Charla Nash should not be a household name -- at least not because of an attack by a chimpanzee in Connecticut that left her mauled, disfigured, and blind.
However, Charla is indeed well-known now, and has made it her mission to ensure that there will never be another incident like the one she suffered.
Charla left her Connecticut home in 2009 to assist her neighbor, Sandra Herold, when her 200-pound "pet" chimpanzee escaped. The chimp, named Travis, had a history of violent behavior, and immediately attacked Nash, inflicting devastating injuries. She lost her hands and face – including her nose, eyes, lips, and cheekbones, along with significant brain trauma. Travis was shot, and the community was traumatized. It was heartbreaking, senseless, and preventable.
I am not much for clichés, but this was truly an "accident waiting to happen." Travis had bitten before. Travis was well-known in the area. Keeping Travis in captivity was like playing Russian roulette. And for Charla Nash, when the trigger was pulled, there was a bullet waiting in the chamber.