From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2002:
Inky, 5, a black Labrador retriever trained for Craig
Steven Miller, 41, by Leader Dogs for the Blind, was allegedly
kicked to death by Miller on February 8 in Lansdale, Pennsylvania.
Miller, who ran for mayor of Lansdale in November 2001, but was
defeated, was charged with cruelty. On February 11 his wife Brenda
obtained a protective order against him on behalf of herself and
their children, while Miller was undergoing psychiatric evaluation
at Norristown State Hospital.
Ivy, 11, an endangered nene (Hawaiian goose) whose 20
surviving offspring are about 10% of the population of her species at
Haleakala National Park, was roadkilled just before dawn on January
13. Her three-week-old gosling was missing and presumed dead. Her
parents, Alice and Andy, and an unnamed sister, were roadkilled in
earlier accidents. Maui News staff writer Valerie Monson recalled
Ivy as “the Elizabeth Taylor of Haleakala, so irresistible that she
frequently caused fights among males vying for her charms. Although
nene couples generally bond for life, Ivy had an astonishing four
mates, each one winning her over by attacking the previous male in
her life and driving him off. Ivy’s last mate, #121, continues to
be grief-stricken, his tragic calls slicing the air like a foghorn.”
Bubbles, 47, a hippo who shared an exhibit at the Chaffee
Zoological Gardens in Fresno with her mate Bulgy, 46, since 1957,
died on January 31. Bubbles and Bulgy had 17 surviving offspring in
zoos around the world. Bulgy “was sad for about a day,” before
returning to normal routines, student keeper Tina Silva told Matthew
Kreamer of the Fresno Bee. Bubbles’ skeleton is to be mounted by
Reedley High School students as a class project.
Mrs. Bones, 12, who contributed 68 chicks to the recovery
of black stilts from near extinction, as initially one of only five
breeding females in captivity, died in early January from
complications associated with a broken bill at the Geraldine
Veterinary Centre in Christchurch, New Zealand. Mrs. Bones suffered
the broken bill in late 1999. Raising three chicks at the time, she
nearly starved before dentist John Jensen and veterinarian Mark
Colson managed to effect a repair that held up for two years.
Thirteen of Mrs. Bones’ offspring were released to the wild on
January 16, among a flock of 26, who join just 61 surviving
wild-reared black stilts. All 68 of Mrs. Bones’ offspring are
eventually to be released.
Caesar, 11, an endangered Florida panther who was sent to
the Jacksonville Zoo in April 2001 on a breeding loan, after
spending most of his life at the White Oak Conservation Center, died
on February 10. Meeting Caesar in April 1994, ANIMAL PEOPLE
observed that he seemed stunted, like some severely inbred pumas
seen at roadside zoos, and hypothesized that the “subspecies” status
of the Florida panther might reflect the past 150 years of genetic
isolation caused by intensive hunting and development, rather than
longterm evolutionary adaptations to habitat. Shared by some
investigators of puma history and genetics, this hypothesis is
unpopular with conservationists who rely on critical habitat
designations for the Florida panther to preserve undeveloped
corridors in some of the busiest parts of Florida.
Zinnia, 30, a pygmy hippo, was euthanized on February 6
due to incurably painful degenerative arthritis. Born at the
Philadelphia Zoo, Zinnia and her father ZorZor were transferred to
the Reid Park Zoo in Tucson in 1979. ZorZor was euthanized due to
spinal degeneration in 1998, at age 33.
Neusi, 14, one of seven chimps taken in by the Cefn yr Erw
wildlife center in south Wales after a small zoo closed in 1999,
died from a stroke on January 7. Her keepers appealed via BBC for a
helicopter to take her to Suffolk for a brain scan, and a Midlands
businessman with a helicopter volunteered, but bad weather grounded
the flight. Neusi was then taken to Newmarket by ambulance, where
racehorse vets thought they might be able to help, but she died soon
Clavellero, a 1,000-pound bull who refused to either fight
or leave the bullring so that another bull could be brought to fight,
on March 5 became the first bull ever to be shot to death rather than
dispatched by sword at the 56-year-old Plaza Mexico arena.
Cheena, 12, a chimpanzee resident at the Prince of Wales
Zoo in Lucknow, India, since 1999, died on February 2 from a
severe intestinal infection that was misdiagnosed as pregnancy
because it caused extreme swelling. Cheena was brought from the
Hyderabad zoo as an intended mate for Sunny, a male chimp obtained
from the Vadora zoo in 1991, but the pair initially fought, and
were separated for some months with only mirrors for company. A
renunion was successful, and Sunny reportedly “broke down” from
severe grief after Cheena’s death. The zoo staff blamed their
misdiagnosis of her condition on lack of access to an ultrasound
machine, requested from the Central Zoo Authority but refused in May
2001. After Cheena died, Uttar Pradesh chief wildlife warden R.L.
Singh told the Times of India that he had authorized the zoo to
appeal directly to the public, a rarity in India, and that the
staff had assembled a mailing list of 130 prospective donors–about
1,000th the size of the donor list for a U.S. zoo of comparable
Kayla, 10, her year-old son Makoko, and Uzurui, 2, a
female, were killed on January 7 at the Gladys Porter Zoo in
Brownsville, Texas, when a space heater melted a plastic bucket of
chlorine disinfectant, flooding the lowland gorilla habitat with
lethal fumes. Another gorilla, Penny, 16, suffered a miscarriage.
The zoo has been repeatedly cited by the USDA in recent years for
violations of safety rules. It was the deadliest week for captive
lowland gorillas since a Christmas Eve fire at the Philadelphia Zoo
in 1995 killed 23 primates, including all resident gorillas. A few
days before the deaths at the Gladys Porter Zoo, Calabar, 40, a
lowland gorilla resident at the Gulf Breeze Zoo in Florida since
1997, died from either a heart attack or pancreatic cancer, zoo
director Pat Quinn said. January 5 brought the death of Simba,
believed to be about 37, at the Rio Grande Zoo in Albuquerque, due
to complications from a hysterectomy performed in December 2001 in
response to severe endometriosis. Simba was among the last lowland
gorillas captured from the wild before the U.S. ratified the
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species in 1972, and
then passed the Endangered Species Act in 1973, effectively ending
the era of wild captures for commercial sale to U.S. zoos.
Mark, 3, a member of veteran Iditarod musher DeeDee
Jonrowe’s team, became ill between the Elim and White Mountain
checkpoints, was carried to White Mountain in Jonrowe’s sled bag,
and died during surgery to repair a bleeding stomach ulcer.
Goro, 5, a member of Iditarod musher Jim Oehlschlager’s
team, died on March 10 from a spinal injury suffered when he became
tangled in Oehlschlager’s gangline as Oehlschlager tried to turn the
team around after missing a turn.
Rambo, a police dog in Luweero, Uganda, mysteriously died
in early March from causes variously described as poor handling,
malnutrition, and getting a haircut.
Brigette, 7, springer spaniel pet of Paul Potter in Riviera
Beach, Florida, was shot dead on March 11 by rookie police officer
Jason Gilbert, 24, after Gilbert entered the wrong property while
investigating a ringing burglar alarm. Gilbert was assigned to desk
duty pending investigation.
Sasha, a three-year-old female black Labrador drug-sniffing
dog who worked with the Anaconda-Deer Lodge County police department
in Anaconda, Montana, was shot by an unknown assailant on February
22 while running for exercise about a mile and a half from her home.
Madhu, a male Indian rhino resident at the Jaldapara reserve
forest since 1995, died on March 20 from either a snake bite or a
heart attack, as his keepers worked on plans to introduce him to a
Mitzvah, 10, a collie comfort dog who starred in Alpo
commercials and a video about pet therapy called Animal Heroes, was
euthanized on February 9 in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, to relieve
pain from cancer.