From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 2003:

Elizabeth Atwood Lawrence, 74, died on November 11 in
Westport, Massachusetts. The first and perhaps only veterinary
anthropologist in the U.S., Lawrence for 20 years taught a course on
animal/human relations at Tufts University, and authored five books,
but was most often quoted from a 1997 autobiographical essay
published in the journal Anthrozoos: “I gave no credence to numerous
individuals stressing the value of human medicine over veterinary
medicine, those who said women did not have the strength and stamina
to treat animals, nor to those who asserted that women’s only proper
destiny was devoting full time to marriage and family life.”

Lee Bartels, 41, of Las Vegas, was electrocuted on
November 29 while trying to rescue a cat from a power pole. Leaping
to the ground, the cat survived.

Frederick Coulston, 89, died on December 15 in Alamogordo,
New Mexico. Honored for his work against malaria during World War II,
Coulston began raising monkeys for research at age 15. In 1963 he
took over the former NASA chimpanzee colony at Holloman Air Force
Base, as an Air Force subcontractor. He then built the Coulston
Foundation chimp facility in Alamogordo, intending to fund his own
chimp research by supplying chimps to other labs. Expecting chimp
use to soar as AIDS research expanded, Coulston in 1993-1995 acquired
more chimps from the Air Force, New York University, the National
Institutes of Health, and New Mexico State University. By August
1995 Coulston had nearly half the U.S. lab population of chimps –but
because chimps proved to be poor lab models for human AIDS, there
was little demand for them. Beset by cash flow problems, he
allegedly cut back veterinary care and maintenance, and became
target of a sustained campaign seeking to close his facilities, led
by In Defense of Animals. Nine chimps died at the Coulston
Foundation due to Animal Welfare Act violations between March 1998
and August 2000. In August 1999 Coulston settled some Animal Welfare
Act charges by agreeing to divest the foundation of 300 chimps, but
no other labs were willing to take them. By March 2000 Coulston
reportedly had debts of nearly $350,000. The National Institutes of
Health bailed him out temporarily in May 2000 by reclaiming title to
288 chimps, assuming the $2.5-million-per-year task of feeding and
looking after them. In September 2002 the Center for Captive
Chimpanzee Care, a Florida-based sanctuary headed by Carole Noon,
bought the Coulston facilities, 288 chimps, and 90 monkeys for $3.7

Clayton James Eller, 10, was killed by a Bengal tiger on
December 14 while sweeping snow from a walkway at Ruth Bynum Rescue,
an exotic animal sanctuary operated by his aunt in Miller’s Creek,
North Carolina. “There was a loose place in the fence where dogs
went in and out and played with the tiger,” said Wilkes County
Coroner Howard Laney. “This little boy got too close, and the tiger
pulled him under.” James Eller, brother of the victim’s mother,
Angela Eller, and of Ruth Bynum, shot the tiger dead, but too late
to save the boy.

Jassmine Hodge, 15, of Phoenix, Arizona, was struck and
killed on November 21 by a car driven by Reyna Salgado, 25, as
Hodge tried to rescue a dog who had been struck by a hit-and-run
driver. The dog died with her. Salgado fled the scene but later
turned herself in to police.

S.S. Nathan, 74, a member of the Blue Cross of India since
1978, who with his wife Indira kept nine rescued dogs, fed more
than 70 street dogs each day, and volunteered two days a week in the
Blue Cross shelter at Guindy, Chennai, died on September 28 in
Penang, Malaysia.

Donald R. Griffin, 88, a professor emeritus at Rockefeller
University, died on November 9 in Lexington, Massachusetts. As
Harvard University students Griffin and Robert Galambos in 1944
discovered bats’ use of sonar. Griffin coined the term
“echo-location” to describe it. The difficulty Griffin had in
convincing the scientific establishment of the validity of the
finding prepared him for the rejection he met when in 1978 he
pioneered the study of cognitive ethology by arguing based on
empirical evidence that animals have the capacity to think and
reason. Charles Darwin made the same argument in 1872, in The
Expression of the Emotions in Man & Animals, but the Darwinian
theory that cognition and emotion evolved along with the physical
structures of the brain was largely dismissed, partly because it
challenged the moral basis for invasive research, until Griffin
demonstrated that Darwin was as prescient about the evolution of the
mind as about the evolution of the body.

Umar Zakirov, 33, a bear trainer for the 92-year-old
Grandpa Durov’s Corner children’s theatre in Moscow, was fatally
mauled on December 3 by a bear he was feeding. Theatre administrator
Svetlana Serebrennikova said the bear would be retired from
performing, but would not be killed.

Snezhana Dautova, 23, a circus trainer, was killed by a
tiger on December 4 in Odessa, Russia. Circus director Gariy
Butvinik told ITAR-Tass that the circus cancelled an evening show
because their tigers were hungry and tired from travel, but was
rehearsing with them to maintain their routine when Dautova ignored
instructions to keep her distance from them. The tiger who killed
her was shot in an unsuccessful rescue attempt.

Frank A. Pitelka, 87, died on October 10 in Altadena,
California. A pioneering behavioral ecologist, Pitelka was best
known for studies of Arctic lemmings and various birds in their
native habitat, conducted with his wife Dorothy, who died in 1994.
Both were zoology professors at the University of California in
Berkeley. From 1985 until 1987 Frank Pitelka directed the Hastings
Natural History Reservation in Carmel Valley, a project of the U.C.
Berkeley Museum of Vertebrate Zoology.

Polly Strand, 70, died on November 5 after a 16-year battle
against breast cancer. Born in Massachusetts, she was among the
first female students at Harvard University, and debuted in activism
as a counselor for one of the early chapters of Planned Parenthood in
Boston, as a founding member of an organization established to
reform the funeral business, and founder of the Sudbury chapter of
the New York Herald Tribune’s Fresh Air Fund, helping to send
disadvantaged children to summer camp. Relocating to Marin,
California, Strand helped to found the Peace & Freedom Party in
opposition to the Vietnam War; founded a successful retail store
chain; and founded Female Organized Running Events, helping to
demonstrate that women could be competitive with men as distance
runners by completing the original Athens marathon course at age 48.
A charter member of the nonprofit MS magazine foundation, Strand
persuaded founder Gloria Steinem to stop accepting tobacco ads.
Recalled Lindsay Vurek, Strand’s companion since 1977, “In 1987
Polly attended an environmental impact hearing on the Northwest
Animal Facility,” a proposed new University of California at
Berkeley laboratory. “This launched her involvement for the rest of
her life in animal issues,” Vurek said. After lobbying failed to
stop the project, Strand funded a lawsuit against it, which with
subsequent help from In Defense of Animals was eventually successful
at the appellate level. The university was fined, but the lab had
already been completed. Strand had already helped to found an
organization called Berkeley Faculty & Staff to Advance Alternatives
to Animal Research. She went on to help found the Redwood Coast
Humane Society, helped lead a redirection of the Inland Mendocino
Humane Society, was a West Coast producer for the pro-animal WBAI
radio program Walden’s Pond, and was especially active in later
years on food and health issues, including opposition to the use of
hormone supplements made from pregnant mare’s urine.

Vijayakumar Gangan, 40, a veteran keeper at the
Thiruvanathapuram Zoo in Trivandrum, India, whose work was praised
by the local chapter of People for Animals, was fatally gored on
December 8 by a rhino he was feeding.

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