Owner of chimpanzee involved in attack dies

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut woman whose chimpanzee
mauled and blinded her friend last year has died, her attorney said
Sandy Herold died Monday night of a ruptured aortic aneurysm,
lawyer Robert Golger said.
Herold's 200-pound chimpanzee, Travis, who went berserk in
February 2009 after Herold asked her friend, Charla Nash, to help
lure it back into her house in Stamford. The animal ripped off
Nash's hands, nose, lips and eyelids before the animal was shot and
killed by police.
"Ms. Herold had suffered a series of heartbreaking losses over
the last several years, beginning with the death of her only child,
then her husband, then her beloved chimp Travis, as well as the
tragic maiming of friend and employee Charla Nash," Golger said in
a statement. "In the end, her heart, which had been broken so many
times before, could take no more."
Nash recently underwent a preliminary evaluation to determine if
she is a potential candidate for a face and hand transplant at a
Harvard-affiliated hospital.
A prosecutor said in December that Herold would not face
criminal charges because there was no evidence she knowingly
disregarded any risk the animal posed.
Nash's family has sued Herold for $50 million and wants to sue
the state for $150 million, saying state officials failed to
prevent the attack.
Golger said he expected the lawsuit to continue.
A telephone message left with an attorney for Nash's family
wasn't immediately returned.
"The stress of defending a multimillion-dollar lawsuit and all
that it entailed also weighed heavy on Sandy," Golger said. "She
hated living alone in a house where she faced constant reminders of
the vibrant and happy life she once led with her family and
Golger described Herold as generous and an animal lover.
"In a world where too many people strive to just fit in, she
stood out as a true individual," Golger said. "She marched to the
beat of her own drum and was proud of it."

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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