Human obituaries

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2002:

Phil Caidin, 77, died of cancer on February 17 in New York
City. An air gunner in World War II, Caidin worked in sales for
many years at Gimbels, but discovered his true calling as “The
Birdman of Central Park,” as the National Enquirer called him, when
in 1957 his first bird, a white albino parakeet, flew out an open
window into Riverside Park. During the next 40 years Caidin rescued
more than 100 parakeets, “dozens” of lovebirds, and seven parrots
who were at large in New York City parks, along with a Peking duck
and countless dogs and cats. The duck made headlines in 1983, as
Caidin waded into freezing ponds in midwinter day after day to feed
and befriend him. A 23-day pursuit of a 20-inch-tall conure and a
yellow-headed Amazon parrot made The New York Times in 1994.

“I¬†always got the bird,” Caidin laughed when asked about the rescue by
ANIMAL PEOPLE. “Of course,” he added, “some people say that’s easy
to do in New York City, especially if you’re jaywalking.” One day
in 1976, Caidin remembered, he was bird-rescuing in Central Park
and, “I heard some guy shouting over at the American Museum of
Natural History. So I walked over to hear what he was shouting
about, and that turned out to be Henry Spira.” Caidin learned that
Spira was shouting about cruel experiments on cats going on inside,
and started shouting too. Caidin remembered the experiments being
stopped in 1977 as one of the happiest days of his life. That was
the first time that public protest ever stopped an animal experiment,
and was the beginning of the modern animal rights movement. Always
an enthusiastic and colorful friend of ANIMAL PEOPLE, Caidin will be
missed.

Andrea Konci, 53, died from a stroke on January 19 at
Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg. A top insurance sales
agent in her professional life, she took a forced early retirement
after suffering the first of a series of brain seizures, and devoted
the remainder of her life to feral cat rescue and primate advocacy.

Marie Pappalardo, 53, an avid cat rescuer in Paramount,
California, who once talked her way into the stall of the Triple
Crown-winning racehorse Affirmed just to hug him, was a passenger
aboard American Airlines flight 175 out of Boston on the morning of
September 11, and was killed when terrorists flew it into the World
Trade Center.

Emilio Hernandez, a former employee and still a friend of
the Baja Animal Sanctuary in Rosarito, Mexico, was killed along
with his wife and two of their children in a housefire, the
circumstances of which were “extremely suspicious,” wrote BAS
founder Sunny Benedict. She remembered him most for his “effortless
frolicking every afternoon with the animals.”

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