NEW YORK (CBS) Charla Nash, the woman whose face was destroyed when she was mauled by her best friend's chimpanzee in February, appeared on "The Today Show" Monday morning, where she said the animal had gone on a rampage before.
"I always told [Sandra] I was afraid of him," Nash said of the 200-pound Travis on "Today." "He was big. He wasn't like a chimpanzee; he was like a gorilla. He was huge, very, very huge."
The Feb. 16 attack was not the first time Travis wreaked havoc on Stamford, Conn. In 2003, Travis escaped from Herold's car while on the road. The 14-year-old chimpanzee held up traffic in the town for hours, and even chased after police officers who were trying to stop him.
Afterwards, Herold's late husband, Jerome Herold, called Nash and asked for her help. "[Jerome] called me up and said, 'Could you find a home for him?'" Nash told Vieira. "So I found a home. I went on the Internet, found a whole list of places that would take in pets you couldn't handle anymore."
"But Sandra Herold felt that no home would be good enough for her chimp, Nash said Monday. "Nobody would take care of him like her. So she just didn't want to get rid of him."
Nash's family has filed a $50 million lawsuit against Sandra Herold, the owner of the monkey, stating that Herold was negligent and reckless for lacking the ability to control "a wild animal with violent propensities."
Herold's lawyers have said that the life-changing injuries should be treated as a workers' compensation claim, nothing more. Nash helped out at Herold's auto-towing business before the attack.
Nash, who told Viera that she and Herold had been friends for about 30 years, has lost her eyes, nose, and hands. She is blind and must eat through a straw.
"He was always in his cage. He used to ask me to go in and play with him. And I said, 'Oh no, no thank you!'" Nash told Viera.
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