From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1999:
Staccato, northern right whale
mother of at least six calves since she was first
identified by markings in 1974, was found
dead off Wellfleet in Cape Cod Bay,
Massachusetts on April 20, two weeks after
she was last seen alive near the same location
by staff of the Provincetown-based Center for
Coastal Studies. Preliminary investigation
discovered she may have suffered from an
infection––and also found that her right jawbone
was broken, a possible effect of being hit
by a ship. There are an estimated 300 northern
right whales left alive in the wild.
Nikita, 38, a Caspian Sea sturgeon
donated to the Bergen Aquarium in Oslo,
Norway, by former Soviet Union premier
Nikita Kruschev in 1964, died on March 29
when an aquarium employee accidently filled
his tank with brine. Sturgeons can adapt to
switching from fresh water to salt water, but
the change must be gradual. Nikita’s death
was even noted by The New York Times.
Ain, 9, giraffe at the Woodland
Park Zoo in Seattle, brought from the Denver
Zoo in 1990, was euthanized on April 4 after
going into shock and collapsing during treatment
for diarrhea and weight loss.
Osa, 37, matriarch of the Tulsa Zoo
chimpanzee colony, where she lived her
whole life, was euthanized on March 26 due
to inoperable kidney cancer.
Tzambo, 28, oldest silverback
gorilla at the Los Angeles Zoo, died from
heart disease on April 10.
Mr. Pooh, 31, possibly the oldest
living polar bear in the world, and the only
one ever kept at the San Antonio Zoo, was
euthanized on April 13 due to multiple painful
and irreversible conditions of age.
Bomba, age 50-plus, an Asian elephant
living at the Columbus Zoo since 1977,
was euthanized on April 19 due to severe and
chronic abcesses on her feet.