Moe the chimp was like a son to the Davis family. St. James and LaDonna Davis say they rescued the chimp from Africa and then raised him in their California home -- sometimes even eating and sleeping with him.
In 1998, Moe attacked a West Covina, Calif., police officer and a neighbor. Authorities removed the chimp and took him to the Animal Haven Ranch near Bakersfield.
When the couple visited Moe last March, two chimps in nearby cages attacked St. James Davis and nearly killed him.
"I was so tired, but I had to keep fighting," Davis said. "This one ...was just pounding the daylights out of me. I heard Donna saying 'please don't die on me' … I just couldn't answer her."
He said the attack went on for 10 or 15 minutes and he could "feel it blow by blow." Chimps are three times stronger than a man.
During the attack, LaDonna Davis looked on -- she had been knocked to the ground by one of the chimps who bit her thumb off. She looked up to see her husband --who had intervened to save her -- covered in blood.
"The big male took off to my husband's face, his head area, while he's on the ground. And the smaller one … went to his foot area," she told ABC News. They were "tearing away at him. And I'm begging somebody to do something here."
A ranch hand eventually shot the two chimps to death. Prosecutors did not seek criminal charges against the operator of the reserve because the animals apparently escaped on their own.
St. James Davis spent months in intensive care and underwent more than two dozen operations -- he estimates he has 20 more surgeries left. He was put into an induced coma to help him heal.
Davis recently returned home. He's severely disfigured -- his nose chewed off and his genitals and limbs severely mauled -- but his love for Moe, who served as the ring bearer in his and LaDonna's wedding, remains strong.
Nevertheless, he is haunted by the memory of the attack.
"I really don't want to go back to the scene," Davis said. "I would like to have him put elsewhere. I would like to be back together again. I don't even know if he knows I am alive."