Connecticut bans private ownership of 3 primates
The initial exotic-animal bill was introduced after a pet chimpanzee critically injured a woman earlier this year.
Charla Nash, 55, was attacked in February by a 200-pound chimpanzee owned by her friend, Sandra Herold. Nash received severe injuries to her face and hands and was blinded in the attack. The 14-year-old chimp, Travis, was killed by police.
Lawmakers argued animals needed to be grandfathered in and that the bill could hurt long-standing businesses, like an elephant farm in Goshen.
Ultimately, they harkened back to a 2004 bill already approved in the state that banned large cats, wolves and bears. The 2004 bill charged the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) with creating a permit program for other exotic pets, including primates. But that program never was implemented.
Since legislators could not agree on an all-out exotic-animal ban, the night before the 2009 session drew to a close, they approved a bill to halt private ownership of gorillas, chimpanzees and orangutans.
The bill includes a provision allowing the DEP to prohibit ownership of other exotics, as long as it holds public hearings beforehand.