OBITUARIES

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 1999:

Ndyakira Amooti, longtime environmental
reporter for the Ugandan newspaper
New Vision, “died on August 25, 1999
after a protracted illness,” according to the
November 1999 edition of the International
Primate Protection League newsletter. IPPL
became aquainted with Amooti in 1988,
founder Shirley McGreal reecalled, “when
we contacted him about wildlife trafficking
issues. He showed outstanding courage in
driving a U.S. wildlife trafficker from the
country. Amooti also worked with us on a
case involving the smuggling of five baby
chimpanzees from Uganda to Russia.
Eventually the chimpanzees were returned to
Uganda. Amooti was the author of several
childrens’ books about animals,” McGreal
added. “In 1992 IPPL received a foundation
grant to sponsor Amooti’s attendance at the
CITES triennial meeting in Kyoto. He
dogged the Ugandan delegates, and faxed
home stories every day about how they
voted.” Amooti won the 1996 Goldman
Award for outstanding environmental work in
the African sector.


Janet Volkman, 56, a 15-year
volunteer with the International Wolf Center,
died on October 22 of amyotrophic lateral
sclerosis at her home in Wyoming, Minn.
Frank Solar, 67, was found dead
on October 15 with one of his four
Chihuahuas in his arms after a fire in his
apartment in Chelsea, Massachusetts. “He
could have gotten out,” Chelsea fire captain
Michael Thompson told the Boston Herald,
“but he was trying to save the dogs,” all of
whom perished with him.
Titan, a Doberman rescue dog distinguished
for his work after Hurricane Floyd
hit the Carolinas in October, was among 58
dogs and seven cats killed by a pre-dawn fire
on Thanksgiving morning at Samarkand
Kennels, near Lansing, Michigan.
Hsing-Hsing, 28, the male giant
panda given to former U.S. President Richard
Nixon on the April 1972 visit to China that
opened diplomatic relations with the Chinese
government, was euthanized due to kidney
failure on November 28 at the National Zoo
in Washington D.C. Hsing-Hsing’s mate,
Ling-Ling, died in 1992 of heart failure.
They had no living offspring. The National
Zoo has offered China $2.5 million for a 10-
year loan of two more pandas.
Barney, 16, the last of 11
pseudorcas acquired in 1987 by Ocean Park
in Hong Kong, died on October 10 from the
bacterial disease melioidosis. The rare disease
has killed 13 cetaceans at Ocean Park
since 1976, but Barney was the first victim
since 1993. Melioidosis, which can persist in
corpses for at least 26 years, apparently
became endemic at Ocean Park due to unsanitary
disposal of the first dead animals’
remains in 1976.
Leilani, 15, one of the original
dolphins at the Dolphin Quest swim-with
facility at the Hilton Waikoloa Village in
Hawaii, died on October 4. She was six
months pregnant.
Timber, a two-and-a-half-year-old
Stellar’s sea lion taken from the wild as part
of an ongoing metabolic study by Andrew
Trites at the Vancouver Aquarium, died suddenly
on November 12 while anesthetized for
blood sampling. Trites is investigating how
much nutrition sea lions require in each phase
of life, to better determine why the wild population
is down by two-thirds since 1980.
Bertha, 48, star of the Elephant
Palace at The Nugget casino in Sparks,
Nevada, died quietly on November 10 from
complications of arthritis. Captured in India,
she came to The Nugget from The Circus
Museum in Baraboo, Wisconsin, in 1962.
Lola, 36, New Zealand’s oldest
circus chimpanzee, died in mid-November
soon after enduring 36 hours in a hot packing
crate. Her New Zeland owner, Cary
Ridgway, had sold her and her son, Buddy,
age three, to Fijian circus owner Bruno
Loyale. Gary Reese of the New Zealand
group Save Animals From Exploitation was
at deadline trying to arrange for Buddy to go
to a sanctuary in Zambia.

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