From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 1996:

Jim Cook, 37, founder of the Yoknapatawpha Exotic Animal Refuge in of Oxford,
Mississippi, “passed away this weekend while at work,” JES Exotics Sanctuary president Jill
Shumak faxed to ANIMAL PEOPLE on November 19. “We were devastated at the loss of this
awesome, wonderful man,” a longtime sufferer from juvenile onset diabetes who had undergone
installation of an insulin pump just two weeks earlier. Cook and David Mallory of the nearby
Ceder Hill Sanctuary in May bought 84 large exotic cats––46 African lions, 21 tigers, and various
others––at the foreclosure of property owned by Lawrence and Katherine Twiss, of
Philadelphia, Mississippi, who were recently convicted of cruelty for allowing the big cats and
other animals including bears to starve on an 800-acre rented farm. JES Exotics in October
accepted transfer of 10 of the cats.

Dave Siddon, 64, founder and operator of the Wildlife Images Rehabilitation and
Education Center in Grants Pass, Oregon, since 1973, died on Octber 31 of pancreatic cancer.
Siddon was noted by The Washington Post as “a film maker who was a pioneer in educational
programs about birds of prey and had worked alongside both Jacques Cousteau and Jim Fowler
in his Wild Kingdom television series. Wildlife Images,” the Post obituary continued, “is particularly
known for taking bears no one else wanted.” Among Siddon’s celebrity bears are Griz,
accepted in 1990 after he was hit by a train in Montana, who keeps a pet kitten he adopted and
fed after she wandered into his cage in July 1995; Billy, severely mauled by dogs as a cub in
1989, when he wandered into Redding, California; and a pair of Kodiak bears who came from
Alaska as orphaned cubs in 1992. Siddon reportedly left Wildlife Images, at the present site
since 1981, with a paid staff of 13, 100 volunteers, and an annual budget of about $210,000.

Chris Mitchell, 68, died on September 5. After a 1987 visit to Vieques Island,
Puerto Rico, I wrote and circulated a flyer/appeal, Hell in Paradise. Puppies were thrown out
on the dump, paper-thin dogs roamed wild, and some were even fed ground glass. Emaciated
horses wandered loose. There was no veterinarian, no animal control or dog pound; nothing.
Then a miracle happened. Mitchell, an encouraged innkeeper, with a few others started the
Vieques Humane Society and Animal Rescue. With help from stateside, even through the disaster
of Hurricane Hugo, strays were fed; a veterinarian flew in at intervals to run a neutering clinic;
rabies clinics were held; pet shows were held to introduce children to kind animal care; and
two temporary shelters were set up, soon to be replaced by a real shelter. Others including rescuers
Penny Miller, Royce Bleth, and Kathy Piolino are trying to carry on Chris’ dream.
Memorial contributions are welcomed at the Vieques Humane Society and Animal Rescue, Calle
A.G. Mellado 360, Vieques, PR 00765.

Crystal Rogers, 89, founder of humane
societies in Jaipur, Delhi, and Bangalore,
India, died in Bangalore on August 30––one
day after the date she predicted for her own
death a year earlier, wrote longtime colleague
Christine Townend. A British citizen raised in
India, Rogers later lived in South Africa,
where as she recounted in a memoir, “I had
been secretary of the Liberal Party in Durban,
leading processions of ‘non-whites’ [in protest
of apartheid] and getting myself arrested in the
process.” Unhappy back in England, especially
after her mother and two elder brothers died
in close succession, Rogers set out for New
Zealand in 1980, but stopped over in India on
her way and remained there. Remembered
Townend, joint managing trustee of Help In
Suffering, the humane society Rogers started
in Bangalore, “Without the vision of ‘Mishy,’
who struggled so hard to acquire this land from
the Jaipur Development Authority, with the
help of Mr. G.K. Tiwari, the sick and injured
street animals of Jaipur and the abandoned pets
would have been left without care or attention.
She lived with very little, and was not interested
in material possessions, or a comfortable
life. Two of Mishy’s beloved dogs, Bonny and
Freckles, are now living at HIS with us, as
Mishy requested.”

Print Friendly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.