ANIMAL OBITUARIES

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 2000:

 

Sakhi, a 13-month-old tigress, was
tranquilized and skinned as the alleged climax
of a 108-day series of tantric rituals on the
night of October 5 at the Nehru Zoological
Park in Hyderabad, India. The crime coincided
with the last day of the annual festival of
Kali, the Hindu blood-goddess. Most Hindus
eschew animal sacrifice, but blood sacrifice is
central to Kali-worship. Indian prime minister
Atal Behari Vajpayee interrupted his recovery
from knee surgery to demand an investigation,
and contributed to a reward fund for apprehension
of the killers, who remained at large.


Nehru Zoo curator B. Trinada Rao was transferred
to another job, four members of his
staff were suspended, and the government of
Andra Pradesh state allocated extra funds to
improve security at the Nehru Zoo, the Sri
Venkateswara Zoo in Tirumala, and the Indira
Gandhi Zoological Park in Visakhapatnam,
whose vulnerability had been brought to the
attention of authorities on several occasions by
Visakha SPCA secretary Pradeep Kumar Nath.
The killing of Sakhi also brought a series of
police raids against alleged poachers. The
raids netted two fresh tiger pelts, but neither
matched Sakhi’s markings.

Annie, a 17-year-old chimpanzee,
drowned at the Dublin Zoo in Dublin, Ireland,
on October 19 in a futile effort to rescue her
infant son Angus, who cried for help after
climbing over the electric fence which separates
the chimp exhibit from a moat. Annie
crawled under the wire and tried to crawl back
with Angus on her back, but Angus hit the
wire, was shocked, and fell into the moat as
Annie leaped after him. Both chimps were
newly arrived on loan from the Belfast Zoo.
The drownings came two days after a pair of
Moluccan cockatoos were stolen from the zoo,
and about two weeks after the Dublin SPCA
asked ANIMAL PEOPLE to investigate the
zoo management. The Federation of
Zoological Gardens of Britain and Ireland was
reportedly already inquiring into the recent
killings by management of a grey wolf and
eight newborn pups, and the deaths of 25
prairie dogs, some of whom ate rat poison
while others tunneled into a cheetah exhibit.
The Editor of ANIMAL PEOPLE h a s
received many critical reports about the zoo
from various different sources since 1991.

Ellie, an 11-month-old yellow
Labrador, yanked her 12-year-old German
shepherd companion Lightnet from in front of
a speeding car near midnight on October 17
and was fatally injured herself. The dogs’
owner, Angela Love, 40, said she was also
nearly struck by the hit-and-run driver, who
stopped just long enough to pull Ellie––still
alive––from his front bumper.

Sir Lancelot, a male dog who was
found protecting a litter of puppies amid the
destruction left by the 1999 Santa Clarita wildfire,
was euthanized on October due to cancer
which spread even after the amputation of the
leg where the tumors started. He spent his last
year in care of Animal Rescue Volunteers, of
Simi Valley, California.

Star, 41, a female golden eagle
who was taken from a next in Montana as a
fledgling and held in a small cage for 41 years,
died from the mold infection a s p e r i g i l l o s i s i n
early October soon after falconer Henry
Thomas of Arlington, Washington, obtained
her for attempted rehabilitation. A veterinary
exam shortly before her death discovered that
she had also at some point suffered brain damage,
an eye injury, and a broken wing.

Squeak, an elk rescued as a fawn in
1998 by Marsha McCain and Kayo
Armentrout of Woodland Park, Colorado,
after her mother was roadkilled, was shot on
October 27 by a Teller County sheriff’s
deputy, under orders from Colorado Division
of Wildlife conservation officer Tanya Sharp.
Squeak was wearing an orange vest and
Halloween pumpkin costume at the time, as
protection against hunters. About 70 people
attended a birthday party for Squeak in July
2000, and 400 local residents signed a petition
protesting the shooting, which came after hikers
compained that Squeak had chased them.

Summer, an eight-month-old
pygmy sperm whale who was believed to have
a good chance of becoming the first of her
species to survive 100 days in captivity,
drowned on November 1 after becoming
entangled in the underwater fence at her temporary
pen at the City Electric System pier on
Stock Island near Key West. Summer was
found stranded on June 21, near the remains of
her mother, who apparently suffocated after
ingesting a plastic bag.

Linus, black Labrador guide dog of
Jeannette Small, 57, of Highland, Missouri,
suffered fatal internal injuries on October 20
when he was fatally mauled by two former
hunting dogs who escaped from their outdoor
pen at the Highland Animal Shelter while
Small, a longtime volunteer at the no-kill shelter,
was helping to socialize cats for adoption.
The dogs who killed Linus, named Otto and
Remus, had been held as unadoptable for
seven years, but were reportedly euthanized
after Linus’ death. Since getting Linus in
1996, Small has suffered disabilities beyond
failing eyesight which probably mean she will
not be eligible to receive another guide dog.

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