Ky. primate center director says Conn. chimp was 'time bomb'

The founder of an ape and monkey sanctuary in Jessamine County said she pleaded with Connecticut chimpanzee owner Sandra Herold in 2003 to put her animal into such a facility – more than five years before last week's nationally reported attack on a friend.

April Truitt, director of the Primate Rescue Center near Wilmore, said she called after Travis the chimp escaped from Herold's vehicle and stopped traffic in downtown Stamford, Conn.

"I spoke with her after the 2003 incident and begged her to consider putting Travis in a sanctuary at that time," Truitt said. "She was clearly not ready to even consider it.

"We knew that she knew that he was a ticking time bomb, and she needed to find somewhere for him to live out his life," Truitt said. "She, however, was not ready to consider that."

Truitt said Herold's statement at the time was "He can't live with other chimps. He can't live without me."

Herold, who has reportedly stopped doing interviews, could not be immediately reached for comment Tuesday. Authorities have not said whether Herold will face criminal charges.

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