From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 2000:

Ganesha, India’s oldest domesticated
elephant, whose age was variously estimated
at 72, 78, and 79, died on June 29 at the
Mysore Zoo. She was captured in 1948 for
then-Mysore Maharaja Sri Jayachamarajendra
Wodeyar. He donated her to the zoo in 1951.
Sukanta, 12, a white Bengal tiger,
on July 29 became the 13th tiger in less than a
month to die of uncertain cause at the Nandankanan
Zoo in Bhubaneswar. The deaths
brought an investigation by the Supreme Court
of India, expanding into a broader probe into
the deaths of 221 lions and 366 tigers at Indian
zoos and wildlife parks during the past five
years. The Nandankanan tiger deaths have
been variously blamed on the fly-carried bacterial
disease trypanosomiasis, bad food, and
bad veterinary drugs. The zoo has bred more
than 300 tigers in captivity since 1967, 123 of
them white, and still has 43, including 18
white tigers.

On July 23, the Orissa state government
removed zoo director B.C. Prusty,
making him conservator of forests, and put
previous conservator of forests Vinod Kumar
in charge of the zoo. A new scandal erupted
four days later when a Nandankanan zoo
caiman was found beheaded in his enclosure.
Twenty-one zoo guards were subsequently
fired. Former reptile keeper Ranjia Bhoi and
his friend Babaji Behera were charged with
killing the caiman in retaliation after Bhoi was
fired for selling some of the caiman’s rations.
Judy, 11, a Dallas Zoo chimpanzee
acquired from the Tulsa Zoo in June, on July
24 escaped from the habitat she shared with
eight other chimps by making a longer leap
than anyone imagined she could make; rushed
a female keeper, whom Judy injured as the
keeper fired three shotgun blasts into the air in
hopes of stopping her; got out into a residential
neighborhood; and was electrocuted when
she grabbed a wire to break her fall from a
pole after a zoo vet shot her with a tranquilizer
gun. Yerkes Regional Primate Research
Center primatologist Frans de Waal and
Primarily Primates president Wally Swett
agreed that the desperate tactics were needed.
“It’s a sad, very tragic loss,” Swett told Selwyn
Crawford of the Dallas Morning News.
“But I can’t see where anyone is to blame.”
Braccio di Ferro on July 18 was
euthanized, 16 days after suffering a leg
injury in a running of the Palio, a horse race
held several times each summer on the cobblestone
streets of Siena, Italy. He was at least
the 31st horse fatality in the Palio since 1975.
Wolf #8, the male wolf who with #9
raised the first litter of wolf pups born in
Yellowstone National Park after the species
was reintroduced in early 1995, was found
dead of natural causes in mid-July. The first
pups whom #8 helped feed and teach to hunt
were sired by #6, who was poached near Red
Lodge, Montana, at about the same time #9
gave birth. After adopting the family, #8
remained alpha male of the Rose Creek pack
for the rest of his life. #9 was driven away by
an aggressive daughter last year, but formed
another pack. Two other Rose Creek pack
members killed the daughter earlier this year
and are now raising her pups with their own.
Tsekub, the Old English Sheepdog
greeter at the Baja Animal Sanctuary in
Rosarito, Mexico, since 1997, died on June
24 from a sudden heart attack. He was
believed to be 12 or 13 years old.

Print Friendly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.