OBITUARIES

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 1998:

Charles “Goat Man” McCartney,
97, died on November 15 in Macon,
Georgia. Recounted New York Times obituarist
Robert McG. Thomas Jr., “According to
research by Darryl Patton and Jimmy
Hammett, who collaborated on a 1993 Goat
Man video and a 1994 Goat Man book,
McCartney grew up on a farm outside
Sigourney, Iowa, where he was considered
such an odd child that the family goats were
about his only true friends. That helps
explain why he took off at 14, married a 24-
year-old Spanish knife-thrower, served as
her exhibition target for a couple of years,
then returned to Iowa and married at least
twice more. The last marriage ended when
he sold his goat-weary wife for $1,000 to a
farmer she’d already grown sweet on.” He
was by then already making frequent long
treks with 30-odd goats and a goat-drawn
wagon, selling postcards of himself and
passing himself off as the Second Coming for
a time in north Georgia until skeptics tarred
and feathered him. He continued preaching
and herding goats along rural roads between
Iowa and Georgia until 1968, when a gang
severely beat him and cut the throats of eight
of his goats at Signal Mountain, Tennessee.
He spent most of the rest of his life living
with his goats and a son, Albert Gene, who
predeceased him, in an old school bus near
Jeffersonville, Georgia.

Catherine Jean Wright, 32,
drowned on Thanksgiving Day in an attempt
to rescue her friend Richard E. Shannon, 32,
who had jumped into the Willamette River
near Portland, Oregon, to try to save her
black Labrador retriever, but was sucked into
a 100-foot-drainage pipe. Shannon and the
dog survived.

Johnny Jackson, 15, of Sanford,
Florida, known for spending his allowance
on catfood to feed local strays, drowned in a
pond at James L. Dunn Park on November
28, possibly trying to intervene when a
friend’s dog chased some ducks, or as witnesses
first thought, attempting to rescue the
dog from deep mud. “He took care of every
pet in the neighborhood,” said his mother,
Michelle Inman.

Ranee, 43, an Asian elephant who
lived for 36 years at the Taronga Zoo in
Sydney, Australia, died on November 30
from complications of surgery to remove a
tumor that inhibited walking.

Josephine, 52, a hornbill resident
at the London Zoo since 1951, died
November 16. Her exact age was unknown.
Reputedly, she was given to the zoo by
Wilkies Circus, of Cheshire, for refusing
either to perform or mate. At the zoo, she
produced just one egg, in 1989, which she
did not hatch.

Lars Larson, a green violet-ear
hummingbird native to Central America but
who turned up in the yard of Edwin and
Marcella Larson, of LaCrosse, Wisconsin,
died November 5 at the home of wildlife
rehabilitator Marge Gibson, an apparent
casualty of cold. The gregarious little bird
“really touched a lot of people,” Gibson told
Tom Vanden Brook of the Milwaukee
Journal-Sentinel.

Snowflake, a bull who bolted from
the Kodiak Fairgrounds in Kodiak, Alaska,
during a September rodeo and spent the fall
evading capture on Old Women’s Mountain,
was shot dead on November 14 by his exasperated
owner, Omar Stratman.

Donja, a two-year-old Malinois
drug dog handled by sheriff’s deputy Freddie
White of Perry County, Kentucky, was shot
in her own yard on November 14 by an
unknown perpetrator who also fired a bullet
through the window of White’s patrol car.

Ferdinand, a bull who since 1983
was a treat-mooching favorite of children at
the Associated Humane Societies’ Popcorn
Park Zoo in Lacey, New Jersey, died on
November 24. He was donated to the zoo by
Ann Marie Taylor, who bought him from a
Massachusetts summer camp upon learning
he was due to be slaughtered.

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