Travis (chimpanzee) - Attacks - 2009 Attack - in Media

In Media

The escape of Travis and his subsequent attack of Charla Nash were used as part of the "Chimps" episode of the Animal Planet 2010-2011 documentary series Fatal Attractions. Sound from the original 9-1-1 call as well as radio traffic from the police shooting of Travis and the aftermath of the hunt were used in the episode.

News reports of the incident spread as far as Ireland and China. The attack, similar to another chimpanzee attack four years earlier in California, provoked discussion on the wisdom of keeping such exotic animals as pets by sources such as Time magazine and primatologists Jane Goodall and Frans de Waal. Afterward, Sandra Herold was allegedly harassed by members of PETA, although the organization stated that it did not have any official involvement.

The incident inspired controversy over a political cartoon: On February 18, 2009, the New York Post published a piece by Sean Delonas depicting a police officer with a smoking gun, standing over the corpse of a chimpanzee, and commenting to a fellow officer, "They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill." The publication of the comic triggered media and other commentary which purported a link between the cartoon's chimpanzee and the stimulus bill's champion, President Barack Obama, and racial overtones relating to African Americans being portrayed as non-human apes. On February 24, 2009, the owner and Chairman of the Post, Rupert Murdoch, apologized for the cartoon.

Reality television actress Kim Kardashian received criticism for posting photos of her family with a three-year-old chimpanzee on her blog only days after the attack. The chimpanzee had been rented for her television show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Kardashian apologized and noted "I understand my timing was not appropriate, and it was insensitive of me. What happened to the woman that was attacked by the chimpanzee was devastating. In no way did I mean to insult or offend anyone by posting these pictures."

Frank Chiafari, the police officer who fatally shot Travis, was initially unable to get his therapy for depression and anxiety covered after the incident. This led to legislation proposed in 2010 that would cover compensation for mental or emotional impairment after killing an animal when under threat of deadly force.

Read more about this topic:  Travis (chimpanzee), Attacks, 2009 Attack

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