Charla Nash is a lawyer who has filed a lawsuit against the state of New York and its officials for the death of a chimp at the Brooklyn Zoo. Nash says the chimp died from a rare and painful disease, and the zoo was negligent in its handling of the chimp. She has also criticized the zoo’s MRIs and CT scans, which she argues were unnecessary.
MRIs and CT scans
A chimpanzee savagely attacked Charla Nash and severely disfigured her face and hands. Nash was on her way to coax her pet chimp back into the house when she was attacked by the animal. The attack ended with Nash losing her eyelids, nose, and hands.
Since the attack, Nash has undergone several surgeries. She has also had a face transplant, and hopes to receive a second hand transplant in the next year.
Nash’s face transplant was paid for by the U.S. military, which is also interested in learning more about how it can help servicemen and women who suffer disfiguring injuries while in combat.
Nash’s face will help researchers continue to improve the process of face transplant surgery. In the past five years, a total of 35 face transplants have been performed worldwide. However, most of them are only on civilians.
Nash’s experiment will be conducted at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Her doctors are interested in how the blood reaches the transplanted areas of her face. They are also interested in how well her brain communicates with her new face.
The Sedgwick County Zoo recently announced that its 5-week-old chimpanzee Kucheza died on Thursday. A necropsy has been performed, and pathologists will now determine the cause of death.
In the meantime, the zoo is using extra enrichment to keep its chimp troop occupied. Its adult daughter Rosie remained by her mother’s body when everyone else left.
Chimps, like humans, have an instinct to mourn a death. When an infant dies, mothers often carry their corpses around for weeks. In one study, researchers observed chimp mothers grooming their corpses as though they were still alive.
However, a new study from University of Oxford research fellow Dora Biro shows that chimpanzee mothers need more than just a few minutes of contact after an infant dies. They need to be touched, groomed and caressed.
After chimp Pansy became ill in November 2008, her health deteriorated and she was separated from her siblings. Eventually, her breathing became erratic. Her appetite began to decline, increasing tensions among the zoo staff. As her condition worsened, chimp keepers decided to turn on video cameras.
Efforts to get chimp’s face back
The effort required to trawl through the hundreds of chimps found in Kibale National Park in Uganda to discover what goes where and who will follow is not for the faint of heart. The following are just some of the notables. They are a few of the lucky ones who got lucky enough to snag a spot in the good graces of a world class primate. This is a story in and of itself but the aforementioned individuals are some of the most fascinating creatures you will ever meet. Some have a penchant for reverting to sex, while others are just happy to be free. There is also a contingent of social misfits who are prone to sabotaging a good time by claiming to be a mate.
Suit against state
Charla Nash was a victim of an attack by her friend’s pet chimp in 2009. Her face and hands were permanently disfigured. She had to undergo a face transplant and now lives in a nursing home outside Boston.
Nash believes the state knew the chimp was dangerous. In her lawsuit, she said officials failed to protect the public from dangerous animals.
Attorney Charles Willinger argues that Nash should have a right to bring a lawsuit against the state. However, Connecticut’s sovereign immunity law prevents most lawsuits from being filed.
Nash says she wants to hold the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and state officials accountable. She has asked lawmakers to allow her to sue the state for $150 million. The General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee has until April 2 to make a decision on her request.
Attorneys for the state argue that Nash has no legal right to bring a lawsuit. They say that she has to first seek permission from a claims commissioner before suing the state.