Animal Obituaries

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2001:


Bjossa, 25, the last of a 30-year succession of orcas
displayed at the Vancouver Aquarium, captured near Iceland with her
longtime companion Finna in 1980, died on October 8 at Sea World San
Diego, her home since an April 2001 transfer to be with other orcas.
She had been the only orca in Vancouver since Finna died in November
1997. Already ill when moved, Bjossa took a turn for the worse in
August. She gave birth three times in Vancouver, but none of her
infants survived longer than 97 days. She was the first whale to die
at Sea World San Diego since March 1990.

Bongo, 15, an African lion featured in the films George of
the Jungle, Rude, Animorphs, and The Ghost and the Darkness, the
latter with his brother Caesar, was euthanized due to conditions of
age on October 11 at the Bowmanville Zoo in Ontario. His last screen
role was in the Discovery Channel “Working With Animals” series in
February 2001. Bongo had been caged since July with Gracie, a
female borrowed from the Granby Zoo in Quebec, in hopes they would

Pablo, 31, an ex-lab chimpanizee, died on October 6 at the
Fauna Foundation sanctuary near Montreal, Quebec.

Kumara, 34, the female Asian elephant who killed Chester
Zoo (U.K.) senior keeper Richard Hughes in February 2001, and had
attacked other keepers while also becoming more irrascible toward
other elephants, was euthanized in early October due to incurable
chronic foot and joint pain from arthritis.

Mona, 52, matron elephant of the El Paso Zoo, conversed
briefly with Savannah, her successor, and then died peacefully of
natural causes on October 7, causing cancellation of the last day of
the zoo’s Elephant Festival.

Crispy, the orphaned 20-pound black bear cub found in a
charred tree by a Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks warden after
the Bitterroot Valley fire of August 2000, placed in an artificial
den in semi-wilderness with another orphaned cub in February 2001 in
hopes they could learn to survive in the wild together, was shot by
a hunter in the Bob Marshall Wilderness during the first week of
October. They were among eight orphaned bear cubs released in
Montana last winter. Three have now been killed by hunters. One
was killed by another bear.

Jeb, 11, a Labrador mix who had worked since June 2000
with caregiver Kelly Weas in the Humane Society of Truckee/ Tahoe
(California) pet-assisted therapy program, died in surgery on
September 22 after being shot by a pellet gun. United Animal
Nations, the humane society, the Placer County sheriff’s office,
and many friends have posted a reward of $5,000 for information
leading to conviction of the perpetrator.

Csilla, 24, believed to be the oldest leopard in captivity,
died on October 5 at the Budapest Zoo, her lifelong home. She was
nursed through infancy on dogs’ milk, after her mother ate her two

Churchill, 20-plus, a.k.a. northern right whale #1102, was
declared missing and probably dead on September 20, six days after a
transponder he was carrying sent his last coordinates to the Center
for Coastal Studies in Provincetown, Massachusetts, from a point
250 miles south of Nantucket, and 460 miles east of Cape May, New
Jersey. On June 8 observers noticed that a synthetic fishing rope
was imbedded in his upper jaw, and had become infected. The Center
for Coastal Studies led five unsuccessful attempts to sedate
Churchill enough to surgically remove the line, the last on August
30. First documented in 1981 in the Bay of Fundy, he was known to
have sired at least two calves.

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