Chimpanzee Strength as a Danger to Humans
Chimpanzees stop being cute and cuddly upon reaching adolescence, which begins after the animal passes the age of 5. At that point, they begin to assert dominance in order to secure their place in the troupe. When their "troupe" is a human family, this can have disastrous results. This innate and inescapable biological tendency, coupled with their great strength, makes the primates entirely unsuitable as pets.
A recent and tragic example of what can happen is the case in which a chimpanzee named Travis attacked and severely wounded his owner's friend and neighbor. Travis had been a pet for 14 years. He had been taught by his owner to wear clothing, drink wine and eat steak and lobster. He had figured in television commercials and was almost a mascot in the neighborhood, but one day in February of 2009 he lashed out, and although his victim survived the attack, she was badly disfigured. Travis, however, did not survive. Attempts by his owner to stop him failed, and he was shot and killed by a police officer.
According to Dr. Franz de Waal, a primate specialist and lead biologist at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center in Atlanta, this is not surprising behavior in an adult chimpanzee. He describes Travis as a "time bomb" whose behavior, while it might serve him well in the wild, makes him a hazard in a human household.