OBITUARIES

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1997:

Robert Dorsey, 71, described by
Philadelphia Inquirer staff writer Andy
Wallace as “an irrepressible animal love
whose favorite line to new acquaintances was
that he worked in the biggest cathouse in
town,” died March 4 in Philadelphia. A former
cab driver, Dorsey took a job as an assistant
laborer at the Philadelphia Zoo circa
1972, when the Yellow Cab drivers went on
strike, cleaned reptile cages until promoted to
assistant keeper, and then advanced again,
becoming keeper of felines. Dorsey retired in
1987, but remained active on behalf of the
zoo and the Pennsylvania SPCA. “His idea
of a day out was to visit the SPCA, and he
took us there countless times,” son Timothy
Dorsey told Wallace.

Paula S. Andreder, American
SPCA director of counseling services since
1992, died in November 1996 from breast
cancer. According to the spring 1997 edition
of the ASPCA publication Animal Watch,
“Andreder was instrumental in working with
fellow staff on the 1994-1995 Companion
Animal Mourning Project, which offered
original research into mourning behavior
among pets who had experienced the death of
another animal residing in the household.”

William Manning, vice president
of the West Volusia Humane Society in
Deland, Florida, died November 21.

Richard F. Marsh, 58, died on
March 21 of cancer at home in Middleton,
Wisconsin. A University of Wisconsin at
Madison veterinary virologist, Marsh warned
in 1986 after tracing the origins of a mink
spongiform encephalopathy epidemic on
Wisconsin fur farms that feeding the rendered
remains of sheep or cattle to other sheep or
cattle as a protein supplement could produce
a similar brain disease––and that the then
completely unknown transmission agent
could not be sterilized out. The cattle industry
denounced Marsh as an alarmist even as
an epidemic of just such a disease, bovine
spongiform encepalopathy, broke out in
England. Marsh lobbied on for a ban on the
use of ruminant renderings as animal feed.
His position was vindicated; the USDA has
now proposed such a ban, expected to take
effect this summer.

Laura Nyro, 49, singer and songwriter
whose “later songs exalted pacifism,
feminism, and animal rights,” according to
New York Times obituarist Stephen Holden,
died of ovarian cancer on April 8 at her home
in Danbury, Connecticut. Born Laura Nigro
in Bronx, New York, the daughter of a jazz
trumpeter, Nyro changed her name before
making her professional folksinging debut at
age 18 in San Francisco. Shouted off stage at
the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, she recovered
to write her first of many hits for others
within the year, and within another year produced
Eli and the Thirteenth Confession, an
autobiographical album Holden remembered
as “unlike anything that had been heard in
pop music,” which “laid the groundwork for
a female-dominated genre of quirky, reflective
songwriting that continues to this day.”

Paul Steel, 70, and his wife
Beverly, 69, of Santa Fe, New Mexico,
froze to death on March 5, Beverly’s birthday,
after venturing off a cross-country ski
trail in the Santa Fe National Forest to seek
their temporarily missing keeshond. They
told an attendant they were going to look for
the dog; the attendant called rescuers to start
a search after finding the dog guarding their
car the next morning.

Sally Jones, 47, a chimpanzee
shot, wounded, and captured in Africa as an
infant circa 1950, died March 21 at the Fund
for Animals’ Black Beauty Ranch in Texas.
Sterile because of her gunshot wounds, she
walked upright, performed ballet steps, and
bicycled in circuses until 1970. Acquired by
the Institute for Primate Studies in Norman,
Oklahoma, where she met her longtime companion
Nim Chimpsky, she participated in
behavioral and cognitive research at the
University of Oklahoma for the next 13 years.
Sally and Nim came to Black Beauty in 1982,
after the sale of the rest of their colony to the
Laboratory for Experimental Medicine and
Surgery in Primates, at New York
University. One of the oldest chimps in the
U.S., Sally had suffered from diabetes since
1993. “She will be fondly missed,” said
Black Beauty manager Chris Byrne.

Count Maurice Rudolph Coreth
von und zu Coredo und Starkenberg, 67,
identified by both The London Times and The
New York Times in closely parallel obituaries
as “a charming raconteur” who “mastered the
persuasive art of fundraising,” after starting
an organization called Rhino Rescue, died
February 11 in England. Reputedly trying to
join the British cavalry at age 10, at the outset
of World War II, the Austrian-born
Coreth “rode to hounds with the York and
Ainsty and at the age of 21, became Master
of the Wilton,” said The London Times,
meaning he bore much of the cost of maintaining
the hunt. “He was also a skilled
showjumper and a courageous steeplechaser,”
The London Times continued, “and later in
life he was to win the Kenya Grand
National.” Becoming an avid trophy hunter
on a visit to Sierra Leone, Coreth “was proud
to be the first private sport hunter invited to
become an honorary member of the East
African Professional Hunters’ Association,”
The London Times added. After farming in
Kenya, 1954-1963, and spending some years
as a yachtsman, Coreth in 1985 “attended a
meeting of the Shikar Club, a group of former
African and Indian hunters living in
Britain,” the Associated Press said, “and listened
to a speech about the number of rhinos
killed by poaching. A year later Mr. Coreth
founded Rhino Rescue.” Asserted the
London Times, “Combining single-minded
dedication to the cause with winning charm
and energetic fundraising, Coreth focused
world attention on the plight of the black
rhino. If the black rhino has a future it will be
more due to Coreth than almost anyone else.”
But according to the London Telegraph o f
June 3, 1996, the first Kenyan rhino sanctuary,
the Solio Ranch, was begun in 1966,
while Anna Merz founded the noted Ngare
Sergoi Rhino Sanctuary in 1983, using her
own money. The latter reputedly inspired
eight other sanctuaries; it is possible Coreth
was associated with one of them. N e w s d a y
on April 19, 1988 reported the February
1988 formation of the Rhino Rescue Fund by
Kenyan zoologist David Western, now director
of Kenya Wildlife Services. The Platinum
Wildlife Foundation, sponsored by Platinum
Technology, of Lombard, Illinois, advertised
support of a Black Rhino Rescue project
in 1992 and 1995. Otherwise, an extensive
search of the World Wide Web and A N IMAL
PEOPLE archives, including N e w
York Times rhino-related coverage, 1988-present,
found nothing to confirm the obituary
claims. The London Times concluded that,
“At the time of his death, Coreth was
embarking on a project to save the tiger and
the one-horned rhino in India, a task which
his son Mark now hopes to fulfill.”

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