to “breathe.” Despite her eagerness to have the ape killed, she tells the News that “I never left the house without kissing him goodbye.”
The story has been covered as far away as Ireland (“Celebrity chimp shot dead by police”) and China. The Stamford Advocate says Travis, at 200 pounds, was too big and dangerous to have been exempted from Connecticut’s laws against exotic pets. WCBS says that the owner has been subjected to phone threats and denunciations from PETA members; a spokesman for the organization disclaims them. (Updated: PETA reiterated in an email to us that “the allegation that PETA has made harassing and/or threatening phone calls is simply not true.”)
Nash remains in critical condition. “We’re very optimistic right now,” says her brother.
Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting the Village Voice and our advertisers.