Since The NY Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post rejected this I thought I would post it here.
Preface: I realize that there are multiple victims in this incident and my heart goes out to the families of everyone involved: Charla Nash who apparently lost her face and is in critical condition after being attacked and Sandra Herold, a widow who lost her daughter previously and now Travis her chimpanzee. She will have to live with this incident for the rest of her life while her friend lays in a hospital bed disfigured. I don’t mean to disrespect or downplay the severity of the injury, or the physical and psychological pain but I am compelled to comment on what I feel should have and could have been avoided.
The Associated Press reported that Sandra Herold said that “Travis couldn't have been more my son than if I gave birth to him," and rejected criticism that chimpanzees are inappropriate pets. Well maybe she will now realize that a chimpanzee is not a pet. A chimpanzee is a wild animal. Just because an animal is smart enough to channel surf, use the toilet and drink wine from a glass does not mean that he should. It is not love to keep a wild animal in a cage and dress or treat it like a human…it is cruel. She said that he was like her son well guess what lady, he was not. It is in a chimpanzees DNA to dominate and become aggressive as they reach their teenage years and when they are in the wild they are able to be competitive and behave the way their DNA dictates. There is a reason that they live in the wild and not among us. Even though Travis was not in his natural environment his instinct took over. A chimpanzee is five times stronger than a human which is why the injures are so severe. This idea that it is cute to have a wild or exotic pet is ridiculous.
If a person thinks it is cute to force a chimp to parody a human existence then my suggestion is we strip them naked and force them to live in the forest among the chimps savaging for food and assimilating into their society. Maybe you think that they would become Tarzan of the apes, well this is not fiction this is reality and to remove a person out of there natural environment and force them to be something that they could not be would make them insane. No doubt their natural instincts would kick in and they would try to emulate a human existence and a chimp giving them leaves would help no less then the Xanax in Travis’s tea.
Herold says that she loved Travis and that he was her son but I must question, would you stab your son or tell a cop to shoot him? I am sure that I could never understand what was truly happening and what was going through her head but don’t think that you were his mother and don’t think that he thought of you as his mother because you were not. Travis was a chimpanzee, a pan troglodyte. Not a human, not your son.
It appears that chimpanzees are very important to the advertising world in Travis’ case he sold pants for Old Navy. I don’t expect corporate America to end their abuse of these animals anytime soon, but at a bare minimum we need a law that sends these animals into a sanctuary for their retirement and not to a situation in which they are not allowed to act like chimps. We should also force these companies to pay for their retirement. I am sure the mark up on the pants Travis sold allows for some kind of chimpanzee pension.
I just hope that Travis and chimpanzees in general do not get a bad name for this. The chimp is an intelligent, loving animal that belongs among its own kind in the wild away from the complication of human interaction and human society and certainly never as a pet.
Travis, rest in peace. I for one am sorry you never got a chance to be a chimp.
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