Animal obituaries

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2002:


Bird, a three-year-old cockatoo who lived in Dallas, Texas,
with Christmas Eve 2001 murder victim Kevin Butler, 48, and three
dogs, was killed in defending Butler from alleged knife-wielding
assailants Daniel Torrez and his half-brother, Johnny Serna, but
injured Torrez sufficiently that police made a DNA match with blood
found at the scene and arresed both Torrez and Serna seven months
later. Torrez reportedly confessed. Both men were charged with
capital murder.

Ophelia, one of 18 older cats rescued by the Southern Animal
Foundation of New Orleans who were in convalescent care with
volunteer Richard O’Conner in his apartment above the newly remodeled
SAF clinic, alerted O’Conner to an August 30 dawn arson just in time
for him to escape with only his life. Ophelia and the other upstairs
cats were killed, along with 19 cats at The Cat Practice clinic in
the same building, but firefighters managed to save 58 of the 65
animals at SAF cofounder Anne Bell’s first-floor cat and dog boarding
and grooming kennel. Four feral cats apparently escaped and
returned to the streets. “Anne and the SAF Board plan to begin
rebuilding the shelter and clinic as soon as possible,” said Paul
Berry, another SAF cofounder who now works for the Best Friends
Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah.

Kadira, 36, an Indian elephant bull who had appeared in
several films, and Gaston, 12, a seal who swam more than 188 miles
after high water enabled his escape, were the best-known animal
fatalities at the Troja Zoo in Prague, the Czech Republic, after
the Vitava River overflowedon August 13. Zoo director Petr Fejk
euthanized Kadira, a hippo, a bear, and a lion, rather than leave
them to drown, when the zoo staff were unable to get them out of
their cages. An estimated 90 animals died in all, but more than
1,000 were saved. Gaston appeared to be among the survivors, after
being recovered alive near Wittenberg, Germany, but died from
apparent exhaustion and shock while being trucked back to Prague.

Little Moses, 5, star seal at the Bergen aquarium in
Norway, died on July 19 from a stomach blockage caused by swallowing
about 40 coins tossed to him by visitors.

Kerry, one of six light-bellied Brent geese tracked by
satellite as part of an ongoing migration study by the Wildfowl &
Wetlands Trust and the National Geographic Society, was shot by an
Inuit hunter on July 22 after landing on Bathurst Island en route
from Northern Ireland to the Canadian Arctic.

Anna, 4, a German shepherd police dog who assisted rescuers
in the wreckage of the World Trade Center for 10 days in September
2001 as part of the New Jersey Task Force One Urban Search & Rescue
Team, died on August 2 at the University of Pennsylvania School of
Veterinary Medicine from a rare infection called recurring
discospondylitis. The university is reportedly investigating whether
the bone-damaging infection might have been triggered by the stress
of her World Trade Center service.

Dreadnought, 44, the male American crocodile who was first
inhabitant of the acclaimed rainforest exhibit at the Cleveland
MetroPark Zoo, was euthanized on July 12 after a three-month
illness. Born in the wild in 1957, Dreadnought was captured for the
Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. He was transferred to the MetroPark Zoo
in 1988, and moved into the rainforest exhibit in 1992.

Black Bart, a male black swan, died on August 10 at the
Potawatomi Zoo in South Bend, Indiana, from injuries suffered in
protecting his mate and five cygnets from a German shepherd and a
male chow mix who also killed 13 wallabies and injured a kangaroo and
an emu during a predawn rampage through the zoo. The German shepherd
was captured and killed by South Bend Animal control. The chow

Missy, 15, the border collie/Siberian husky mix who was
subject of a $3.7-million attempt by Texas A&M University geneticists
to clone her, died on July 6 at the home of her person, Joan
Hawthorne. The cloning effort continues, funded by Haw-thorne and
Arizona investor John Sperling. The project produced a cloned cat,
CC, in December 2001, but has not managed to raise clones of Missy
to term.

Jodi, 25, a female chimpanzee known for the paintings she
produced at the Wellington Zoo in New Zealand, died in late June
from inoperable kidney tumors.

Jake, 4, the youngest member of the much praised western
lowland gorilla exhibit at the Dallas Zoo, died on July 29 from a
form of encephalitis–but West Nile virus, which has killed numerous
birds at the Audubon Park Zoo in New Orleans, Central Park Zoo in
New York, and Topeka Zoo in Kansas, was ruled out.

Grizzly 001, 15, tracked by radio collar for more than 10
years as part of a study of ways and means of reconditioning bears to
stay away from human food and garbage, was shot by Alaska Department
of Fish and Game biologists on August 7 after leading three cubs in a
series of building break-ins at the Prudhoe Bay oil field. The cubs,
two males and a female, were taken to the Anchorage Zoo, and will
eventually be relocated to the Denver Zoo and the South Carolina Zoo,
Alaska DFG biologist Cathie Harms told Tim Mowry of the Fairbanks
Daily News-Miner. “A lot of the photos you see of bears walking
along pipelines was this bear,” Harms continued. Grizzly 001 was
taught to raid human food sources by her mother, who was the first
bear radio-collared in connection with the study that she herself
later was part of.

Goldie, 18, an orphaned California sea otter taken in by
the Monterrey Bay Aquarium just as it opened in 1984, was euthanized
at the aquarium in late June after months of declining health due to
conditions of age. His longtime companions Hailey and Roscoe had
died within the past year.

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