Drug-crazed rampage chimp shared owner's bed and bath
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 1:16 PM on 21st February 2009
The crazed celebrity chimpanzee shot dead by police after mauling a woman shared an 'intimate relationship' with its owner, it has emerged.
Travis, the 14 stone pet chimpanzee, took long baths with doting owner Sandra Herold and even shared the widow's bed.
He was fed the finest food and given wine in long-stemmed glasses. Travis would even brush the lonely 70-year-old's hair each night and would pine for her if she was away.
The 15-year-old chimp, who appeared in several TV adverts including one for Coca Cola, was potty trained and could log on to a computer, brush his teeth, dress himself, drink wine from a glass, and use the TV remote to change channels.
Friends said Mrs Herold treated him as her son.
travis the chimp
'Unusually close': Travis the chimp's bond with owner Sandra Herold could have played a role in the attack, experts claim
Now animal experts believe this unusually close relationship could have played a role in Monday's horrifying attack.
Travis went beserk when Mrs Herold's friend Charla Nash visited their home in Stamford, Connecticut, tearing her face apart, ripping her hair out and biting her fingers.
Mrs Herold tried in vain to pull Travis off her friend before she stabbed him with a kitchen knife. Police later shot him dead.
* Drug-crazed celebrity chimp is stabbed and shot to death after he mauled a woman and attacked police officers
Experts believe Travis may he been confused by the close relationship with his owner and seen Ms Nash as a threat.
Stephen Rene Tello, executive director of Primarily Primates, a sanctuary for chimps in Texas, said: 'This is a crazy relationship.
'He was probably very bonded with her. I can kind of see it in his eyes this is his surrogate mother.
'If there is another person entering his space, he might consider it a threat to his territory, or even his mate.'
sandra herold with travis
Like a son: Mrs Herold had reared Travis from birth
Police say Travis attacked Ms Nash when she arrived at the house to help lure the chimp back into Herold's house.
Herold speculated that Travis was being protective of her and attacked Ms Nash because she had a different hairstyle, was driving a different car and held a stuffed toy in front of her face to get the chimp's attention.
The 55-year-old suffered massive injuries to her face and hands, requiring more than seven hours of surgery by four teams of doctors.
She was transferred in critical condition to the Cleveland Clinic, which two months ago performed the first successful face transplant in the US.
It is unknown whether Ms Nash will be a candidate for a face transplant.
travis the chimp
TV star: Travis had appeared in television commercials
It was also claimed that Travis had bitten someone before, 13 years ago.
Leslie Mostel Paul claimed the chimp grabbed her hand and bit it hard enough to draw blood, while the animal was sitting in Herold's car in a Stamford office parking lot in 1996.
Paul said she had tried to shake Travis' hand after Herold gave her permission to say hello.
It is unclear whether Herold will face criminal charges as Connecticut state law allowed her to own the chimp as a pet.
It is not known why the chimp suddenly attacked. Herold has said it suffered from Lyme disease and was on medication.