From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2001:
Theodore Andre Monod, 98, a leading expert on the ecology of the Sahara desert, died on December 21 in Versailles, France. “A pacifist and ardent defender of animal rights, who opposed bullfighting and hunting, Dr. Monod was also a vegetarian who never touched alcohol or tobacco,” recalled Paul Lewis of The New York Times. “A member of the French Academy of Sciences and a professor at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, Dr. Monod discovered and gave his name to some 30 new species of plant and insect life, about 50 crustaceans, and several fish.” Monod discovered the neolithic skeleton in Mali known to science as Asselar Man in 1925, encouraged the French Resistance during World War II with anti-Nazi broadcasts from Senegal, and collaborated with Belgian physicist Auguste Picard in deep-sea exploration during the 1950s.
Laura Rogers, 36, who helped to fund antifur bilboards in Detroit, died from a drug overdose on January 15 in Royal Oak, Michigan. Fellow activists took in her 11 cats, three chinchillas, a raccoon, and a rescued sparrow. Rogers was a Metro Detroit Vegetarians board member, and had served on the boards of two other local activist groups: Animals Deserve Adequate Protect-ion Today & Tomorrow and Humanitarians for Animal Rights Education (now defunct).
Rita Chhetri, 20, was fatally mauled by three of the nine tigers she played with every day when the Olympic Circus finale went awry on December 15 in Howrah, West Bengal, India. For the finale, Chhetri was to lie on a table as all nine tigers leaped over her and through a flaming hoop, but one tiger pounced her instead and two others joined in. An unidentified 26-year-old man committed suicide the following day by climbing into the tiger cage at the Alipore Zoo in Calcutta, just across the Hugli River.
Sam Savitt, 83, noted for paintings and drawings of horses, including as author of 15 books written mostly for children, and illustrator of about 150 more, died on December 25 in North Salem, New York.
Dennis Harding, 34, of Gauteng, South Africa, died from apparent decompression on November 27 after rescuing a fellow diver who passed out underwater as their nine-member team videotaped six coelacanths off Sodwana Bay. It was the first time more than one of the ancient fish has been seen at once. Another Gauteng diver, Riann Bouwer, 46, died nearby while looking for coelecanth in 1998.
Luigi Lazzaretti, 34, fell to his death on 7,920-foot Mount Arera, Italy, while trying to save his two huskies, who
accompanied him up the mountain but slipped on unusually slick ice. Three other men fell to their deaths trying to save first the dogs and then Lazzaretti.
William L. Brisby, 76, died on January 1 in Crescent City, California. A former U.S. Navy dolphin trainer, Brisby founded the Exotic Animal Training and Management Program at Moorpark College in 1974. The program annually selected 60 of about 1,000 applicants to manage a zoo holding about 500 animals of 140 species. Brisby later was a trainer for the early 1980s TV show Those Amazing Animals.
Jack Pulis, 70, of Gardiner, Maine, died in Augusta on January 6, having lapsed into a coma during December 4 heart
surgery. A retired Bell Telephone Laborator-ies technician who had worked on the Telestar satellite, Jack Pulis “was a kind and gentle man, with a boundless compassion for all victims of violence, injustice, cruelty, and intolerance,” recalled the Kennebec Journal. He is survived by his wife, noted Maine animal rights activist Linn Pulis.