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Police kill pet chimp after woman is injured

Associated Press / February 17, 2009
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STAMFORD, Conn. - A large pet chimpanzee attacked a woman visiting a Stamford home yesterday, leaving her with serious facial injuries, police said.

Officers were called to a house on Rockrimmon Road after the owner lost control of the 175-pound primate, which was shot and killed by a responding officer when it tried to get into his cruiser, police said.

The injured woman was taken to Stamford Hospital. Her condition and identity were not available, but police described her as a woman in her 50s.

The Advocate of Stamford reported on its website last night that the owner called 911 and tried to stop the attack by stabbing the chimpanzee with a butcher knife.

As emergency crews arrived to treat the victim, the chimpanzee - named Travis - revived and opened the door of one of the police cruisers.

The officer inside fired several shots, killing the chimp, The Advocate reported.

Travis's owner and two officers also were hurt. The extent of their injuries was not known.

The 15-year-old chimpanzee was well-known around Stamford because he rode along in trucks belonging to the towing company operated by his owners.

Police have dealt with him in the past, including an incident in 2003 when he escaped from his owners' vehicle in downtown Stamford and was lose for two hours. Officers used cookies, macadamia treats, and ice cream in an attempt to lure him back into the vehicle, but subdued him only after he became too tired to resist.

The owners lived at the same Rockrimmon Road address to which police were dispatched for the attack.

At the time of the 2003 escape, police said the owners told them the chimpanzee was toilet trained, dressed himself, took his own bath, ate at the table, and drank wine from a stemmed glass.

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