ANIMAL NECROLOGY

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 1999:

#103, an eight-year-old puma who
was due to give birth within two weeks to four
cubs, died on August 20 of “metabolic complications”
related to the pregnancy, according
to wildlife biologist David Shindle, who
did a necropsy for the Florida Fish and
Wildlife Conservation Commission. #103 was
the third to die among eight “Texas cougars”
who were translocated to the Big Cypress
National Preserve in 1995 to replenish the
depleted “Florida panther” gene pool. Both
“Texas cougars” and officially endangered
“Florida panthers” are subspecies of puma.

BC6, one of the first six of 41 lynx
released since February 1999 by the Colorado
Department of Wildlife in an attempted reintroduction,
was roadkilled on July 19 on I-70
near the Vail Pass summit, 135 miles from her
release point. The other five of the first six
lynx all starved to death, while BC6 was
recaptured close to starvation, fattened, and
re-released on May 28.

B.J., a female Hub’s beaked whale
found on a Malibu beach by lifeguard Bob
Janice, died on August 7 at the Friends of the
Sea Lion Marine Mammal Center.

Wally, an eight-foot alligator who
inhabited a retention pond near Kissimmee,
Florida for at least 10 years, fed by residents
of a nearby homeless persons’ camp, was
killed on September 1 by nuisance wildlife
trapper Robert Collins. About 36 hours earlier,
Wally seized the leg of Dierdre Dozois,
45, as she and boyfriend Stuart Chandler “sat
at the pond’s edge under the stars, skinny-dipping
and reciting poetry after a few beers,”
wrote Orlando Sentinel reporter Lenny Savino.
Dozois reportedly suffered injuries requiring
75 stitches before Chandler was able to make
Wally let go of her and drag her away.

Notch Ear, 30, a female polar bear
imported from the Moscow Zoo to the Reid
Park Zoo in Tucson in 1969, was euthanized
due to severe arthritis on September 21. Notch
Ear arrived with a long-deceased female companion.
Nick, 23, her male companion since
1996, died in 1998 from valley fever.

Italo, 71, an Andean condor presented
to Italian dictator Benito Mussolini in
1932 by the government of Chile, died on
August 8 at the Rome Zoo. Italo’s 72-year-old
mate died in 1998.

J.R., 80, a giant Aldabra tortoise,
died on July 22 at the Indianapolis Zoo after
inexplicably ingesting a two-foot stick.
Among the original zoo inhabitants, J.R. was
captured in 1963 on Aldabra Island, north of
Madagascar. He was named for racing car driver
Johnny Rutherford after repeatedly besting
two other resident Aldabra tortoises in ambling
the 150 feet from their winter quarters to their
summer quarters, in competitions held annually
from 1981 through 1995.

Monica, 12, an artistic orangutan,
died on August 16 at the St. Petersburg Zoo in
Florida. Monica’s “drawings and paintings
were subject of research at the St. Petersburg
Primate Center for years,” wrote S t .
Petersburg Times staff writer Anna Badkhen,
adding that St. Petersburg ape art show organizer
Alexei Kostroma in 1998 judged Monika
“the most talented” of the 11 apes whose art he
had exhibited. Monika, who birthed a son
named Ram in 1998, was also among the few
orangs to reproduce successfully in captivity.

Tish, 43, the oldest known captive
goldfish, not to be confused with the larger
but closely related koi, died in early August at
the home he long shared with Gordon and
Hilda Hand in Thirsk, North Yorkshire,
England. Their son Peter Hand, then seven,
won Tish at a fair in 1956. They later acquired
a companion for Tish, named Tosh. When
Tosh died in 1975, Tish in apparent grief tried
repeatedly to leap from the bowl they shared.
“I’m sure Tish recognized me,” said Hilda
Hand, 72. “He always knew when it was
feeding time, and I used to talk to him.”

Harriet, 9, a Harris hawk trained
by Phil Hawkins, 37, of Falconry Services in
Cardiff, Wales, was stomped to death on
August 5 by farmhand Austin Beavans after
seizing a chicken. Hawkins had released
Harriet as part of a falconry show at Folly
Farm, a tourist lure in Tenby, West Wales.

Helen, 29, the oldest white pelican
on record, died on August 1 and was buried
beside Hector, her mate of 19 years, on an
island in Lake Merritt, in downtown Oakland,
California. About 20 human mourners and a
flock of resident white egrets joined a memorial
service organized by Rotary Nature Center
naturalist Stephanie Benavidez. The U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service brought Helen, Hector,
and seven other pelicans to Lake Merritt from
Lake Pyramid, Nevada, in 1970––pinioned so
that they could not fly away. After Hector’s
death, Helen slept on his grave every night,
but accepted a new male companion, the swan
Sir Lancelot. Wrote Kaye Ross of the S a n
Jose Mercury News, “As the grave diggers got
back into their boats to head for shore, there
was a white streak from the left. In one last
loving salute, Sir Lancelot skidded to a landing
in front of his friend’s final resting place.”

Nash, 9, a male manatee rescued
on July 16 after suffering severe injuries from
a boat propeller, died on August 16 from complications
of spinal repair surgery provided by
the Miami Seaquarium. He was named for
Glenn Nash, of Fort Lauderdale, who found
him in a canal near three other manatees who
had been killed by power boats.

Aurora, 18, a female beluga whale
captured near Churchill, Manitoba, in 1984,
died on September 6 at the Mystic Marinelife
Aquarium. She had suffered for about a year
from a mysterious illness which started coincidental
with the death in October 1998 of her
companion Winston, 17, who was on loan
from the New York Aquarium. Her disease
was apparently not related to the bacterial
infection that killed Winston.

Red, 8, a captive-bred red wolf
who in December 1992 was released on Bull’s
Island, South Carolina, within the Cape
Romain National Wildlife Refuge, died of
uncertain natural causes in mid-July. Red in
early 1993 leaped an eight-foot fence to join
his intended mate well before their scheduled
introduction. Together they raised six litters.

Baby Girl, 9, recalled by Louisiana
SPCA director of operations and chief investigator
Ernest Alexander as “one sweet mule,”
was killed by a tow truck on September 5 after
bolting from the Rolling 20s Carriage
Company stable in New Orleans and running
onto I-10. New Orleans hearing officer Susan
Clade ruled on September 16 that Rolling 20s’
carriage license should be revoked due to negligence
in the incident plus failure to obey an
earlier shutdown order, but Rolling 20s owner
Audra Galle won a reversal on September 22
from Civil District Judge Max Tobias.

Dudu, 37, the oldest giant panda in
captivity, died during a heat wave on July 25
at the Wuhan city zoo, her home since 1972.
She was born at a nature reserve, but spent
most of her first 10 years at the Chengdu Zoo.

Rusty, 13, an Australian red heeler
who lost his two left legs after a 1989 leap into
a hay mower but recovered to resume herding
cattle on the Bill and Alice Davis farm hear
Stuart, Iowa, was euthanized due to cancer on
September 21. After the 1989 accident––when
he escaped euthanasia by getting up on his
remaining legs at the veterinarian’s office and
hobbling to greet his owners––Rusty was hit
by cars three times, suffering further serious
injuries on each occasion.

Hitchcock, pheasant pet of George
Bunning, age four, disappeared on September
17 and is presumed dead after suffering
injuries in an attack on a tractor driven by
farmer Eric Bunning, 41, near Morville,
Shropshire, England. Hitchcock was named
for his territorial attacks on Eric Bunning.

Kurtika, 14, one of just 70 known
white tigers, of whom 27 were in India, died
on September 9 at the Nandan Kanan Zoo in
Brubaneshwar, India, from injuries suffered a
month earlier while defending her two cubs
against two young female African lions, who
broke out of their own cage and invaded hers.

Neethu, 9, described by S. Sridar
Prasad of The Times of India as “a generally
active and friendly tigress,” on September 18
reportedly leaped or climbed a nine-foot fence
at the Bannerghatta National Park near
Bangalore, killed Chetana, 4, with a quick
bite to the jugular, and was in turn killed by
Chetana’s female companions in a gang

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