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Connecticut cop forced to shoot chimp

Violently attacked woman, paramedics and officers

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A pet chimpanzee which violently attacked a woman visiting his owner was shot dead by a police officer "cornered" in his vehicle by the 200lb ape, the BBC reports.

Travis, 15, mauled the woman as she got out of her car in Stamford, Connecticut. His owner, Sandra Herold, first "wrestled" with the animal then returned to her house to call the police.

Captain Richard Conklin told AP: "She retrieved a large butcher knife and stabbed her longtime pet numerous times in an effort to save her friend, who was really being brutally attacked."

Paramedics, protected by officers, arrived at the scene, but Travis turned on them. An officer shot the chimp in self defence as it attempted to enter his car.

The reason for Travis's loss of control is unknown, but AP noted he was "ill with Lyme disease and had been on medication".

Conklin said: "He's been raised almost like a child by this family. 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."

Two police officers were injured in the incident, while the unnamed female visitor was hospitalised in a "very serious" condition after suffering "serious blood loss" from facial injuries.

Travis, who'd appeared in TV commercials, had in 2003 escaped from a car and spent two hours "at large" in Stamford, the BBC concludes. ®

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