Woman attacked by chimpanzee to speak to congress about laws - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Woman attacked by chimpanzee to speak to congress about laws

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A woman left permanently disfigured after being attacked by a pet chimpanzee five years ago will speak before congress on Thursday.

Charla Nash was almost killed in the attack and eventually had to have a face transplant.

Nash will tell her story to congress. To try and make it harder for people to keep primates as pets.

Nash lost her nose, lips, eyelids and hands in the mauling and is urging passage of new restrictions on the sale of primates as pets.

It was February 2009, Nash had come at the request of her friend and employer, Sandra Herold, to lure the woman's pet chimp, Travis, back inside her Connecticut home.

But, the animal went berserk and attacked Nash as she held a stuffed toy in front of her face to get Travis' attention.     

Investigators also believe a dose of Xanax caused the chimp to attack.

In 2011, Nash underwent a face transplant during a ground-breaking 20 hour surgery.

Nash tried to sue the state of Connecticut for $150 million dollars in damages saying the state is liable for her injuries because they knew the chimp was dangerous and was being kept without a permit; she was denied the right to sue.

However, Nash reached a $4 million settlement with the estate of the woman who owned the chimp. The woman died back in 2011.

Nash will appear at a news conference with representatives of the Humane Society of the United States to press members of congress to support the Captive Primates Safety Act.

The act would amend the current Lacey Act by adding nonhuman primates to the list of animals that can't be traded or transported across state lines.

The Lacey Act only puts those restrictions on big cats, like lions and tigers.

About 25 states prohibit people from keeping some or all primates as pets; Arizona has a partial ban on monkey possession.

Nash says she takes it day-by-day and hopes to be a model of hope for others with severe injuries.

As for the legislation she's pushing, she's hoping for tougher primate laws.

On FOX 10 Arizona Morning at 9 a.m., Dr. Grey Stafford, an expert in animal behavior, explains primates' behavior.
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