Animal obits

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 2008:

Jocko the spider monkey, 15, died from
a fractured skull on May 7, 2008 at the Greater
Vancouver Zoo in Aldergrove, British Columbia,
fighting to protect his mate Mia, three years
older, from night intruders. The intruders took
Mia from the zoo. She has not been found. Born
in captivity, Jocko and Mia had shared their
habitat since 1993.

Sundar, 11, a male giraffe being moved
from the Alipore Zoo to the Nandan-kanan Zoo in
Bhubaneswar, India, became entangled in
electric wires en route, riding in an open truck
near twilight. “The necropsy revealed burn
injuries in one of his ears. Such was the shock
that Sundar sat down in an awkward position and
his left hip was dislocated,” said Alipore Zoo
director S. Chowdhury, who was outspokenly
critical of the haulers’ 12-hour delay in
returning Sundar to the Alipore Zoo for
treatment. “Zoo officials said they could have
saved the giraffe had the escort team brought him
back immediately,” reported the Telegraph, of
Calcutta. West Bengal forest minister Ananta Roy
said the Alipore Zoo would not send the
Nandankanan Zoo a replacement. The Nandankanan
Zoo has had repeated scandals involving allegedly
negligent or criminal treatment of animals,
including the deaths of 13 tigers in less than a
month in July 2000, and the beheading of a
caiman soon afterward by two keepers, one of
whom had been fired for theft. Twenty-one zoo
guards and the zoo director were replaced after
those episodes.
One Wing, 20-plus, an American bald
eagle, died on May 6, 2008 from a tumor on his
heart at the Bird Treatment & Learning Center in
Anchorage, Alaska, his home since 1989, when
he was rescued after the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
“Poisoned by crude oil, the eagle fought the
rescuers so hard that he tore up his wing beating
it against the ground. He arrived at Bird TLC
a wreck, and founder Jim Scott had to amputate
his wing. Scott did not expect him to survive,
and decided to use him as a living blood bank to
save other oiled eagles. “We took blood from him
each day for several days, which you never do,”
Scott said. “But he kept getting stronger and
stronger. And he won a place in all our
hearts.” A young man named Dane Ketner earned
his Eagle Scout badge by building a habitat for
One Wing and his eventual mate, the notoriously
ornery Old Witch, who died in 2007.

The first polar bear to reach Iceland in
at least 15 years was shot by police on June 5,
2008 near Skagafjordur, after swimming more
than 200 miles from Greenland or drifting closer
on an iceberg. “Iceland’s environment minister,
Thorunn Sveinbjarnardottir,” who recently
acquiesced to the resumption of commercial
whaling by Icelandic vessels, gave the green
light for police to shoot the bear because the
correct tranquiliser would have taken 24 hours to
be flown in,” wrote Allegra Stratton of the
Guardian. Added Stratton,
“Sveinbjarnard-ottir’s account was disputed by
the chief vet in the town of Blönduó, Egill
Steingrímsson, who said he had the drugs
necessary in the boot of his car.” The vet said
he could have had the tranquilizer flown to the
scene in less than an hour. The most recent
previous polar bear sighting in Iceland, near
Strandir, also ended with the bear being shot.
The earliest recorded sighting came in 890, 16
years after the first Vikings settled in Iceland.

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