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TV has presented us with a distorted version of chimps. The cute ones we see on TV are actually infants.  Once chimps reach puberty they become unmanageable, dangerous animals who sometimes take up very human vices.  To make matters worse mature male chimps weigh around 200lbs and their muscles are around five times more powerful than the average humans. With that much muscle adult chimp human interactions are just accidents waiting to happen. Zoos, researchers know how dangerous these animals are, which is why there is strict rules on cage strength and locking mechanisms. Researchers who deal with chimps a lot often look like the yakuza because they accidentally stuck their fingers in a cage and lost a finger digit or two to an angry chimp.

The Davises

Davises famliy and their chimp

The Davis family was like any other except instead of having children they had a chimp named Moe. Chimp and humans lived together for years with the family in seemingly harmony but then an incident happened in 1998 when Moe escaped from his house and attacked the police and their cars. Then a year later he bit a women’s finger.  After the bitting incident Moe was seized by the government.  After years of court battles the Davises were able to get Moe sent to a chimp sanctuary where the Davises would often visit. It was there disaster would strike.

On March 3, 2005 while they were having a picnic with their chimp Moe two adult male chimps escaped from the sanctuary cages. The chimps pounced on the Davises. 6’2″ St. James Davis tried desperately to protect his wife but even the former linebacker was no match for the chimps’ strength. They quickly bit off the wife’s thumb and then turned their attention to St. James. At first they mauled his face biting off his nose and most of his jaw. Incapacitated they focused on his removing his fingers and ate most of his buttocks and ripped off portions of his genitalia. Finally the screams of the horribly mauled couple brought the owners of the park running and they were able to shoot the two chimps but not before the chimps devoured St. James’ left foot.

Many operations later allowed St James to function but he remains horribly disfigured as seen here.

Travis the Chimp

Travis the Chimp

Travis was raised like one of the family in the Herold family household. Growing up in Stamford, Connecticut Travis was socialized to humans. He was able to open doors using keys, could dress himself, watered plants, was able to feed hay to his owner’s horses, ate at a table with the rest of the family, drank wine from a stemmed glass, logged onto the computer to look at pictures,watched television using a remote control and brushed his teeth using a Water Pik. He stared in a number of TV shows and was a celebrity in his home town. After Herold’s only child died followed by the death of husband Jerome the remaining wife, Sandra Herold, latched onto Travis like a son. They ate, slept and went everywhere together. That all changed on February 16, 2009 when Travis had a mental break and attacked one of Sandra’s friends’ Charla Nash. In the brutal attack Travis ripped off Nash’s face as well as other body parts. After hours of surgery the 56-year-old Nash has no eyes, mouth, eyelids and nose. On Oprah Nash said, “I don’t ask a whole lot about my injuries and I know that I have my forehead.” After the attack police responders to the 9-11 call killed Travis as he tried to enter a police cruiser.

Gary Brown

Texan Gary Brown was working Western Africa when on a day off he went sightseeing at the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary. While him and four other people were driving through the park over a dozen chimps escaped their enclosure. Like a scene from Jurassic Park the Chimps circled his car and the bigger adult chimps attacked. They quickly broke the windshield. Brown remembers “it was like the glass wasn’t even there”. Even though Brown was 5-foot-9 and weighs more than 200 pounds, the chimp probably outweighed him. “He had every bit two-inch fangs, and he was screaming like a banshee . . . when he was charging us,” he said.

The driver Melvin Mammah tried to fight the chimp off but it only slowed it down as it ripped off half of his hand. They were able to briefly get away in their car but to their horror discovered that the Safari entrance was locked. Ramming the door with the car partially opened in but also got the car stuck. As everyone got out to push the car through the Chimps attacked again. Everyone jumped in the car but like he was a child one of the Chimps ripped Mammah out of the car and started to rip him to pieces. The rest of the people in the car fled but Brown was able to use a branch as a weapon and beat the chimp off Mammah. The two were able to make their escape but one of the people who fled into the bush was cornered by the chimps and killed. The pieces of his body were delivered to the hospital morgue. The army and police had to be called out to hunt down the escapees.

Why Chimps attack

When people see chimps on TV they forget they’re wild animals. Not only wild animals but in nature they are vicious brutal hunters that prey on other monkeys as well as human infants and small children. Chimps in our society can never become domesticated but can sometimes be socialized. It is in the Chimps nature to be intensively territorial. As shown by the video above in the wild Chimps will often raid and kill other Chimp “tribes”, even eating their chimp victims. When Chimps live with humans they have these primal instincts and as they go through puberty and into old age these instincts can trump their training becoming very dangerous to strangers or even their owners.

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