STAMFORD - As the victim of the Stamford chimp attack begins her recovery, the animal?s owner says she is deeply distraught by the incident that has left her friend severely injured.

?He didn't have anything but love until this freak accident,? says Sandra Herold, speaking of her 14-year-old pet chimpanzee named Travis that mauled 55-year-old Charla Nash.

Nash?s doctor, Kevin Miller, says she received extensive injuries to her face and hands. Miller adds that it took more than seven hours of surgery to stabilize her after Monday's attack. The woman currently remains in critical but stable condition.

Herold says on the day of the incident, she called Nash over to help her calm down the chimpanzee, whom she compares to a member of the family.

?He was my life,? Herold says. ?I worked for him, I shopped for him, I lived with him.?

Police officers who arrived at Herold?s Stamford home shot the animal. An autopsy is being performed on the chimpanzee in an effort to determine what could have sparked the violent attack.

The post-mortem exam is also expected to reveal whether the fact Travis drank tea laced with the anti-depressant Xanax played a role in the incident.

Herold told the Today Show she administered the drug to her pet, but also told the Associated Press she never gave the chimp the medication.

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