Human obituaries

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2002:


Chris Byrne, 52, manager of the Fund for Animals’ Black
Beauty Ranch sanctuary since 1990, was killed near dusk on September
2 when his off-road vehicle rolled over on rough terrain while he was
doing his evening check of the animals and fences. Born in
Wimbledon, England, Byrne previously handled animals in Hollywood
films, tended horses for the DuPont family, fought forest fires in
California, started an eco-tourism business on Kawai, Hawaii, and
lived for a time in the Australian Outback. During his tenure,
Black Beauty grew from 600 acres and 400 animals to 1,480 acres and
more than 1,000 animals. “Chris knew and loved every animal at the
ranch,” said Fund president Marian Probst. “He was respected and
admired by the local community, as well as the international animal
protection community, and is very close to irreplaceable.”

Somporn Saekow, 62, died from a sudden heart attack on
August 20 at the Monkey Training School he founded in 1993 in
southern Surat Thani province, Thailand, to teach monkeys to pick
coconuts. He began teaching monkeys in 1957, and was honored by the
Thai royal family after demonstrating that a monkey can pick more
than five times as many coconuts per day as a human.

Russell Aitken, 92, died on August 11 at his home in
Newport, Rhode Island. An associate editor of Field & Stream
1948-1952, Aitken was among the wealthy trophy hunters who created
the World Wildlife Fund to encourage developing nations to fund their
conservation programs through hunting revenues, rather than banning
trophy hunting as both India and Kenya did soon after winning
independence from Britain. The Bronx Zoo seabird colony is named for
Aitken, who also donated heavily to the National Audubon Society.

Galen Rowell, 61, his wife Barbara Cushman Rowell, pilot
Tom Reid, and friend Carol McAfee, all of Bishop, California,
were killed in an August 11 light plane crash. A professional nature
photographer since 1972, Rowell produced 16 books of photos,
including a 1986 best seller.

Deborah Marie Krantz, 37, died on August 19 in Mt. Clemens,
Michigan. Krantz volunteered for the Ingham County Humane Society
and was wife of Michigan Federation of Humane Societies & Animal
Advocates president Scott Harris. She left a daughter, Madison,
and a son, Sawyer.

Betty Roy, a cofounder in 1992 of the Riverlands SPCA in La
Place, Louisiana, and previously a longtime volunteer for the
Jefferson SPCA, died on August 16.

Poehm, 64, assistant to Brigitte Gomm at the Dog Rescue
Center Samui in Suratthani, Thailand, was killed on August 2 by a
hit-and-run driver.

Michael Hoyle, 44, of Pinellas Park, Florida, and his dog
of seven years, Bonnie, died together from smoke inhalation in an
August 18 mobile home fire.

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