From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2000:
Willie B., 41, a silverback gorilla, died from pneumonia at Zoo Atlanta on February 2. Captured in Africa as an infant, Willie B. spent 25 years in solitary confinement, with only a TV for company, at the former Atlanta-Fulton County Zoo, but made a rapid adjustment to a relatively normal gorilla life when the zoo––once considered the worst in the U.S.––was extensively renovated in 1988, and acquired other gorillas to live with him. During his last dozen years, he sired four daughters and a son, and showed the way toward rehabilitating many other long-isolated nonhuman primates. More than 2,500 people came to his funeral.
Alvin the Alligator, 40, resident at the Southwestern College science building in Winfield, Kansas, since 1960, was found dead in his cage in mid-January.
Donna, 36, one of the 111 former NASA chimpanzees who were awarded to the Coulston Foundation when the U.S. Air Force disposed of the colony in 1998, died on November 9, 1999, from infections resulting from internal decomposition of a dead fetus. Subsequent to her death, five more chimps died at the Coulston colony, and Coulston was cited for the fourth time in under two years for failing to provide adequate veterinary care. On December 22, 1999, the Food and Drug Administration ordered a halt to all new studies at Coulston pertaining to FDA projects.
Salud, 21, former American Horse Shows Association Horse of the Year, was found bludgeoned to death in his paddock on February 2 at the farm of his owner, Richard Von Buedingen, near Aiken, Georgia.
Yen Yen, 28, a giant panda given to France in 1973 by then-Chinese prime minister Chou-en-Lai, died recently at the Vincennes Zoo in Paris.
Kenya, 18, an African elephant who fatally trampled owner Teresa RamosCaballero, 52, on January 26 at the Ramos family compound near Tampa, was found dead on February 5. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s office said foul play was suspected. Teresa Ramos was a member of the Ramos family of circus performers.