Travis the Menace
Virtually everyone made light of the escapade downtown. The state Department of Environmental Protection was aware of what happened, and also that the Herolds were in violation of a new statute that required a permit to keep a primate over 50 pounds. But they determined that pressing any action would amount to a most likely unwinnable battle to “take custody of a local celebrity” and opted not to pursue the matter.
Stamford’s animal-control officer was more concerned. After contacting primatologists, she spoke with Sandy, arguing that Travis was by now a fully sexualized adult (chimpanzees in the wild have sex, nonmonogamously, as often as 50 times a day); that he had the strength of at least five men; that adult chimpanzees are known to be unpredictable and potentially violent (which is why all chimp actors are prepubescent); and that maintaining Travis for the duration of his five- or six-decade lifetime was not viable. Sandy seemed to pay an open mind to the officer’s warning but ultimately concluded that Travis had never exhibited even the slightest capacity for violence.
By Dan P. Lee, New York Magazine