From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1998:
Edwardjohn Shumak, 22, of
Sharon, Wisconsin, eldest son of JES Exotics
wildlife sanctuary founder Jill Shumak, was
killed early on April 7 as he drove to work in
nearby Delavan. “A deer crossed his path at
the crest of a hill,” Jill Shumak said. “Edward
swerved to avoid it,” but the car flipped. He
was thrown 20 feet, dying “instantly, of massive
head trauma. We will be having a candlelight
ceremony on August 14, his birthday,”
she continued, “at 8 p.m. at the sanctuary.
His ashes will be buried here with his animal
friends. I could always count on Edwardjohn
when I needed help with the animals. My husband
Jim, younger son Corey, and I will miss
his ever-present smile, dancing eyes and
eagerness to assist anyone who needed it.”
Marjorie Stoneman Douglas, 108,
died May 14 in Coconut Grove, Florida, in
the home she had occupied since 1926. Her
1947 book The Everglades: River of Grass
inspired the campaign that brought the creation
of Everglades National Park. Douglas
recorded the effort in Voice of the River
(1987), coauthored with John Rothchild.
Born on April 7, 1890, in Minneapolis,
Douglas grew up in Massachusetts, but
moved to Miami in 1915 after a brief marriage,
and became a reporter for her father,
Frank Stoneman, editor of the Miami News,
now the Miami Herald. After her early articles
attacking Everglades drainage riled politicians
and developers, Douglas served overseas
with the Red Cross during World War I.
She reclaimed her newspaper job postwar, but
left to freelance in 1923. Cofounding Friends
of the Everglades in 1969, she was still working
to protect wetlands as recently as 1996.
Clare Tomkins, 24, of East Peckham,
Kent, England, died on April 22, the
25th known fatality from a form of CreutzfeldJakob
Disease believed to have mutated from
bovine spongiform encephalopathy. An animal
care technician in the pet section of a garden
store before falling ill in August 1996,
Tomkins became a vegetarian in 1985––a year
before BSE was recognized. As meat is
thought to be the main avenue of infection,
Tomkins’ case is believed to indicate a long
latency from exposure to the onset of CJD.
Sally Lathrop, 72, founder of
Fenton Adopt-A-Pet in Fenton, Michigan,
died on April 14 of a chronic lung disease.
“She always loved animals, and educated people
about neutering long before it became popular,”
remembered daughter Julie Hussar.
Taking in as many as 500 cats over the years,
and up to 60 at a time, Lathrop also founded
the first Girl Scout day camp in Fenton, and
took cats on regular visits to a local hospice.
Fenton Adopt-A-Pet continues under president
Glenda Beatty, headquartered in a home that
belonged to Lathrop’s grandmother.
Ralph “Red” Hannaman, 77, a
longtime Humane Society of Greater Akron,
board member, died May 12. “Every
Christmas season since the mid-1980s,“
Akron Beacon Journal staff writer John
Higgins remembered, “Hannaman played
Santa and had his photo snapped with cats,
dogs, llamas, snakes, iguanas, a pair of
goats, two mourning doves, a chicken who
did tricks, a pair of ferrets, a potbellied pig
and a basket of white mice with little red velvet
ribbons around their necks.”
Howard “Hawk” Kaufman, of
Bartonville, Illinois, who introduced the
Chicago Animal Rights Coalition to covert
videography, died suddenly in March.
Remembered CHARC, “Hawk was a seed in
the birth and evolution of a devastating nonviolent
weapon for animal protection.”
William Dawbin, remembered for
his studies of the humpback whales of New
Zealand and Australia, died in early April.
Cody, 9, the last survivor among
three Alaskan sea otters rescued after the 1989
Exxon Valdez oil spill, died on May 2 at the
Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport. The
cause of death was apparently a twisted bowel.
Cody, Sitka, and Kiana, the other oiled sea
otters, were the stars of the Oregon Coast
Aquarium when it opened in 1992, four years
before the arrival of Keiko, the orca featured
in the Free Willy! film series. Sitka died in
early 1997. Kiana died in April while on a
breeding loan to the Vancouver Aquarium.
Leroy, 42, a mule featured often in
the paintings of artist Bonnie Shields since she
bought him for $500 in Pulaski, Tennessee,
in 1978, died in late April near Sandpoint,
Idaho. “He was with me longer than any
man,” Shields said. The purported author of a
“half-assed” advice column in Mules & More
magazine, Leroy received 80 visitors at an
August 1996 40th birthday party––but he
wouldn’t eat a cornmeal cake with mashed
potato icing baked for him by cowboy cartoonist
Gator, 5, a German shepherd,
tracking an armed robbery suspect before
dawn on April 24, lunged in front of a car on
U.S. 92 and was killed as handler Ed Shea
tried to pull him back. The driver was not
charged. The suspected robber escaped.
Flo, 3, a then-pregnant Holstein
cow who spent seven days stranded atop a
mobile home during the January 1997
California floods, was killed with an arrow
shot apparently from a roadside by an
unknown poacher during the early morning
hours of March 13. Kept alive during the
flooding by sheriff’s deputies who rowboated
hay to her, Flo gave birth successfully two
days after her rescue. She belonged to the
Melvin Luiz Dairy near Manteca, California.
Superstar 9404, who gave a world
record 111 litres of milk in one day during
November 1997, died on April 17 at the
Ludwig Van Devanter farm in Stellenbosch,
South Africa, after a University of Stellenbosch
team gave her a local anesthetic in order
to take skin samples from beneath her tail.
Earlier in the day she gave 94 litres of milk. A
sister, Megacow, is even more productive,
Van Devanter said, but added that after losing
Superstar he wouldn’t let scientists near her.
Lionel, 19, a Masai giraffe resident
at the National Zoo in Washington D.C. since
1982, died on April 30 from a heart attack and
asphixiation caused by vomiting during anesthesia
while under treatment for arthritis.
Jake, 55, a 14-foot, nine-inch
crocodile who at age 14 in 1957 was moved
from a suburb where he had become a nuisance
to the Homsassa Springs State Wildlife
Park near Hernando, Florida, died April 21.