February 18, 2009

"Hurry, please! He ripped her face off... He's eating her...."

The Daily News has the 13-minute 911 call in the chimpanzee incident. You can hear the 911 operator repeatedly refer to "the monkey" and then 5 minutes into it get the picture: "200 pounds?!" Not for the faint of heart.
When cops arrived, Travis tore off a police cruiser's side mirror and opened the door, prompting a cornered cop to open fire on the burly ape.

The bleeding chimp staggered back into the house and died.

"I don't blame the cop for what he did," [chimp owner Sandy] Herold said. "It's a tragedy on both sides."
Sooooo.... she's mourning the chimp.
The attack stunned Herold's friends and neighbors - and even left actress Morgan Fairchild, who once appeared alongside Travis in an Old Navy ad, devastated.

"This is not at all the personality I worked with," Fairchild told the Daily News. "It was like having a very bright child on the set that wanted to be a part of everything. He was just an amiable little guy, friendly and just loved to be the center of attention."
Oh! Morgan Fairchild is devastated. He was just an amiable little guy, friendly and just loved to be the center of attention. Well, then, he sure got what he loved.

Here's a news clip about the attack that reveals that Herold's chimpanzee-keeping was not illegal in Connecticut. While the laws had been tightened up, Herold's chimpanzee, having grown up in Stamford, was grandfathered in.

IN THE COMMENTS: Michael H wrote:
He was just an amiable little guy, friendly and just loved to be the center of attention.

It was a 200 pound wild animal, you dunce, not Mickey Rooney.

AND: HelenParr said:
"This is not at all the personality I worked with,"

OMG! Morgan Fairchild channels Barack Obama in his patented under-the-bus maneuver.

109 comments:

J said...

Thar's "noted primatologist Morgan Fairchild" to you, so you can drop the sarcasm. Unlike you, she actually did a commercial with a chimp once.

AllenS said...

"This is not at all the personality I worked with," Fairchild told the Daily News.

[bold added]

After all, she's been working with actors and has probably seen quite a few personalities. John Kerry, IIRC dated her for a while. There's another personality.

Pogo said...

Where the Wild Things Are
by Maurice Sendak
First Draft

The night Travis wore his ape suit and made mischief of one kind

and another

his mother called him "WILD THING!"
and Travis said "I'LL EAT YOU UP!"
so he was sent to bed without eating anything.

So Travis ate her up.

The End.



Apparently Sandy Herold's friend didn't remember to tame Travis with the magic trick of staring into his yellow eyes without blinking once.

I mean, seriously, an Elmo doll? WTF?
I've bitten people for less than that.

Psychedelic George said...

This is (sort of) a part of the re-barnyardization of the suburbs, as in Boston:

"Suburbanites who own farm animals steer conversations about their pets to intangible benefits, such as peace of mind, and a stronger connection to the earth and to the region's rural past. Owning a chicken or donkey just feels different from owning a dog or a cat, they say, in part due to their relative positions in the food chain.

"Both dogs and cats are predators," McGoldrick said. [He owns a brown Nigerian dwarf 'pet' goat, Bambi.] "These animals are on the other side of the whole predator-prey thing. They are so gentle and so comforting. How did Gandhi put it? Our humanity is measured by the way which we treat the most vulnerable," he said, paraphrasing the renowned Indian pacifist."

And here's a website specifically devoted to the laws governing the keeping of chickens in various U.S. cities. I may keep up to 10 chickens in my town, after paying a permit fee, of course.

On the other hand, there's something to be said for it. When my grandparents wanted chicken for dinner, they (or a cook) went into the yard and wrung one's neck. Watched it run around. Children watched. Useful educational tool.

Pogo said...

XANAX® XANAX TS™
Pharmacia & Upjohn
Alprazolam
Anxiolytic - Antipanic

"As with all benzodiazepines, paradoxical reactions such as stimulation, agitation, rage, increased muscle spasticity, sleep disturbances, hallucinations and other adverse behavioral effects may occur in rare instances and in a random fashion. Should these occur, use of the drug should be discontinued."

kynefski said...

Oh! Morgan Fairchild is devastated. He was just an amiable little guy, friendly and just loved to be the center of attention. Well, then, he sure got what he loved.

What the fuck? Seriously. Fairchild's response seems reasonable to me. She didn't know the victim; she knew the ape. But, hey, it's Morgan Fairfield, so she must have been being a jerk.

Lem said...

I don’t think I would have been able to keep it together.. keep from laughing my head off had I been that 911 dispatcher.

Who's killing her?

The chimpanzee...

I’m sorry.

Brian Johnson said...

The University of Wisconsin is home to some of the world's top primatologists. I worked at the the Wisconsin Regional Primate Center for three years as an undergrad and I did take a couple of courses.

I had an excellent professor who had worked with Dian Fossy and had also observed adult chimps for years. He warned us a number of times that adult chimps were extremely dangerous and that they belonged in the wild.

As I recall, adult chimpanzees have 5 times the strength of a human. They are completely unpredictable. The only chimps you see in movies and on TV are pre-adolescent. After less than ten years or so, the trained animals are usually quietly shipped off to Zoos and labs because they can no longer be kept in normal cages, but instead need to be kept in special enclosures.

So adult chimps and humans, really don't mix.

m00se said...

You need to go out *pet* nature.

Worked out about as well for this twit as it worked out for Timothy Treadwell and his girlfriend.

Familiarity breeds contempt. Then it eats you.

Michael H said...

He was just an amiable little guy, friendly and just loved to be the center of attention.

It was a 200 pound wild animal, you dunce, not Mickey Rooney.

MadisonMan said...

Should these occur, use of the drug should be discontinued.

I believe the chimp is no longer getting the meds.

Shanna said...

Holy crap, I remember those commercials. It was that chimp? I imagine that would be weird for an actor, to have worked with an animal and then it ends up doing something like this.

J said...

"Fairchild went on to say that though Travis was very docile, chimpanzees in the entertainment industry have a long history predatory behavior towards humans.
"Sparkles, the chimp who played Bonzo, stalked his co-star, Ronald Reagan, for years. At one point the former president had a restraining order against him, after he destroyed Angie Dickenson's trailer during the filming of "The Killers".

Sparkles was killed in 1981, when the detonator in an improvised explosive banana he apparently intended to use against the president was activated by the microwave oven in a nearby 7-11".

HelenParr said...

"This is not at all the personality I worked with,"

OMG! Morgan Fairchild channels Barack Obama in his patented under-the-bus maneuver.

rhhardin said...

Wild just means they don't inhabit quite the same space as people.

Your wolf may love you, but you can't trust him around your guests, as Vicki Hearne put it.

A dog you can trust. Those we call domesticated.

A good trainer can move quite a distance towards the wild animal and get along fine, but the ordinary plodding around human isn't that atuned to what's going on and is likely to stumble across some tripwire in the animal's space eventually.

Fred4Pres said...

Stalin's half human-chimp warrior hybrids revealed!

Mothers of half human-chimp hybrids revealed!

Morgan Fairchild, be glad you were not next!

traditionalguy said...

Travis the Beast evolved in in Jungle where the rule was that the fittest eat first and ask questions later. So the way Travis treated these weak and helpless women really did show his Humanity. Animals For The Ethical Treatment of People will have to raise Chimp Awareness that eating humans is a cruel... oh yeah, that's why they do it. Looks like concealed carry with 45 cal ammo is always the only solution that works here for both women and policeman who otherwise would have been his Lunch Special. Predators just hate it when the Lunch Special is tragically armed. Query: did this innocent, until proven guilty, alleged attacker, get Due Process of Law? He could easily have resumed his cute little guy act in front of the jury and got off on self defense or his right to use violence against those who stole him from his home in Africa?

bearbee said...

At age 14 Travis had already reached sexual materity.

Was that recognized?

How was it dealt with?

Henry Buck said...

I imagine that would be weird for an actor, to have worked with an animal and then it ends up doing something like this.

I don't know about that, Robert Blake worked with a lot of actors, and O.J. was in a few movies, too.

vet66 said...

This sad tale reminds me of how the left deals with terrorists. After the terrorist stages an attack, the lefty loons parrot Morgan Fairchild in a CUMBAYA moment of foregiveness.

Sounds like our current foreign policy towards radical Islam.

EDH said...

I agree with vet66.

I wouldn’t go as far as to say that all chimps hate us, or speculate as to why, but this is revealing.

CarmelaMotto said...

The woman is a kookaroo. She was on TV a moment ago and her main concern seems to be that people don't hate her for stabbing the chimp or for the police shooting it (on the 911 tape she is begging cops to kill it because he is eating her friend and she's next).

She said somthing along the lines of, "I stabbed him and he looked at me like, Mom, what are you doing?"

Mom?

Kookaroo.

As the dog whisperer would say, "You are treating as human. This is not human."

Ron said...

When Morgan Fairchild finally loses it at the monkey house, and has to be shot by the chimp cop, will we see a tearful Tori Spelling, saying "She was not like this on Dallas when she worked for daddy!"?

EDH said...

What triggered the rage of Travis the Ape, we may never know.

But it's interesting his name was Travis.

CarmelaMotto said...

Oh, and to prove she didn't mis-treat the animal (because she thinks that's the issue), she said in the same interview that she fed him filet mignon and lobster tail.

Kookaroo!

Freeman Hunt said...

How is the death of the chimp a tragedy? The death of the chimp is good--it was eating someone's face!

The tragedy is the woman who's been maimed.

Paul Snively said...

Put me down as feeling very strongly that the killing of the chimpanzee was tragic because it became necessary due to the stupidity of the people around it.

FWIW, the killing of any animal approximately as intelligent as a chimpanzee makes me extremely uneasy. I'm no Gaia worshipper, but I strive to eat dolphin-safe tuna precisely because the thought of dolphins being killed by tuna fishing nets makes me positively sick to my stomach. Tuna, on the other hand, are very tasty.

Big Mike said...

A 200 pound chimpanzee can take apart a 300 pound pro football player, and scarcely notice he's done it. Brian, please correct me if I'm wrong, but what's supposed to look like a chimpanzee's smile is actually an aggression display.

In the sequel to "Jurassic Park" Dr. Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum's character) says something about at first it's all cuteness, later on comes the screaming and dying. I couldn't find that quote, but the following seems appropriate:

Dr. Malcolm: Did you find him?
Roland Tembo: Just the parts they didn't like.

AllenS said...

I've often wondered why don't we eat dolphins. Don't they taste good?

Big Mike said...

Ha! Found it.

Dr. Malcolm: Oooh! Ahhh! That's how it always starts. Then later there's running and screaming.

Tibore said...

I think Fairchild's reaction illustrates the problem humans have with anthropomorphization. I don't doubt that Travis was indeed "an amiable" animal. Problem is, what he did to the woman was also very much part of his makeup. This isn't an aberrant act; rather, it's entirely conceivable once you remember that the attacker is, after all, only a chimpanzee that's evolved over the millenia to survive among other wild animals. Both sides of Travis's nature exist, and it's only the human constructs of "friendly" and "destructive" that makes this situation seem out of the ordinary. Fact is, any chimp is capable of being nice and adorable one minute, and lethal the next. It's simply the way nature evolved them.

Too many people are too often not in tune with nature. Hell, I'm not, that's for certain. But at least I realize that the cute, furry racoon has the ability to seriously injure you if he wants to. Ditto the funny, rolicking chimpanzee. Our concepts of morality aren't even comprehended by lower animals, let alone other human characteristics. But for some odd reason, we try to project those onto animals, when in fact, they have their own reasons for why they do things.

As an example of the dissonance of human anthropomorphization: It always cracks me up how dolphins are portrayed by us non-scientists. Even I occasionally fall into that mindset. Dolphins are cute, fun-loving creatures, right? After all, they gave us that rousing musical number So Long, and Thanks For All The Fish. But we forget, they're survivors in an ocean with sharks and orca, and they thrive in harsh circumstances. I recall a televised experiment (on Discovery? Animal Planet?) where a team demonstrated that Australian Great Whites were intimidated by the presence of a fake dolphin. Sharks are thought of as the ultimate predators of the seas, but they respect dolphins. What does that tell you? That cute, fun-loving creature has instincts we don't seem to want to take into account when we latch onto our popular, social images of those creatures. We only think of the hoop-jumping and fish-begging.

And that rounds back to Travis, the chimp here. Morgan Fairchild is latching onto her image of the cute creature she worked with once. And that's fair in a sense: It's the only side of Travis she ever got to see back then. But as I said above, there are other sides to him, and not all of them are amiable. And that has nothing to do with morality. Rather, it's just the imperative of survivial that doesn't go away just because a human gave him a home and made him live among us.

reader_iam said...

I just knew there'd be an article today in which Herold "mourns" the chimp and "expresses concern" about the human. Shoulda placed a bet.

reader_iam said...

I can appreciate that the chimpanzee was placed by humans in an inappropriate environment. Other than that, I feel nada for the chimp but tremendously for the 55-year-old woman.

How ironic is it that, assuming the victim survives, her face is likely to end up the sort that makes kids stare and adults uncomfortable--unlike that of the adorable, amiable 200-pound chimp?

Pogo said...

I used to fall for this joke from my brother:

Bro: Hey, does your face hurt?

Me: Uh, no-o-o ...why?

Bro: Well, it's killing me!
Ba-dum-bum

Of course, I'm an easy mark.

LordSomber said...

What happened to the old days when they just flung feces? I blame violent video games and talk radio.

reader_iam said...

Call me cold, but had one of our beloved dogs, or even my beloved cat when he was alive, gone for my kid's, or an kid's, face I'd have put him down that down, and without guilt. Which is something I made clear to my husband before we had kids.

But then, I was attacked and mauled by a German Shepherd as a small child--dragged around by my head, in fact (resulting in scores of stitches and three plastic surgeries before I entered school). I can't even begin to understand what that poor woman, the victim, went through and is going through. Can't even begin.

Anyway, my lines with regard to any story, any situation like this are bright, clear, strong and unequivocal. And while I love animals, I'm notably unromantic about them in certain key ways.

Call me quirky that way.

Pogo said...

My best friend's dog, a friendly little guy, bit him in the nose (almost ripping it off) once when they were rubbing noses, something they'd done a jillion times before.

He drop-kicked that little bugger across the yard and their Dad had it killed the next day.

I look at my cat ve-e-ery suspiciously, and don't let him near any heavy equipment.

PatCA said...

This is sort of a postmodern version of Life of Pi.

Already people are leaving a memorial for Travis and are leaving hate calls for the owner.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Thank god Morgan Fairchild has finally weighed in. In tragic times like these, we need a public figure to unite us.

Jason said...

What's that? Hawaiian noises?!!

Anthony said...

Put me down as feeling very strongly that the killing of the chimpanzee was tragic because it became necessary due to the stupidity of the people around it.

Bingo. It's not like the chimp had any clue as to what he was doing was right or wrong. He was just an animal doing what animals do. It's the stupid humans who put him and themselves in an untenable situation. So yeah, I do feel sorry for the critter.

Darcy said...

Yeah, I don't think anyone is really questioning that killing the monkey became necessary. Still, as Paul Snively says, it's tragic that it came to that and a beautiful, wild animal was killed.

Tragically dangerous "owner". I don't agree with the death threats, but the focus of this story should be to stop this madness.

Darcy said...

And what Anthony said. :)

Michael H said...

Why did the owner not have a gun? People who own wild animals should have immediate access to a gun in order to protect others by shooting the animal if it attacks.

Animal bites friend, shoot animal. Case closed. Then call police.

traditionalguy said...

Tibore...You come dangerously close to categorizing animals apart from humans (descendants of Adam in scripture). Does this mean Humans have Dominion over all animals? That will be a fresh way to see the world for many Mentally Ill persons working out their love/hate emotions thru animals. The Truth will set you free, and you will be dis-ilusioned,i.e.,you will lose your illusions.Thanks.

EDH said...

Jason said...
What's that? Hawaiian noises?!!


That ain't work'n.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Anyway, my lines with regard to any story, any situation like this are bright, clear, strong and unequivocal. And while I love animals, I'm notably unromantic about them in certain key ways.

Call me quirky that way.


Actually I'd call it reasoned and normal.

AllenS said...

Althouse--

You owe HelenParr a tag, and she won the best of post.

Tibore said...

This isn't quite a sign of anthropomorphization, but it is a loud-and-clear indication of intellectual disconnect: Anyone see PETA's "Sea Kitten" campaign?

Fish ≠ feline. Superimposing a human construct does not change the reality of the animal. But that doesn't seem to give the PETA folks pause. They're probably mourning Travis over the injured woman as well, because they're demonstrating the same blind spots we've all been discussing in this thread. It's just in their case, they're going out of their way to demonstrate it.

John Lynch said...

Animals aren't people.

Is there something wrong with our society when so many people adopt animals not as pets or livestock but as children? Are we missing all the children we should be having?

Why is this behavior, which people 100 years ago would consider odd, so prevalent?

$9,000,000,000 Write Off said...

All Travis wanted was a Pepsi but Ms. Nash wouldn't give it to him.

Freeman Hunt said...

The lady shouldn't have owned a chimp. That said, I don't feel too bad for the chimp being in an inappropriate environment. I don't have a huge amount of empathy for wild animals that rend people to pieces. Why should I? Up with people and all that.

Ann Althouse said...

"You owe HelenParr a tag..."

Sorry. An oversight. Done.

Freeman Hunt said...

I should add that I don't see how arguing that the animal is both amoral and extremely intelligent should make me care about it more. That only makes it sound more monstrous.

Tex the Pontificator said...

"Sooooo.... she's mourning the chimp."

As one who believes PETA stands for People Eating Tasty animals, I would not belittle the woman for regrets about the chimp. It had been an important part of her life and was a creature with a personality, one she knew well. Putting aside whether she should have had the animal to begin with, I think the owner hit the right tone. She agreed with what had to be done and her first concern was for the human victim, but she also regretted what was necessary. Even I regret what was necessary, and I've never seen a chimp outside a zoo.

emily said...

They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill."

And the response is predictable.

traditionalguy said...

I thought Obama wanted to be seen like Abe Lincoln? And,yes, as a lifetime Georgia White person raised around Georgia white people, I can say that is a 100% racist cartoon. And it's not even funny.

William said...

What's the opposite of xenophobia? Shouldn't there be some pejorative term for people who have a pathological trust in peoples and creatures that are strange and different?....Jane Goodall when she lived in the wild among chimpanzees witnessed a chimp mother kill the babies of other chimps. The killer than fed the bodies to her own children. Ms Goodall fell into a profound depression after witnessing this. She had romanticized the chimps as some kind of noble savages....I suppose that even as the emotions of chimps can cause them to go ape, the affections of humans can cause them to go sentimental.

Shanna said...

Call me cold, but had one of our beloved dogs, or even my beloved cat when he was alive, gone for my kid's, or an kid's, face I'd have put him down that down, and without guilt.

I agree with you to an extent, especially about a dog (I’ve never understood why people have mean tempered dogs), but I put cats in kind of a different category. With the exception of a baby (I would not leave a cat where it could get to a baby), I think children should be taught to respect the fact that animals are not like us. That if you pull the cats tail, it might bite you. That’s not the cat’s fault. (exceptions for especially ill tempered cats). Hell, maybe if this lady had been scratched by a cat in childhood or bitten by a dog she would have known better than to keep a 200 pound chimp in her house.

If this means you don’t have pets with children, well that’s fine.

Big Mike said...

Freeman, as I wrote yesterday a chimpanzee's intelligence is entirely alien from ours. A chimp does some things that we call intelligent, but Jane Goodall found chimpanzees doing things that we might not call intelligent, but which moved the particular animal up the pecking order. To the extent that a chimpanzee has a moral code of any sort, it would be entirely unrecognizable to members of our genus as such.

In his books about his dogs Jon Katz makes a similar point about canine intelligence.

And lighten up traditionalguy. It's pretty well established that Barack Obama had essentially no input to the stimulus bill (so named because it is intended to stimulate contributions to the Democrat party, not because it will stimulate the economy). So the cartoon mocks Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, Harry Reid, Chris Dodd, etc., none of whom are Black.

Bissage said...

I had a pet chimp but I had it euthanized after it attacked me with a strange black monolith.

Revenant said...

Put me down as feeling very strongly that the killing of the chimpanzee was tragic because it became necessary due to the stupidity of the people around it.

I don't get how that's tragic. If leaping on people and ripping their faces off is normal and expected behavior for a chimp, then why should we be sorry when they're killed?

Just because it is NATURAL for an animal to be dangerous to humans doesn't oblige humans to respect that. Nature's not the boss of us.

Michael said...

ANN - "Sooooo.... she's mourning the chimp."

Of course she is, but she also said that it was "a tragedy on both sides."

She owned the animal for many years and one would have to assume she was rather fond of it...maybe even considering it a part of her extended family.

Pets attack people every day and have to be put down, but it doesn't detract from the fact that the owner may be terribly sorry for what happened, but also sad over losing it as a companion.

This was a tragedy to say the least, and I feel horrible for the poor woman who was attacked, but you're just using specific quotes and reactions to hype the local gang who follow your every lead.

Revenant said...

To the extent that a chimpanzee has a moral code of any sort, it would be entirely unrecognizable to members of our genus as such.

Exactly. There are HUMAN moral codes that are completely incomprehensible to humans who didn't grow up with them. We shouldn't be surprised if the same is true for a different species.

Michael said...

Shanna said..."Call me cold, but had one of our beloved dogs, or even my beloved cat when he was alive, gone for my kid's, or an kid's, face I'd have put him down that down, and without guilt."

Absolutely.

But are you also saying you wouldn't be sad for having to do it, and for the loss of a companion?

C'mon...

blake said...

Hmmmm. Monkey shines.

Henry Buck sez I don't know about that, Robert Blake worked with a lot of actors, and O.J. was in a few movies, too.

And I'm sure it was weird for most of them to see those guys on trial, especially if they worked with them 15-20 years before their crimes.

Paul Snively sez ...I strive to eat dolphin-safe tuna precisely because the thought of dolphins being killed by tuna fishing nets makes me positively sick to my stomach.

Last I heard, dolphins are about as smart as dogs, which would make them less smart than tasty, tasty pigs.

I've often wondered why don't we eat dolphins. Don't they taste good?

No, they have good PR as Paul demonstrates. (And I don't exclude myself from the squicky feeling I'd probably get eating a dolphin.)

In fact, s cookbooks from the '50s and '60s not infrequently featured dolphin recipes. Joy of Cooking, I believe, to name one.

Anthony said...

If leaping on people and ripping their faces off is normal and expected behavior for a chimp, then why should we be sorry when they're killed?

It was because of people that it was around people and able to do that. If he'd been caged or, better yet, among his peers in Africa, it wouldn't have happened.

AlphaLiberal said...

Cue Grateful Dead:

"Steal your face right off you head..."

Okay, that was a whole different context that didn't even involve chimpanzees.

Skyler said...

Tibore wrote, Too many people are too often not in tune with nature. Hell, I'm not, that's for certain.

I don't try to be in tune with nature. I try to ensure nature is in tune with me. That's how mankind has thrived.

Freeman Hunt sensibly wrote, I should add that I don't see how arguing that the animal is both amoral and extremely intelligent should make me care about it more. That only makes it sound more monstrous.

Freeman Hunt is a very cool chick.

Pogo said...

Ain't she, though?

Big Mike said...

blake, I'm certain that the "dolphins" mentioned in the old cookbooks you reference are the fish called "mahi-mahi" today.

The mammalian dolphins spend all day long swimming around the ocean, eating, and copulating. They have no police or court system, no kletocracy, work for no bosses, pay no taxes. And you think we're smarter than they are?

Palladian said...

"Okay, that was a whole different context that didn't even involve chimpanzees."

You never know...

Andrea said...

What took the dispatcher so long to figure out what the problem was? Couldn't he tell from Herold's tone of voice that the situation was lethal?

Send police, ask questions later.

toadold said...

Chimps are dangerous animals. They are a lot stronger per pound than a human is. Also the males especially, as they mature, have a higher level of testosterone than a human would. Humans pay the price for the long maturation process in that we never get a "mature" muscular system similar to that of a chimps. An adult chimp is a 'roid rage accident waiting to happen. If you are a mail they tend to rip your groin apart first.

Palladian said...

"That said, I don't feel too bad for the chimp being in an inappropriate environment. I don't have a huge amount of empathy for wild animals that rend people to pieces. Why should I? Up with people and all that."

Except fat people, of course.

"Freeman Hunt is a very cool chick."

"Ain't she, though?"

Debatable.

Jon said...

Brian Johnson said: "As I recall, adult chimpanzees have 5 times the strength of a human."

Arm strength, that is. A chimp's arms are longer and stronger than than its legs- about the same length as human arms, but with several times the muscle mass.

The amount of weight a chimp could lift over his head, isn't 5 times greater than human, since there would be leg and back muscles involved in supporting that weight.

Humans actually have an advantage over chimps in leg strength.

But that's not as useful in a fight, since it's hard to rip someone to pieces with your foot.

Paul Snively said...

blake: Last I heard, dolphins are about as smart as dogs, which would make them less smart than tasty, tasty pigs.

I would only call your attention to this, while acknowledging that the question is a complex one upon which no scientific consensus apparently exists, due at least in part to our lack of clear definitions of "intelligence."

Freeman Hunt said...

Except fat people, of course.

Huh?

Orion said...

Chimps are just like people: They get ornier as they get older. Something set him off and he acted out. If he hadn't attacked the cop he probably woule have calmed down eventually and allowed himselt to be captured. Don't ever get complacent around a chimp: a young one is strong enough to rip your arm off if he spooks.

Seerak said...

Chimps are just like people: They get ornier as they get older.

They also aren't as communicative if they happen to be developing the chimpanzee version of latent paranoid schizophrenia.

And they ARE carnivores, after all.

rhhardin said...

The chimp story is entertainment, most of all.

People enjoy deploring.

doofus said...

Really, just like many other people here, the lesson that I take away from this is: Nature ("cute widdle animals!") + People = Peopleburgers. It should be an article of faith among anyone who deals with wild animals that they are totally unpredictable. Like the old stock market CYA disclaimer - "Past performance is no guarantee of not being eaten the future."

Now, to hijack the thread...Paul Snively, from the 9:00 am-ish comment, are you the same Paul who is the crazed Luther theologian who used to have CleverAcquaintances? If so, I need to call you...

David

AllenS said...

"Chimps are just like people: They get ornier as they get older."

The chimp was a curmudgeon?

doofus said...

Bah. "crazed Luther theologian" should be "crazed LUTHERAN theologian".

Stupid computer. Gives me what I type instead of what I mean. It is almost as bad as a chimp that way.

David

Pogo said...

Aw, show us the love, Palladian. You da man.

Aim that amazing menckenly beam at the chimp, the owner, or Morgan Fairchild; the results will be so much more delicious.

Skyler said...

And they ARE carnivores, after all.

Actually, they are like humans. They are omnivores.

El Duderino said...

Our culture is rife with morosophs who are entirely clueless about the natural world. I started at UCONN on my last day of active duty and had to endure endless undergrads mewling about nature and the need to get back to it. Having spent some months in nature, away from such things as power, water, food, heat, toilet paper, the rule of law and polite society, I can tell you, we are better off on this side of the fence.
The Treadways and Nashs of the world think they can frolic in the autumn mist with wild animals without consequence. Beware such people, they'll get you eaten or at least get your face and fingers gnawed off.

Jim C. said...

Any animal or person that attacks me with near or actual murderous violence will be killed by me if possible. Without a second thought. Their intent or intelligence is irrelevant.

You want to hear hard and cold? I'm finding myself thinking the owner is too stupid to live.

K T Cat said...

Don't like Morgan Fairchild, do we?

Meow.

JohnAnnArbor said...

Nature's not the boss of us.

We can study nature and try to work with it and defend ourselves from it, but nature has a way of reminding us that it's boss, in the end. Understanding its ways is the best defense.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

"William said...

What's the opposite of xenophobia?"

Xenophilia, of course.

If I had an animal who attacked one of my friends or family members, I'd have it put down and I don't think I would feel bad about that at all. I can't see my anger at the animal and remorse for the victim making room for missing companionship or anything else like that.

And ditto whoever said one shouldn't keep a pet one couldn't best physically if one had to.

I cannot figure out how that woman got to the age she is and did not realize that you can't keep an adult chimpanzee as a pet. I BEEN knowing that. But then, I had Steve Irwin tagged as an idiot long before the stingray did. Nature, red in tooth and claw, you know? The world is not a theme park.

Paul Snively said...

doofus: Now, to hijack the thread...Paul Snively, from the 9:00 am-ish comment, are you the same Paul who is the crazed Luther theologian who used to have CleverAcquaintances? If so, I need to call you...

Uh... it wasn't me. You can't prove a thing! I wasn't even there! It was Karlstadt... no, wait... Melancthon...

Oh, what the heck. You found me. :-)

blake said...

If he'd been caged or, better yet, among his peers in Africa, it wouldn't have happened.

Sure it would've. It just would've happened to another chimpanzee. (Probably a baby or small female.)

blake said...

blake, I'm certain that the "dolphins" mentioned in the old cookbooks you reference are the fish called "mahi-mahi" today.

Hmmmmm. So what's all this about "Blowhole Parmesean"?

The mammalian dolphins spend all day long swimming around the ocean, eating, and copulating. They have no police or court system, no kletocracy, work for no bosses, pay no taxes. And you think we're smarter than they are?

Yes, and you know why?

We don't get caught in their tuna nets.

blake said...

But that's not as useful in a fight, since it's hard to rip someone to pieces with your foot.

Well, it's harder after the first 3-4 pieces, but that's usually sufficient to stop a threat.

blake said...

Wow, this is the hot thread today, innit?

I would only call your attention to this, while acknowledging that the question is a complex one upon which no scientific consensus apparently exists, due at least in part to our lack of clear definitions of "intelligence."

Paul, your link includes a "top 10" list that puts squirrels at the top.

You think that's going to stop Althouse from eating them? Oh, no, no, no!

sydney said...

Well, now we know where the term "apeshit" comes from.

Jim Carroll, CRNA said...

Ohhh.

Morgan FAIRCHILD.

I thought it was Morgan Freeman. I always get those two mixed up.

{never mind}

Eli Blake said...

What's it with Obama and the Chimp? First it was the New York Post cartoon this morning and now it's this comment?

This is about a chimp. Leave the President out of it.

Palladian said...

"What's it with Obama and the Chimp? First it was the New York Post cartoon this morning and now it's this comment?

This is about a chimp. Leave the President out of it."

Yes! It's unseemly to compare the President of the United States to a chimp! It's un-American!

Big Mike said...

You da best, Palladian.

comatus said...

Oh no, it wasn't the airplanes.
It was beauty killed the beast.
--Carl Denham, 1933

Freeman Hunt said...

You da best, Palladian.

Debatable. :)

AST said...

This is the sort of thing that makes me hate environmental groups who raise money with posters and calendars of wild animals, portraying them as noble and peaceful and victims of humanity.

I remember reading a statement by some fool who said, "I wouldn't want to live in a world with no grizzly bears."

There was a reason why fairy tales included the Big Bad Wolf so often.

When you go to hunt a polar bear, you fly around until you spot one, then land and wait for him to come after you.

Here are a few rules:
Don't have a pet who can pull your arm off and beat you with it.

Don't believe the cartoons about Wile E. Coyote. The real ones will kill pets and children. So do mountain lions.

Tibore said...

"Skyler said...
Tibore wrote, Too many people are too often not in tune with nature. Hell, I'm not, that's for certain.

I don't try to be in tune with nature. I try to ensure nature is in tune with me. That's how mankind has thrived."



Maybe that was a bad way of putting it. I sort of meant "attuned", not "living in harmony" or "living less like a human". What I was trying to get across was that people misunderstand nature as well as wild and undomesticated animals. There's this lack of comprehension that many of our human values are simply not applicable to non-humans. A person strangling someone is murder, but a python doing it is simply trying to eat.

Anyone recall Ernst Blofeld's post from 2006? It's a good example of what I mean about someone substituting value judgements that's out of place.

"I used to work with some crusty old former Marine NCOs. We also had a sweet little 19-year old girl working as a secretary straight out of high school.

One day they were eating their lunch outside near a field that had been overrun by rabbits. A few of them took the lettuce off their sandwich and tossed it out on the ground. The cute little fluffy bunnies hopped up, sniffed the lettuce, and started nibbling on it. The secretary thought this was cute.

All of the sudden, out of the clear blue sky, a hawk swooped down, seized the bunny in its talons, and flew off. The bunny gave a little screech before becoming bunny sushi back at the hawk's nest.

The girl was horrified. "Did you see that? The hawk grabbed that cute rabbit while we were feeding it!"

The crusty former Marine NCOs looked at each other. Finally one said "We weren't feeding the rabbits. We were feeding the hawks."

So, Ann, perhaps if you could put some lettuce out in the open and let nature take its course. Hawks have to eat, too."


The "crusty Marine NCO's" had a better grip on nature than the "sweet little 19-year old girl" did. And that exemplifies what I meant by being "in tune with nature".

fav.or.it said...

Wouldn't it be weird if the woman woke up from having face transplant surgery, and saw that the only donor face available came from the chimp? Everybody's got somethin to hide, except for me and my monkey - face.

sent from: fav.or.it

reader_iam said...

Tibore: Indeed, it would be weird if she woke up and saw that--given that among the things "Travis" ate alive was her eyes.

reader_iam said...

"were," not was--the original end was "her ability to see"--but then I screwed up in editing agreement.

Well, there are worse things I could do.

reader_iam said...

I owe Tibore a huge apology, because I screwed up. Actually, three: First, for reading too quickly initially; second, for responding in comment before re-checking; and third, for taking an embarrassingly, almost inexcusably (in my terms, by my standards) long time to notice what I did. Did wrong.

Tibore, I am sorry. I directed to you, specifically, a response that belonged elsewhere (to the comment just after yours). I did not double-check; I did not proof; and I left it just hanging there, for hours.

If you were around for all that time, or even checked in during that time and said nothing, well, all I can say is: You are more temperate than I. For which I'm grateful.

Again: I am sorry; there's no excuse, especially given your ACTUAL comment just previous to the one I objected.

Don't know what else to say.