Just WHY Do People Think They Can Keep Exotic Pets?

@pyewacket (44032)
United States
February 18, 2009 9:57pm CST
Maybe many of you have heard this news story about a Connecticut woman who owned a "pet" chimpanzee who all of a sudden went on a crazed rampage. The 200 pound chimp, named Travis was fifteen years old and was even a "star" having appeared on some commercials. The owner, Sandra Herold, was to tell the police that the chimp suddenly went wild, left the home and began attacking a neighbor and friend of hers. The owner then trying to defend her friend, grabbed a butcher knife and stabbed it, then even hit it with a shovel. She then scrambled into her car locking herself in, while in horror she watched Travis the chimp continue to attack her friend. She made a desperate call to the police who then after some convincing no doubt that this wasn't a hoax type call (well would you believe someone telling you a chimp was mauling someone?) finally came...the owner urged the police to shot to kill Travis to save her friend. Now an animal is dead due to the FRICKING stupidity of a person who thinks owning a wild and exotic type of animal is "cute". Yes I feel sorry for the owner's friend, who suffered severe facial as well as other wounds, but what give the person the right to own such an animal to begin with? You can read the story here http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/feb/18/pet-chimp-killed-in-rampage/ {Warning: This is NOT a referral link but a link to the article} This is NOT the first time something like this has happened. You still have idiots who insist in owning exotic cats, like tigers (there was an incident only last year, when someone in a Manhattan apartment had a tiger), but especially scores of incidents of people who own chimpanzees and other primates who have suddenly been attacked...it's been a known fact that many primates in particular can get moodier and more agitated as they get older. Though there is a hint that Travis was being treated for Lyme disease there are also reports that he was given Xanax a well known anti-anxiety medication....so like, duh? If he was already getting agitated in behavior enough to give him a medication, wasn't this like a ticking time bomb ready to go off? In another story I heard on the news, another factor might be that Travis was set off by of all things...a talking Elmo doll...like sheesh...Anything could have been the trigger that set him off. Still no IDIOT should be allowed to own an exotic pet of any kind--want a pet??..for crap sake settle for a dog, cat, or fish
7 people like this
28 responses
@seabeauty (1480)
• United States
19 Feb 09
I have no idea what is wrong with people Pye. People know the dangers of owning an exotic pet but choose to ignore that. As cute as wild animals are they are still wild even though they were brought up by humans, you can't remove the wildness out of them. Did you see on U-Zoo on YouTube there is this cat that cost's $22,000 to buy? It is part domestic cat and 2 part wild cat. Can't remember which wild cats it is mixed with. It is cute though. It's the size of a domestic cat but has the spots of a Leopard. I Wonder if these cats will turn out more aggressive because of the Exotic genes it carries. Although I don't believe there will be too many of those around with the price tag as high as it is.
@pyewacket (44032)
• United States
28 Feb 09
Are you talking about Bengal Cats??? I've heard they are very aggressive and very hard to tame even though they are the size of domestic cats
@seabeauty (1480)
• United States
28 Feb 09
No, its the California Ashera. It's part African Sherval, part domestic house cat and part Asian Leopard.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44032)
• United States
28 Feb 09
I'll have to look it up to see what it looks like--never heard of it before
@dloveli (4368)
• United States
19 Feb 09
These problems are inevitable. These animals are supposed to be wild. Especially in primates. They are highly intelligent. They get aggrivated just as we do. The woman in this case doesnt seem to be all there herself so that doesnt help. Wild animals are meant to be wild. WHen you take something out of its habitat and try to bring into your home and expect everything to work out your are being unfair to the animal. Just like snakes. I was reading that people have had snakes who were nice and friendly. Never bothered anyone. Then all of a sudden it attacks. Its in its nature. Pitbulls and rottys the same. They have been bred to kill. It may have been hundreds of years ago. You personally could have nurtured the pit as if its a baby. One day it attacks. Its no ones fault. Its in their nature genetically. People need to stop thinking of themselves and think of the animal. They were created in the wild for a reason. TO MAINTAIN THE CIRCLE OF LIFE. Not to be kept in a cell or a glass cage. dl
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44032)
• United States
20 Feb 09
You got that right. Last night I saw an"exclusive" interview with that woman and she really doesn't look like she's "all there"--LOL. She came across as a real nutcase
1 person likes this
@dloveli (4368)
• United States
20 Feb 09
I feel bad for chimp. I dont think it was his fault. I really dont think he intentionally meant to attack. The lady was probably acting crazy and he got confused. Chimps are highly intelligent. In fact they are smarter than some men I have dated.lol. I think it was all her!!!God Bless that poor monkey. dl
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44032)
• United States
21 Feb 09
What really probably didn't help in matters was when this woman decided to stab him with a knife, then hit him with a shovel...gee, smart move...NOT...Now that he was wounded he would have attacked even more in defense.
@Aussies2007 (5339)
• Australia
19 Feb 09
I agree with you. It is very much the case of people thinking that money give them the right to buy and own anything they like. Even dogs and cats are not meant for everyone. You need to be responsible. Gees... some people cannot even look after their own children.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44032)
• United States
20 Feb 09
Well look at that nutcase (to my mind anyway)--Michael Jackson...he had a virtual zoo on his "Neverland" estate only because he had the money to do so. Of course since he was in a lot of financial hot water, he had to sell everything..even HIS pet chimp was taken away from him
• Australia
20 Feb 09
I won't disagree with you about the sanity of Michael Jackson. But it was a proper zoo with people looking after it. I don't think you can put that in the same league as someone getting a pet.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44032)
• United States
21 Feb 09
Well his chimp he had loose, much like the woman did who went on a rampage
@Aurone (4757)
• United States
19 Feb 09
Love the Irish Theme there on your avatar. And I totally agree about exotic pets. But the problem becomes what to do with Chimps like Travis after their usefulness is over in TV? They are just dumped, really. And if all the Zoos are filled, what do we do then? There is one lady that I read about who has a proper zoo-like compound for animals like this, but what about the ones she can't take in? And what about all the other exotic animals used in film? What do we do with then when they retire? Most of these animals live 20+ years. No matter what is done, there should be some kind licensing process where your average idiot cannot own an exotic animal. That would certainly cut down on the crazy chimps tearing off peoples faces and Tigers having people for snacks.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44032)
• United States
19 Feb 09
The thing is, I think this particular "idiot" had him as a pet an only on occassion was featured in commercials..it wasn't like an ongoing thing. I always remember one place that takes in "retired" big cats (from zoos and such) is that place owned by Tippi Hedren in California...And many others who have "exotic" type animals that are used in film at least usually have the proper facilities to keep them and in isolated areas in the country..not in a typical neighborhood like this woman...the story goes he had escaped once before and wrecked havoc with the townspeople. As far as licensing...unfortunately too many people get such animals via the black market
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44032)
• United States
19 Feb 09
Oh--glad you like my Irish themed avatar..LOL
1 person likes this
@Aurone (4757)
• United States
20 Feb 09
Black Market exotic animals is a sad truth. People never learn.
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Feb 09
that's like the bear guy.."oh they won't hurt me". then the bear ate him and his girlfriend,on tape one day. just because they get used to you there doesn't mean they like it. i don't know what people's thinking.if the animal does bond to you,everyone else is a potential threat to their position,as the now faceless friend found out. it's funny..i had thought owning chimpanzees was illegal in the RI/MA/CT area,but they said she did have a permit.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44032)
• United States
28 Feb 09
I think she was exempt from having any kind of permits/licenses as it wasn't enforced until years after she got Travis. That woman has to have a face transplant as she was so horribly mauled she has no face left
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Mar 09
ah.the good ol' "grandfather clause". well,at least nowadays she has hope for a face transplant.shame it happened though.
1 person likes this
@Lakota12 (42681)
• United States
19 Feb 09
When something was showing up in him different that what was the norm. I feel like she should have had him put to sleep before he went buserk! Very sad indeed. Just LIke the Tiger that attcked Roy of Seigfried and Roy on stage a few years back. This tiger was born right here on their property here in Las Vegas they raised him up from a cub. He never had known what it was like to live in the wild. Roy was in a wheel chair along time and went thru therapy now he is out of the wheel chair. He refused to have the tiger put down for after looking at the tape it looked like the tiger thought he was saving his friend from some sort of attack that the tiger saw and dragged Roy off the stage!.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44032)
• United States
21 Feb 09
Yes even experienced animal trainers can be mauled by a wild animal. And this woman WASN'T an expert animal trainer or handler...just some nutcase who wanted something "different" as a pet instead of a cat or dog.
@Lakota12 (42681)
• United States
21 Feb 09
I see well she paid for it huh?
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (123974)
• Boise, Idaho
19 Feb 09
We get alot of people around here that insist on having wolves and wild animals for pets. It is just assinine. And cougars malling kids and then then the animal is taken down. I hate that! The animal needs some territory to hunt it and then people come in. Animals work off instinct not a thought pattern to kill a child. It is just amazing to me.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44032)
• United States
19 Feb 09
I think the problem lies, is that these jerks get exotic animals for pets when they are mere babies and just don't realize how big they can get...like duh? Like don't these people ever see what a grown cougar, or tiger, lion, whatever gets? And then, like I said, there was that a-hole who actually had a pet tiger..in a New York City apartment...duh again??
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (123974)
• Boise, Idaho
19 Feb 09
ya, and I think they don't care. Selfish. Just in the moment.
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Feb 09
Don't even get me started on that subject. I am glad to know that someone else feels the same way, though. I volunteer at a wildlife rescue and we have bobcats, lynx's, servals, among other animals that people thought would be great to have as a pet and soon found out it wasn't so good of an idea. I saw on TV last year these people who buy monkeys to keep like babies. They even pull all their teeth out to prevent them from biting. There was some people, who didn't have their teeth pulled, that got very injured from their "baby" monkeys. It was so sad! The injury wasn't sad, the lives of the monkeys were sad. How are people SO stupid!!!
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44032)
• United States
19 Feb 09
I'm just curious...since you volunteer at a wildlife place...are more and more people turning in the bengal type breed of cat. I've heard that even though technically speaking they are a "cat" I've read a lot of articles and seen videos (on Youtube) how untameable and vicious they can be. That's terrible that people will resort to pulling the teeth out of the "babies"...meaning the chimps
• United States
20 Feb 09
At our particular organization, we have not. I wouldn't be surprised if some have or possibly the animal shelters since they are so-called domestic. I can't imagine what the animal control would due being it would not be a normal adoption. There is a Bengal rescue, not in the area, but in a different county. They are filled and can't take anymore in, till they are adopted or get more foster homes. I don't know where people think they can just create cats to fit their style. The monkeys I mentioned, I believed were Capuchin and Macaque. It was sad because their lips were sunk in and limp, like they took out their dentures. When I saw them I even thought oh how cute. But, there is a difference between it being cute to care for a monkey and what is right. They are much cuter in the wild, free, where they belong.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Mar 09
Such a sad situation! When will people learn. Sometimes, I think the animals are smarter.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44032)
• United States
19 Mar 09
I've ALWAYS been under the opinion that animals are smarter than us
@littleowl (7157)
15 Mar 09
Hi Pye that sounds absolutely awful. I am against people owning wild animals like big cats, chimpanzees or anything wild of that nature...but saying that I do own a royal ball python snake, she has a big enough vivarium ro live in and is quite happy I do bring her out at times, she is of lovely temperament BUT I do as I always have respect the fact she is a wild reptile and could turn on me at anytime and that being said snakes can be wonderful creatures to own as they sense no fear in you because of that reason..as long as the snake is kept well they will be placid but you do get to know their characters so know how to handle them and they do live longer in captivity than the wild...bb littleowl
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44032)
• United States
19 Mar 09
I used to know someone that had a virtual "zoo" in her home...snakes, lizards, cats a dog....she worked part time in a pet shop though and knew how to handle animals...but nope it's real wrong to have other types of wild animals...like big cats, chimps, etc.
@raydene (9874)
• United States
21 Feb 09
Hello Hon I thought that you had to have a special permit or licence to have a wild animal? I know in our knick of the wood we do.. I thought it was a fed law... I find no reason to have one just to have it...I mean if you are training them for a reason that's one thing but I'm in agreement with you. xoxoxoxoxo
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44032)
• United States
28 Feb 09
I think in her case, she got the chimp before mandatory licenses went in affect in her area. She wasn't a pro-animal trainer though no matter what, not like a person who handles wild animals for movies
@anniepa (27279)
• United States
21 Feb 09
Every time I hear of a story like this I'm amazed; what in the world was this woman thinking! I made many trips to various zoos and parks where they have wild animals and I've heard over and over again about chimps becoming aggressive and mean when they get older and how an adult chimp has four times the strength of a human of the same weight. Come on!! Travis had the strength of an 800 pound man!! That poor woman is very lucky to be alive, he could obviously have killed her in an instant if he'd been of a mind to. Where and how in the world did she get him to begin with? Annie
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44032)
• United States
28 Feb 09
Who knows where that woman got the chimp...but exotic pets of any kind should be outlawed with the exception of maybe pro-animal trainers who have them for movies...she wasn't a pro-animal trainer...just a nutcase if you ask me.
• United States
21 Feb 09
Some people can actually handle big animals, no matter how dangerous they are
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44032)
• United States
28 Feb 09
Yes maybe professional animal trainers can, but an average person can't
• United States
21 Feb 09
When I was much younger, I used to live in San Diego. As a kid I remember a neighbor who worked at the zoo. Every week she would bring home a different animal. I used to go over there to see what she brought home next. Everything from chimps to snakes! Did you hear of the incident in Louisville, Kentucky where someone let loose an alligator? Yes they are cute and cuddly as babies lol....but they do get BIG and HUNGRY! I don't know what makes people think they can care for exotic pets outside of their natural habitat. Maybe if you're rich and can care for the animals properly it would be acceptable. I hear tigers go for at least 5-6 grand these days.
@pyewacket (44032)
• United States
28 Feb 09
Nope can't say I heard about that incident about a person let loose an alligator in Kentucky. I used to have a friend who worked part-time at a pet shop and she was always bringing home snakes, tarantulas, lizards...that besides her "normal" type pets of cats, a dog and a parrot.
@mariposaman (2967)
• Canada
20 Feb 09
It is well known that adult chimps are moody and dangerous animals. All the chimps you see in commercials are immature chimps because the can still be managed. Once they mature they are dumped for young chimps. This mature chimp was 200 pounds and they are reported to be many times stronger than humans. As far as I am concerned wild animals belong in the wild. As we want to over populate the world and continue to encroach on wild spaces and poach out of those wild places that are left it is getting increasingly difficult to find wild spaces of safety to leave wild animals in. It should be against the law to keep certain animals as pets and the chimps should be one of these.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44032)
• United States
28 Feb 09
In many cases wild animals ARE against the law to have, but all too many people can get them through the black market...in other words it comes down to money...have the money for a wild animal, one can get it unfortunately..wonder how this woman got the chimp? Couldn't have been legally
@snowcat46 (2322)
• United States
19 Feb 09
They want something because it's cool, not caring what might happen in the future. All they're concerned about is how other people will look at them and think they're cool, and what they want. They don't care about the animals, only themselves. It's wrong. These animals aren't doing anything wrong, they're just being themselves. A big cat is a hunter, to treat them like a pet is seriously stupid. A chimp may be man-like, but he's not a man. He doesn't have the same needs or wants. He needs to be around his own kind, not silly humans who don't have a clue. When we put them in our world, we're expecting them to change their entire self-preservation instincts. It's just not gonna happen.
@pyewacket (44032)
• United States
28 Feb 09
I had later seen an interview with this woman and she clearly looked like some kind of nut case to begin with....she dressed him up like he was a "son", and even let the chimp sleep with her...sounds a bit kinky to me..LOL
@nanajanet (4436)
• United States
19 Feb 09
It should be illegal and if they own pets for commercial purposes, then they need a special place for them away from family, friends and neighbors. No matter how loving they may be, they still have natural instincts. It can happen even with a dog or cat but they are raised to be more domesticated. Also, look at Sigfried and Roy and that terrible attack. They are WILD and it would take hundreds of years of inbreeding to change that.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44032)
• United States
28 Feb 09
Most people who are animal trainers for wild animals that are used say in movies, usually do live apart from regular neighborhood situations. This woman though was by no means an animal trainer, just a nut case who wanted a "different" type of pet
@irisheyes (4372)
• United States
19 Feb 09
What surprised me was that her neighborhood (at least what I could see of it on the news) looked like an average suburban neighborhood. I thought all suburban and city areas had township ordinaces forbidding people to keep pets from the wild. In the part of Pennsylvania where I live, you can't even keep small farm animals much less an animal from the wild the size of that chimp.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44032)
• United States
28 Feb 09
From what I understand she got the chimp years before the neighborhood/town forbade wild animals...so she was exempted from the clause
@moondancer (7433)
• United States
19 Feb 09
I don't know why these people think they need wide animals in their homes. There are so many domestic animals that need home and are put to sleep everyday because there is not a home for them. It's a shame that these people will not consider taking one if not more of these poor animals.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44032)
• United States
28 Feb 09
You're so right. There are so many dogs and cats from shelters that need good homes so why a person like this can't settle to have one is beyond me.
• Canada
19 Feb 09
WILD ANIMALS are meant to be WILD! Why do people not understand that? Yep, get pets that have a history of being friends to man, and safe to have living with you and your family. But some people just think they can have ANYTHING they want, because they can afford it. It makes me sick. STUPID, STUPID People.
@pyewacket (44032)
• United States
28 Feb 09
Mmmmm....well look at Micheal Jackson....at his expensive Neverland estate (which he had to sell)--it had a real zoo on the property....guess he figures since he's rich he can have anything--think he had elephants, giraffes, chimps, peacocks