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Jessamine couple defends chimp on 'Nightline'

An ape and monkey sanctuary in Jessamine County was featured in a Nightline report Monday night on ABC.

April Truitt, founder of the Primate Rescue Center near Wilmore, and her husband, Clay Miller, were interviewed by Nightline correspondent Vicki Mabrey about the Feb. 16 attack in which Travis, a 200-pound chimp, mauled a Connecticut woman before police shot and killed it.

As reported by the Herald-Leader in February, Truitt said she had asked Sandra Herrold, the Connecticut owner of Travis, to put the animal into a sanctuary in 2003. Travis had made news at that time because he had escaped from Herrold's vehicle and stopped traffic in downtown Stamford, Conn.

"Travis was not a bad chimp," Truitt told Mabrey. "Travis was an unfortunate chimp caught in a very tragic situation."

Travis "had given every warning and every clue that he could that this was likely to happen, and his owner, unfortunately, chose to ignore those warnings."

Founded in 1987, the Primate Rescue Center is a non-profit, licensed sanctuary for abandoned apes and monkeys. Funded through private donations but not government money, the center has an outdoor enclosure for chimps.

Go to and click on "When Chimps Attack" to watch the 5-minute report that includes Truitt's interview.