Human obituaries

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2004:

Richard Charter, 53, of Johannesburg, South Africa, drowned
on February 1, 2004 while trying to rescue a white water rafting
companion who had fallen into the Orange River near Glen Lion, and
also drowned. “After a successful business and sporting career, in
which he captained the South African skydiving team, Charter set
about buying degraded farmland and rehabilitating it back to its
natural beauty. His most recent and ambitious project was Glen Lion
in the southern Kalahari,” recalled Chris Mercer of the Kalahari
Raptor Centre, “where Charter and his partner, entrepreneur Pat
Quirk, bought 26 contiguous farms to create a private nature reserve
of some 70,000 hectares (about 180,000 acres) to provide pristine
sanctuary for Kalahari wildlife and in particular, the desert lion
and black rhino. We hope Charter’s untimely death will not end the
Glen Lion project,” Mercer added, “because of the need for suitable
habitat into which rescued predators such as caracals, jackals and
hyenas can be released.”

Gretchen Hersman, 53, activist and visual artist, died on
December 17, 2003 of breast cancer at her home in West Branch,
Iowa. Co-founding the Johnson County Humane Society in 1980,
Hersman in 1996 became Midwest Regional Director for In Defense of
Animals, and answered the IDA 1-800-Stolen-Pet Hotline. In recent
years Hersman chiefly investigated puppy mills and gathered
information about dogfighting.

Daniel Radziej, 33, was killed on February 2 when the
rented car in which he was riding hit a truck near Mariental,
Namibia. “Radziej, a German national, recently moved [from
Namibia] to South Africa, where he was to run a wildlife rescue and
training center in the Northwest Prov-ince,” reported Africa News
Service. Radziej and his wife Catherine had fought the Namibia
Ministry of Environment and Tourism since late 2002 over custody of a
male lion and a female leopard whom they raised from cubs. Their
permits to keep the big cats were revoked after the cats allegedly
mauled vistors to the Radziej farm. Namibian film maker Simon
Wilkie, 42, suffered face and chest injuries in the accident.
Driver Julika Kennaway, 38, a British nature film director,
escaped serious harm.

Allison Brent Abell, 52, was killed on February 12 by a
black-maned African lion he had raised from a cub at Cougar Bluff
Enterprise, described by Becky Malkovich of The Southern Illinoisan
as “an exotic wildlife preserve that sheltered the lion, eight
pumas, a bobcat, and eight wolves. The exhibit license was issued
in 2000 in his wife Kathie Abell’s name.” Away at the time of the
attack, Kathie Abell arrived home to see the lion at large. As she
did not know how to use the tranquilizer gun kept for such
emergencies, she authorized Hardin County sheriff’s deputies to kill
the lion. Abell’s remains were found later.

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