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Born Free USA Blog

Born Free USA Blog

A modern day tragedy: Charla Nash and Travis the chimp

Published 11/12/09
By Born Free USA Staff

In February 2009, Born Free USA posted a passionate blog on the tragic incident involving Travis, a “pet” chimpanzee who got loose from his “owner” and attacked a woman named Charla Nash. There were many victims that day. Travis lost his life, Charla Nash very nearly lost hers, and she and her family are the ones who must deal, every day, with the tragic consequences of someone else’s irrational desire to keep a dangerous wild animal as a pet.

On yesterday’s Oprah Winfrey show, Charla Nash made an incredibly courageous decision – not just to tell her story, but to show her injuries to the world.

We cannot imagine what Ms. Nash has been through, even in our deepest darkest dreams, and it saddens us to no end that keeping dangerous wild animals is still legal in so many places. We hope that her bravery in speaking up changes some minds and leads lawmakers to ban this ridiculous practice. Wild animals belong in the wild, not in our homes, and not in cages and concrete cells. By continuing to allow the keeping of dangerous wild animals as pets, we give the nod to wildlife trafficking, poaching, and so many other practices that decimate the wildlife of the world — and put innocent people at risk.

Sadly, Ms. Nash isn’t the only victim of this “crime.” Many others have been critically wounded, and even killed, by dangerous wild animals kept as pets and, as we at Born Free USA always ask — how many more will it take to put the practice to an end?

Thank you, Ms. Nash, for your honesty and bravery in speaking out. We can only hope your experience, and the pain you and your family so gracefully endure, move people to demand an end to this dangerous, irrational hobby practiced by so few, yet that affects so many.

With greatest respect,

The Staff (and former primate “pets”) of Born Free USA

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