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, December 30, 2009

Travis the Chimp: He was one of us, until he wasn't

December 27, 2009
Travis the Chimp: The Wild One
"It's nothing but a tragedy," declared the chief detective, shaking his head and rocking back in his chair. "A Roman tragedy." In 30 years he had seen a lot of cases but never one like this: the media, the public interest, the horror, the nuttiness. He clicked the mouse on his computer and played the 911 call, his eyebrows rising and falling to the terrible notes. On that cold, clear February day, in those eerie moments after the shooting, the detective and his team tracked the perpetrator, following the trail of blood to where his body finally lay, his face in a rictus like "The Death of Marat." The detective still remembered the next morning, opening his eyes in bed, muttering to himself, "That had to be a dream, right?"
It was real, of course - real in the most unscripted, messy and bizarre sense that real life can be; that American life is, with a dollop of celebrity and violence thrown in, news helicopters hovering overhead and the private world of a furry C-list actor on every TV channel, his life suddenly and gruesomely over. By all accounts, the perpetrator lived in louche splendor: filet mignon, lobster tails, Lindt chocolate, ice cream, a glass of wine in the evening. He was bathed by hand in the tub. He did as he pleased. Without a license, he drove the Corvette down the long driveway, out over nearby roads and back. He drew pictures: abstract, colorful scribblings that hung on the refrigerator and seemed to mean something to him when, in the vein of a tortured artist, he took them down for re-examination. When not drawing or playing with his stuffed animals and trapeze bar, he might surf the Web or grab the remote, sink into the couch and flip channels until finding a baseball game. (His team: whoever was on.) He enjoyed cleaning his teeth with a Waterpik.

At first, his celebrity was local. Curious, playful and cuddly, he rode along with his keepers through his hometown of Stamford, Conn., belted in the back seat. He hugged and kissed. He was a natural ham, leading to commercials for Coca-Cola and Old Navy, in which he played the role of Gilligan, starring with a klatch of B-list icons, pedaling a bamboo bike attached to a palm frond to fan Morgan Fairchild, with whom he then sipped tropical drinks. He filmed a television pilot for a talk show with Michael Moore and Sheryl Crow, appeared on the Maury Povich show. He couldn't speak except for pant-hoots and teeth-clacking, whimpering grunts and hooing, but he could, and did, allow photographs with his multitude of fans. And yet, as with many aging child actors, the work dried up. He developed a paunch. Meanwhile, he and his "mother," a human named Sandra Herold, suffered twin blows: his "sister" died in a car crash; his "father" died suddenly of cancer, leaving the two of them alone and bereft.

Source and Finale

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