The Little Rock Zoo

.The Little Rock Zoo needs to step up and care for the animals better! Please read the several artciles here with deaths, sickness and a bald chimp!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

If You Love a Simian, Set Them Free

She fed him filet mignon and lobster tails. They shared cozy glasses of wine. They bathed and slept together. He tenderly brushed her hair. She gave him gifts and sweet kisses. He drew her pictures.

But this was no ordinary affair of the heart. Sandra Herold was engaging in these loving acts with a 200-pound pet ape.

Herold's human friends said they were always leery of the interspecies intimacy.

If you love a simian, set them free, some tried to tell her - long before Travis went bananas Monday and mauled and mangled Herold's 55-year-old friend Charla Nash.

"It's just weird," one friend said. "It's an animal, not a person. What she had with that monkey was not normal."

It is not uncommon for people to replace the affection of a departed loved one with that of an animal, experts say.

Travis became both a surrogate child and spouse, following the deaths of her daughter in a car accident several years ago and her husband five years ago, friends and psychologists said.

Even if there was no monkey-panky, pals say they were intimate.

"In popular culture, chimpanzees are used as a kind of parody of human behavior - and it seems that this animal became almost a parody of her relationship with her husband," said Howard Welsh, a professor of clinical psychiatry at NYU.

"At the same time, this woman was depriving this animal of a whole world. She made this world for the chimp simply her. He was a chimp in a gilded cage."


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