Animal Obituaries

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 2002:

Bubba, the last known Alabama sturgeon, died in August at
the Alabama state fish hatchery in Marion. Bubba was one of two
males who were captured for an attempted breeding program that failed
from lack of females. The Alabama sturgeon was added to the U.S.
endangered species list in 2000, the same year it was last seen in
the wild.

Star V, fifth in a line of reindeer kept since 1960 by Oro
Stewart of Anchorage, Alaska, died suddenly and unexpectedly on
September 7, at only five months old. Star I was a long-lived local
mascot, but Star II was stolen, killed, and butchered in 1985,
and Star III died in 1986 after ingesting plastic wrapping material.
Star IV, 17, died in May.
Mary, 7, a grizzly bear who recently separated from two
cubs in the Hinton/ Jasper area near Mary Greg Lake, Alberta, a
longtime well-behaved favorite of local bear researchers, was
poached in mid-September by someone who took her radio collar but not
her head, gallbladder, hide, or claws.

Martin, a moose en route from a wildlife park in Fla,
Norway, to the Polar Zoo in Bardu, escaped unnoticed from the horse
trailer used to haul him, despite tranquilization, and was found
dazedly wandering near Hallingdal. Believing he was a wild moose who
had been hit by a car, local officials shot him, then took his
carcass to the wildlife park he came from as an intended gift of bear
food.

Cordova, 25, the oldest Alaskan sea otter in captivity,
resident at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma since 1981,
was euthanized in mid-September after 18 months of treatment for
ovarian cancer.

Keltie, 23, a grey seal rescued as a stranding victim in
1981 and transferred to the National Zoo in Washington D.C. two years
later, in fragile health all her life, died in her sleep on
September 3.

Griff, 19, a Masai giraffe born in the wild, who bore six
calves during 18 years at the National Zoo in Washington D.C., died
on September 2 from apparent conditions of age. Her longtime mate
and companion Ryma, 17, died from similar causes in February 2002.
Four of her offspring are still alive, including Jana, 20 months
old, the last giraffe left at the National Zoo pending a scheduled
breeding loan to the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston. Because Griff came
from the wild and was not inbred, her genes are considered
especially important to the American Zoo Association captive breeding
program for Masai giraffes, formalized in 1999.

Kunming and Xian, red panda twins born in July at the Parco
Natura Viva zoo in Bussolengo, Italy, died from skin infections in
early September after their mother, who was unable to nurse them,
licked off their antibiotic salves.

Tigger, a two-year-old male tiger, escaped at about 5 a.m.
on September 28 from a trailer towed by Mary Jeanne Williams, 44,
of Ivanhoe, Texas, when her son John Bryan Johnson, 19, tried to
give him water at a truck stop in Bloomington, Illinois. Mary Jeane
Williams was convicted on September 26 in Putnam County, Texas, of
endangering a child by allowing Angela Starkey, 7, to pet Tigger
through an open cage door on May 26, 2002. Tigger bit Starkey,
inflicting wounds that required 110 stitches and three months of
physical therapy to repair. Mary Jeane Williams was fined $3,172.
Tigger was boarded at Bill Olsen’s Second Nature Exotics, in
Hennepin County, Illinois, while the case was pending, but was
believed to be en route to Tiger Creek, in Tyler, Texas. Staff
from two zoos, two vet clinics, and five police and fire
departments tried for hours to tranquilize Tigger, who was finally
shot and killed when he seemed to be about to bolt beyond the police
cordon.

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