From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2004:
John “Jack” O’Brien, believed to be in his early seventies,
died on April 30, 2004 in Plymouth, Massachusetts. A former Roman
Catholic priest, who married former novice turned flamboyant animal
rights activist Dorothy Checci, O’Brien “was always in the
background, but his presence was felt. Jack was Dorothy’s #1
supporter,” said longtime friend Gayle Fitzpatrick. After Dorothy
Checci-O’Brien died at age 70 in August 2001, Jack O’Brien “tried to
continue her work, but was wheelchair-bound after several strokes,”
Virginia Denton, 78, died on January 24, 2004. Born in
Brooklyn, spending much of her life in Ohio, Denton relocated to
Brooksville, Florida in 1982, where she and her husband Jim founded
the Compassion Spay/Neuter fund and volunteered for the Herandon
County Humane Society. She is survived by her husband, two sons,
and a daughter.
Kim Michels, DVM, 48, died in late April, 2004 from
breast cancer. Michels was staff veterinarian for the East Bank
Animal Shelter in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, past president of
the Southeast Louisiana Veterinary Association, and the 2002
Louisiana Veterinarian of the Year.
Fortune Mkhize, 27, a tour guide at Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park
in South Africa, was fatally stomped by a bull elephant in musth on
March 30, 2004. Mhize motioned his tour group to safety, witnesses
said, and only then made his own retreat. Although armed with a
heavy rifle, he did not try to use it. The elephant attacked him
after he tripped and fell.
Tang Mingli, 22, a zookeeper since 2001 at the Bifeng Gorge
Wild Animal Park in Sichuan province, China, was killed by 10
Siberian tigers circa March 18, 2004 after trying to use a metal rod
to drive the tigers out of a rest area into a viewing area.
Boonreung Bauchan, whose age was variously listed as 27 and
34, was fatally bitten by a black mamba at his home in Sri Saket,
Thailand, his parents said. Boonreung in 1998 spent a week in a
glass room with 100 poisonous snakes to earn a place in the Ripley’s
Believe It Or Not record book. He left behind a collection of about
30 snakes. Prior to his cremation, “Many wild snakes came to visit,
as if they wanted to pay respects to a man who had liked to play with
snakes and other poisonous creatures ever since he was a child,” his
brother Taspond Buachan told the Bangkok Post.