From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2000:

Ryszard Karczewski, DVM, 43, of Warsaw, Poland, was mauled on March 13 while trying to tranquilize one of three Bengal tigers who escaped from the Korona Circus. Already fatally injured, he was then accidentally shot in the chest by police who were trying to save him. The tiger, at large for about two hours, was also killed. The other two tigers were recaptured earlier. The R z e c z p o s p o l i t a daily newspaper two days later received an e-mail from a previously unknown group calling itself the Polish League for Protection of Animals, which claimed it had released the tigers and added that it would release animals from circuses or zoos once a week. The same perpetrators are believed to be responsible for releasing four polar bears from the Nuremburg Zoo in Germany on March 30. All four bears were shot dead after tranquilization attempts failed.

Naren Saikia, a guard and tiger census worker at Kaziranga National Park, near Guwahati, India, was fatally gored by a mother rhino on March 16, who apparently mistook him for a threat to her calf.

Frank Jewett Mather III, 89, died on March 27 in Falmouth, Massachusetts. As a Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute researcher 1945-1954, Mather was first person to tag large open-ocean fish such as tuna, marlin, and sailfish to trace their migration. His work led to the passage of the Atlantic Tuna Conservation Act of 1976––the first of many efforts to keep Atlantic bluefin from being fished to extinction.

Jose dos Santos Fonseca Jr., 6, apparently tried to pet a lion during an intermission at a Vostok Circus performance in Recife, Brazil, on April 9, but was dragged into the cage and eaten in front of the crowd. Two people were wounded as police shot four of the five lions in the cage. The lions reportedly had not been fed in three days.

Dennis A. Roling, 47, a 22-year keeper at the Denver Zoo, known for his willingness to stay with animals in need through any sort of adversity, died on March 20, 78 days after he was diagnosed as having myelodysplasia, a rare form of leukemia.

Vernon W. Dove Jr., 39, accidentally gassed himself on March 28 while killing a suspected rabid dog in the Chattanooga (Tennessee) Humane Society carbon monoxide chamber. Police believe he forgot to vent the fumes before entering the chamber because he was rushing to pick up his children from school.

Gary Allan Polis, 53, and Michael David Rose, 27, of the University of California at Davis, and Takuya Abe, 55, Masahiko Higashi, 45, and S h i g e r u N a k a n o, 37, of the Center for Ecological Research in Kyoto, Japan, drowned on March 27 when their 22-foot boat sank during an Earthwatch Institute expedition to study lizards, spiders, and other predators on islands in the Sea of Cortez. Polis compiled six books about scorpions and desert ecology. Nakano reportedly might have been among the four survivors, but he gave his life jacket to Abe, who could not swim.

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