Animal obituaries

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 2005:

José, a four-month old blackfooted
ferret who was raised at the Cheyenne Mountain
Zoo and released into the wild near Wolf Creek,
Colorado in late October 2005, was killed by a
coyote or badger just three days later. “We
found only his radio transmitter, and it was all
chewed up,” Bureau of Land Management biologist
Brian Holmes told Dave Philipps of the Colorado
Springs Gazette. Philipps learned that the
survival rate for reintroduced blackfooted
ferrets ranges from one in 10 in Colorado to one
in 30 in New Mexico. Two other ferrets released
at the same time as José are also deceased, but
details of their fate were not disclosed.

Eastern Racer Snake #039, 15, was
killed by a truck during the first week of
November 2005 in Windham County, Vermont.
“Long, black and sinuous, #039 belonged to the
rarest snake species in Vermont, where only
seven other Eastern racers have been found.,”
wrote Candance Page of the Burlington Free Press.
“Herpetologist Jim Andrews captured and tagged
him in 2004 as part of the rediscovery of a
species once thought extinct in Vermont. #039
achieved minor celebrity last month,” Page
added, “when he was returned to his home after a
Herculean effort by humans to save his life after
he was found on July 14 on Interstate 91 with a
broken jaw, badly injured eye and cuts and
bruises. Volunteers fed him through a tube.
State transportation officials used his October 5
release to tout their efforts to improve wildlife
habitat near highways.”

Bulgy, 50, a hippo born at the Miami
Bird Farm but sold to the Chaffee Zoo in Fresno
in 1958, was euthanized on November 10 due to
incurable painful conditions of age.

Best Mate, 10, three-time winner of the
Gold Cup, remembered by Michael Fleet of the
Daily Telegraph as “the most popular racehorse in
Britain,” stumbled in front of the crowd after
his first fall 2005 race, the first race he ever
failed to finish. “Jockey Paul Carberry
immediately dismounted. Best Mate fell to his
knees and rolled over after suffering a fatal
heart attack,” Fleet wrote.

Bud, 16, a golden eagle, died from the
mosquito-transmitted West Nile virus on September
9 at the Southwest Wildlife Foundation in Cedar
City, Utah. Considered a threat to livestock,
Bud was trapped in 1991 by Southwest Wildlife
Foundation president Martin Tyner. “A frequent
flier at schools, businesses, and the Utah
Shakespearian Festival, Bud was the foundation’s
favorite partner for promoting wildlife
conservation and birds of prey,” wrote Mark
Havnes of the Salt Lake Tribune. “Bud’s prowess
at publicity landed him last year on the floor of
the Utah House of Representatives, where he was
feted for his work.” Tyer recognized that Bud
had the symptoms of West Nile virus and began
treating him on September 6, to no avail.

Future, 2, a male African elephant who
lost half of his trunk to a poacher’s wire snare,
died on September 12 despite intensive efforts to
save him by Sharon Pincott of the Presidential
Elephant Conservation Project on the Hwange
Estate in Zimbabwe.

Calvin, 30, among the oldest grizzly
bears in capivity, died in early November at the
Utica Zoo in upstate New York. Born at the
Milwaukee County Zoo, Calvin had also lived at
the Cleveland MetroParks Zoo.

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