CHICAGO (Nov. 11) – A Connecticut woman who was attacked by a 200-pound chimpanzee revealed her heavily disfigured face on television Wednesday, saying she is blind and has to eat through a straw, but isn’t angry. “I don’t even think about it,” Charla Nash said on Wednesday’s episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” “And there’s no time for that anyways because I need to heal, you know, not look backwards.” Winfrey removed Nash’s hat and veil to reveal her face, which was swollen and damaged beyond recognition. She had a large scar near the bottom of her face and a large piece of skin where her nose had been. Warning: Video contains graphic images.
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The Feb. 16 attack occurred when the animal’s owner, Sandra Herold, asked Nash, her friend and employee, to help lure the animal back into her house in Stamford, Conn. The chimpanzee ripped off Nash’s hands, nose, lips and eyelids. Police shot and killed the animal. Nash has been hospitalized since. She remains in stable condition at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. Nash said she didn’t remember anything from the attack and doesn’t want to. “I want to get healthy,” she said. “I don’t want to wake up with nightmares.” In a telephone interview Wednesday night with The Associated Press, Nash said she repeatedly warned Herold that the primate was dangerous and could hurt someone. Nash said she saw the chimpanzee throw large objects around his cage, including a desk and 55-gallon plastic drum. She said she saw him flash his teeth and pound the bars of the cage so violently his hands would bleed. “They had to weld the cage because he was starting to break out from hitting it so much,” Nash said.
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A Horrific AttackKathleen O’Rourke, The Stamford Advocate / AP8 photos A 200-pound chimpanzee named Travis mauled and nearly killed Charla Nasha, a friend of his owner, on Feb. 16 in Stamford, Conn. The attack left Nash without her hands, nose, lips and eyelids. She is now blind. Travis was shot dead by police.(Note: Please disable your pop-up blocker) http://xml.channel.aol.com/xmlpublisher/fetch.v2.xml?option=expand_relat… http://cdn.channel.aol.com/cs_feed_v1_6/csfeedwrapper.swf A Horrific Attack A 200-pound chimpanzee named Travis mauled and nearly killed Charla Nasha, a friend of his owner, on Feb. 16 in Stamford, Conn. The attack left Nash without her hands, nose, lips and eyelids. She is now blind. Travis was shot dead by police. Kathleen O’Rourke, The Stamford Advocate / AP Kathleen O’Rourke, The Stamford Advocate / AP //
Another time Herold told workers at her house they had to leave because Travis was misbehaving, Nash said. Nash said she was afraid of Travis, who was typically locked in his cage when she saw him. Nash said she told Herold eight or 10 times he was dangerous. “I always told her you have to get rid of him, he’s going to hurt somebody someday. He’s too dangerous,” Nash said. “You can’t control him, and he’s going to hurt somebody.” Nash, who occasionally fed Travis oatmeal in his cage, said she told Herold that Travis did not have enough room to run around and she should give him up. “Sandy would say, ‘I know, but it’s hard,'” explaining that she believed if she gave him up, he would not get the same level of care she provided. Herold had black and blue marks from Travis, but she would say they were from playing around with him, Nash said. Asked about Herold, Nash said, “I feel like I’ve been thrown under a bus” since the attack happened and legal proceedings began. Herold’s attorney, Robert Golger, provided AP with a statement, saying Herold wishes Nash the best. “All of Sandy’s hopes and prayers are with Charla and her daughter in this challenging time,” the statement read. “Sandy hopes and prays for a full and speedy recovery.” Nash’s family has filed a $50 million lawsuit against Herold, saying she was negligent and reckless for lacking the ability to control “a wild animal with violent propensities.” Herold’s attorney has argued the attack was work-related and the case should be treated as a workers’ compensation claim. Nash denied she was Herold’s employee. Nash’s family filed notice with Connecticut’s Office of Claims Commissioner this month, asking for permission to sue the state for $150 million, saying officials failed to prevent the attack. Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has said his office is reviewing the claim.