The chief of psychiatry at the University of Chicago Medical Center, said
the drug Xanax can lead to aggression in people
who are unstable to begin with.
CHIMP GOES APE ON XANAX
Or people who happen to be Chimpanzees?
Let's not just live with a chimp.
Let's get him liquored up and on drugs while we're at it.
Why stop there? Wasn't crack available? How about crystal meth?
Let's get our monkey good and scrambled up.
Chimp Attack Highlights Increased Drug Use Among Pets
by Maryann Mott, National Geographic News
February 20, 2009
Minutes before a pet chimp attacked a woman in Connecticut last weekend, he may have been given the anti-anxiety medication Xanax because he was agitated, according to statements by his owner that she later retracted. The chimp attack raises questions about increased use of anti-anxiety medications among more common pets. Demand for anti-anxiety medications for pets is growing, in part because of increased public awareness of the drugs' potential benefits, said animal-behavior expert Bonnie Beaver of Texas A & M University's College of Veterinary Medicine. It's not known, however, exactly how many pets are taking such drugs, Beaver said.
Common side effects of anti-anxiety medications in pets include drowsiness or sedation, said veterinary behaviorist Melissa Bain of the University of California, Davis. But in dogs, drugs such as Xanax can reduce inhibition, worsening aggression problems, Bain said. Dogs that are both fearful and aggressive, for example, may lose their fear and lash out. "We use [anti-anxiety medications] with caution in aggressive animals, by all means," she said. Other side effects of Xanax, noticed in dogs and cats, include excitement, irritability, and increased affection.
As recently as the early 1990s, it was practically unheard of to treat animal behavior problems with drugs. Today it's routine. Prozac, for example, has been used in a few zoos to treat wild animals, including Johari, an adult female gorilla at Ohio's Toledo Zoo that had been prone to violent fits. But dogs and cats are by far the most common animals to be drugged to combat separation anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, aggression, noise phobia, and other issues. The majority of anti-anxiety medications given to animals are the same ones used for people, although in different doses.
Before any drugs are prescribed by U.S. veterinarians, a general health screening, including blood work, is done to rule out medical conditions that may be causing the unwanted behavior, Texas A&M's Beaver said. All too often, she said, clients show up wanting a "magic pill." But training and other nonmedical treatments are usually needed too. "The owner," Beaver said, "has to be committed to do something besides give a pill a day."
Hollywood chimp gone wild: A cautionary tale
by Harmon Leon, Examiner, Feb 20, 2009
As reported at Freedom Haters, this is a cautionary tale of Hollywood excess. First there was the TV commercials and high-fashion photo shoots. Then there was the wine, the drugs, and finally the bullet that ended his life. Following the tragic path of other fallen stars such as Britney Spears, Dana Plato, Lindsey Lohan, and Danny Bonaduce, we can now add Travis-the-chimp to this sad list. In his earlier days, Travis-the-Chimp starred in Old Navy and Coca Cola commercials. He drank table wine with humans, wore people clothes, and brushed his teeth with a Water Pick. But that was in Travis-the-chimp's glory days. Ten years out of work and a noticeable weight gain prompted a bout with Xanax addiction. Things turned tragic one dark night in February when an incoherent Travis-the-chimp tried to rip the face off of a human who bravely fought back by trying to stab the fallen star with a butcher knife and hitting him in the head with a shovel. Where did it go wrong? Freedom Haters has acquired exclusive video footage of Travis-the-Chimps brutal attack on a human. Warning: this video is not for the squeamish! See YouTube clip of CONQUEST OF THE PLANET OF THE APES.
Slain chimp's owner now says it wasn't on Xanax
by John Christofferen, AP, Feb 20, 2009
Stamford, Conn - The owner of a 200-pound domesticated chimpanzee that went berserk and mauled a Connecticut woman is backtracking on whether she gave the animal the anti-anxiety drug Xanax. Sandra Herold told The Associated Press on Wednesday that she "never, ever" gave the drug to her 14-year-old chimp, Travis. The animal on Monday attacked Herold's friend, 55-year-old Charla Nash, leaving her with critical injuries to her face and hands. However, Herold said in an interview aired Wednesday morning on NBC's "Today" show that she gave Travis the drug in some tea less than five minutes before he attacked Nash — she even showed a reporter the mug. Police have said Herold told them that she gave Travis Xanax earlier on Monday to calm him because he was agitated.
In humans, Xanax can cause memory loss, lack of coordination, reduced sex drive and other side effects. Dr. Emil Coccaro, chief of psychiatry at the University of Chicago Medical Center, said the drug can also lead to aggression in people who are unstable to begin with. "Xanax could have made him worse," if human studies are any indication, Coccaro said.
Stamford police didn't immediate return a call seeking comment. They have said they are looking into the possibility of criminal charges. A pet owner can be held criminally responsible if he or she knew or should have known that an animal was a danger to others. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said Wednesday that a defect in Connecticut's laws allowed Herold to keep the chimp in her home, probably illegally. There are rules requiring large primates to be registered by the state, but officials have some discretion in enforcing them and violations carry only minor penalties, he said. "This animal probably was illegally kept, so far as that statute is concerned," Blumenthal said. "Clearly, some kind of permission was necessary for this animal to be at that residence." Authorities are trying to determine why the chimp, a veteran of TV commercials who could dress himself, drink wine from a glass and use the toilet, suddenly attacked. Investigators said they were also told that Travis had Lyme disease, a tick-borne illness with flu-like symptoms that can lead to arthritis and meningitis in humans. "Maybe from the medications he was out of sorts," Stamford police Capt. Richard Conklin said Tuesday.
Nash had gone to Herold's home in Stamford on Monday to help her coax the chimp back into the house after he got out, police said. After the animal lunged at Nash when she got out of her car, Herold ran inside to call 911 and returned with a knife. After the initial attack, Travis ran away and started roaming Herold's property until police arrived and set up security so medics could reach the critically injured woman, Conklin said. But the chimpanzee returned and went after several of the officers, who retreated into their cars, Conklin said. An officer shot Travis several times after the animal opened the door to his cruiser and started to get in. The wounded chimpanzee fled into the house and retreated to his living quarters, where he died. In 911 tapes released by police Tuesday night, Travis can be heard grunting as Herold cries for help: "He's killing my friend!" The dispatcher says, "Who's killing your friend?" Herold replies, "My chimpanzee! He ripped her apart! Shoot him, shoot him!"
After police arrived, one officer radioed back: "There's a man down. He doesn't look good," he says, referring to the disfigured Nash. "We've got to get this guy out of here. He's got no face." Nash was in critical condition in Stamford Hospital on Wednesday. Herold, a 70-year-old widow whose daughter was killed in a car accident several years ago, told "Today" that the incident was "a freak thing." She said Travis "couldn't have been more my son than if I gave birth to him." She rejected criticism that chimpanzees are inappropriate pets. "It's a horrible thing, but I'm not a horrible person and he's not a horrible chimp." she said.
Travis appeared in TV commercials for Old Navy and Coca-Cola when he was younger, and at home he was treated like a member of the family. Don Mecca, a family friend from Colchester, N.Y., said Herold fed the chimp steak, lobster, ice cream and Italian food. Colleen McCann, a primatologist at the Bronx Zoo, said chimpanzees are unpredictable and dangerous even after living among humans for years. "I don't know the effects of Lyme disease on chimpanzees, but I will say that it's deceiving to think that if any animal is, quote-unquote, well-behaved around humans that means there is no risk involved to humans for potential outbursts of behavior," she said. "They are unpredictable, and in instances like this you cannot control that behavior or prevent it from happening if it is in a private home." Connecticut law requires primates weighing more than 50 pounds to be registered with the state. But state Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Dennis Schain said Herold's chimp was exempted because it did not appear to present a public health risk and was owned before the registration requirement began.
Blumenthal, the attorney general, sent letters to legislative leaders and DEP Commissioner Gina McCarthy, asking them to support a proposed law that would ban all potentially dangerous exotic animals, such as chimpanzees, crocodiles and poisonous snakes, from being kept in a residential setting in Connecticut. McCarthy is seeking a similar law banning large primates. Her agency is also asking the public, police officers and animal control officers who are aware of large primates being kept as pets to report the animals to the agency.
Chimp Attack Highlights Increased Drug Use Among Pets. National Geographic News, Feb 20, 2009
King Kong aint got nothin' on psycho chimp
by Daniel Dunkle, Waldo Village Soup, Feb 19, 2009
I've been giving it some thought and if you decide to get a pet chimp, I don't want to be invited over to your house. I've been reading the articles online about this poor lady who is fighting for her life after her friend's 200-pound chimpanzee, who may or may not have been hopped up on Xanax, tore her face off in a vicious attack. Apparently nature makes chimps strong. Police had to shoot the thing after the creature's owner stabbed it with a butcher knife. All of this was just another typical day in a quiet Connecticut community.
Here's a line from the Associate Press: "Authorities are trying to determine why the chimp, a veteran of TV commercials who could dress himself, drink wine from a glass and use the toilet, suddenly attacked." Really? I'm trying to figure out why he was dressing himself, drinking wine and using the toilet at all? Why isn't he in the wild or in a zoo where he belongs instead of setting up housekeeping in Connecticut? Of course, I operate out of the outdated premise that animals are not people.
My absolute favorite line from the Associate Press story is: "Dr. Emil Coccaro, chief of psychiatry at the University of Chicago Medical Center, said the drug (Xanax) can also lead to aggression in people who are unstable to begin with." Or people who happen to be Chimpanzees. Let's not just live with a chimp. Let's get him liquored up and on drugs while we're at it. Why stop there? Wasn't crack available? How about crystal meth? Let's get our monkey good and scrambled up.
Wild animals are dangerous. This isn't an isolated event. Remember when Australia's crocodile hunter Steve Irwin took his baby son to meet Mr. Gigantic Crocodile while waving a chicken leg around. Fortunately the baby didn't get eaten, but where's Irwin today? He was killed by a stingray in 2006. What about the guy who thought it was a good idea to go and sing to grizzly bears in Alaska? He's dead. How about Siegfried and Roy? Roy was mauled by one of his tigers. All of these people and many other daft individuals at one point or another have claimed to be in complete control of the situation while dealing with wild animals. That is not the case because animals are not people. They are unpredictable and dangerous.
And it's not that I'm not sympathetic. I'm very sympathetic to the poor lady who will be permanently disfigured because she's friends with an idiot. But if you hear that I am killed by my pet lion tonight, I don't expect you to feel sorry for me. I expect you to say, "What a moron!" Just say "no" to exotic pets.
Man jailed for shooting chimp attacking him (chimp Suzy was mother of chimp Travis)
by Christine Byers, StLouisPost, Feb 22, 2009
Jason Coats had to turn off his television during the broadcast of the 911 tape from the scene of a chimpanzee attack in Connecticut last week that nearly left a woman dead. "It was the chimp's screams; I couldn't listen to the screams," he said. The sounds propelled him back to 2001, when >he came face to face with a trio of chimps that escaped from a private farm near Festus. He shot and killed one of them, a 28-year-old chimp named Suzy. Public outrage over his actions followed, as did a trial and felony conviction for property damage and misdemeanor animal cruelty. But news of the attack in Connecticut also has left him feeling vindicated — especially because the chimp that mauled its owner's best friend at her home in Stamford, Conn., was the offspring of the chimp he shot eight years ago. The news also has ignited a national debate over chimp ownership. "It's sad that it takes people being practically killed for people to realize how dangerous these animals are," Coats said. "They are vicious, smart and strong and should never be allowed in residential areas, period."/// Between 1984 and 2001, Suzy had six babies. Sandra Herold of Stamford, Conn., bought Suzy's son, Travis, shortly after he was born. The chimp was 15 years old when he attacked Herold's best friend last week. Police shot and killed the primate....Coats said people who recognized him still called him the "monkey killer." In the trial, Connie Casey said Coats shot Suzy three times after she had been tranquilized. He said >he shot her because she was attacking his dog and turned on him. The jury convicted him. He spent 30 days in jail, and missed the birth of his first son, his first Father's Day, his wife's high school graduation and their first anniversary. Circuit Judge Gary Kramer ordered Coats to write letters of apology to everyone who wrote to the court. Coats estimates he wrote about 300. "I have a hard time taking my kids to the ape house at the zoo," he said. "I have phobia of chimps. I don't see how a person couldn't, after what happened." He fears his sons, Kenny, 6, and Jason, 5, will face the same jeers when they get older. His wife, Angel, said Coats had cried over the stress his conviction had brought on him. He can't vote. He can't own a firearm. He can't take his sons hunting. And his carpentry business doesn't land certain jobs when criminal background checks reveal his past. He said the attack in Connecticut was just one of several that should make people realize how dangerous the chimps were. He points to Mike Casey's attack and another that left former chimp owner St. James Davis mutilated and disabled. "I would rather have a felony than end up like St. James Davis or Mike Casey," he said. "Mine is obviously not the best scenario, but it's far from the worst.I guess I'll take it." He said he still had a hard time taking his boys to visit family members who live in the house where he shot Suzy. The chimps sometimes swing inside their outdoor enclosure just two doors away. And he can hear their screams.
Celebrity chimp savaged handler in drug-fuelled frenzy (shot dead by police)
by James Bone, The Times, Feb 18, 2009
A drugged-up celebrity chimpanzee that appeared in a television advertisement with Morgan Fairchild and was in a show with the singer Sheryl Crow has been shot dead by police after savaging a woman in Connecticut. Travis, a 14st (89kg) chimpanzee, attacked Charla Nash, 55, after grabbing the keys to the kitchen door and escaping from his owner’s house in Stamford on Monday afternoon. Ms Nash was critically injured. Sandra Herold, the 70-year-old owner of the chimp, used a butcher’s knife to try and save her friend. She told police that Travis might not have recognised Ms Nash because she was wearing her hair up.
Travis, 15, was toilet trained, dressed himself, ate at the table and drank wine from a stemmed glass. He brushed his teeth, could use the internet and watched television using the remote control to find his favourite baseball games. When he was younger Travis appeared in a television advertisement for Old Navy clothing with the actress Fairchild and was in a television pilot show with Michael Moore and Crow. He was also a guest on the Maury Povich Show.
Police said that the chimpanzee was being treated for Lyme disease, which can cause mood swings, panic attacks and paranoia in humans. When he became agitated on Monday afternoon he was given a dose of the antianxiety drug Xanax in his tea to keep him quiet. Still rowdy, he snatched the keys to open the kitchen door and began banging on cars outside to signal that he wanted to go for a ride. “The chimpanzee was a little bit rambunctious . . . and actually took the keys to the house and opened the lock to the kitchen door and allowed itself out on to the property,” said Captain Richard Conklin, of Stamford Police Department.
Ms Herold called Ms Nash to help her to get Travis back inside. When her friend arrived Travis attacked her. Ms Herold grabbed a butcher’s knife and tried to fight off her beloved pet, stabbing him several times. Ms Nash suffered severe lacerations to her face, neck and hands.
When police arrived Travis attacked the officers in their cars. He knocked the mirror off one patrol car before opening the door and trying to get in. One of the officers shot the chimpanzee several times. Police followed the trail of blood to find that the wounded animal had retreated through the house to his living quarters, where he died.
It was not the first time that Travis had been in trouble with the law. In 2003 he unbuckled his seatbelt and jumped out of his owner’s car after a pedestrian threw something at him. He did not catch the man but he kept traffic at a standstill for two hours before police could apprehend him. In Connecticut it is illegal to own an exotic pet, but owners are permitted to keep animals they had before the law was passed. “He’s been raised almost like a child by this family,” Captain Conklin said. “He rides in a car every day, he opens doors, he’s a very unique animal in that aspect. We have no indication of what provoked this behaviour at all.”
HAIL TO THE CHIMP
DRUG ADDICTION PRESCRIPTION
HUXLEY'S UNBRAVE NEW WORLD ORDER and Soma in Huxley's Brave New World
35.BB's Brotherhood and DRUG WAR IS PEACE
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