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Chimpanzee Victim May Be Blind, Brain Damaged

Posted by tothewire on March 5, 2009

Charla Nash

Charla Nash

 NEW HAVEN, Conn. —  A Connecticut woman mauled by a chimpanzee two weeks ago lost her hands, nose, lips and eyelids and may be blind and suffering brain damage, and hospital officials say it’s still unclear if her condition can improve at all.

The Cleveland Clinic, revealing the specific injuries Wednesday for the first time, told The Associated Press in a statement that 55-year-old Charla Nash also lost the bone structure in her face when she was attacked on Feb. 16 in Stamford, Conn.

Her wounds have been stabilized, but “critical issues still remain related to a significant traumatic brain injury and injuries to her eyes that threaten her vision,” the hospital said.

Neurosurgeons and ophthalmologists are working to evaluate and manage her injuries, but “the full extent of these injuries and her potential for recovery, if any, remain unclear at this time,” the hospital said.

Nash remains sedated in the hospital, which performed the nation’s first face transplant in December. Hospital officials say it’s too early to know if she will be a candidate for a face transplant.

The family and hospital said they are grateful to those across the country who have been concerned about Nash’s recovery.


The 200-pound chimp was shot and killed by police. Police are still deciding whether its owner, Sandra Herold, of Stamford, will face criminal charges.

Herold’s attorney, Joe Gerardi, declined to comment Wednesday.

Herold had asked Nash to come to her home the day of the attack to help lure Travis back into her house. Herold has speculated that the chimp was trying to protect her and attacked Nash because she had changed her hairstyle, was driving a different car and was holding a stuffed toy in front of her face to get Travis’ attention.

When he was younger, Travis starred in TV commercials for Old Navy and Coca-Cola, made an appearance on the “Maury Povich Show” and took part in a television pilot.

Source  Associated Press


4 Responses to “Chimpanzee Victim May Be Blind, Brain Damaged”

  1. brucehood said

    I was shocked by this.. Let it be a reminder to those who think chimps are cute.


  2. Today, the news says Charla Nash, the survivor of Travis tragedy, went out on national TV to show herself out on public and to warn the people that exotic animals should never stay in residential areas and make them as pets. I admire Nash for her strength & courage. I’m hoping that she will be able to receive continuous love, support & concern for a long, long time.

    Oh, btw, brucehood, I’m sorry to comment on the video – it’s terrible…


  3. Enkill_Eridos said

    Technically, you need a license for exotic animals. Depending on the animals and state laws, you need to go through a special animal handling class. I know I had to do a lengthy class in order to legally keep a squirrel I rescued last year. (The squirrel is way to domesticated, due to the fact that they where rescued at an age before their eyes opened. Because the squirrels where abandoned and one out of the three had internal injuries that claimed its life before we could get it to the vet. And another one had a heart problem. There is only one left. I did not buy these animals as pets, we thought this was the better option than just to let them die. But because they where at such a young age that they had to be handled often to be fed, they became domesticated, and Steve is not afraid of dogs and cats. Our zoo, which consists of six dogs, three cats and a squirrel, plus a buddy of mine is stationed overseas with a family, and is in Iraq. So the total count is seven dogs. My wife only bought two of them, the rest friends bought and could no longer take care of them, one has bad allergies and requires allergy-free food (His original owner couldn’t afford it) my dog was rescued from a puppy mill, and the most recent dog is very hyper and the next-door neighbor had an on-call nursing job and her husband is a trucker. So in all respects my house is an animal rescue it seems. But when I had to get the special license and permits to actually have Steve in our house, I learned that other exotic animals, such as Chimps, Baboons (there are people who have them as pets and more effective than guard dogs. They will use sharp objects to defend their territory and owner.), and other animals labeled with near human intelligence require special licensing to own. It is a felony, in the great State of Florida, if you own an exotic animal and do not keep your permits, and licenses up to date. This not only goes for primates, but exotic birds, certain snakes, and some meat-eating fish.


  4. princessxxx said


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