Animal Obits

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2008:
Tony, 17, a chimpanzee who escaped from the Keeling Center
for Comparative Medicine and Research on March 21, 2008, was
fatally shot by University of Texas police officer Paul Maslyk, 43,
after Maslyk disregarded warnings from the capture team to stay in
his car, according to police reports and witness statements obtained
in July 2008 by Joshunda Sanders of the Austin American-Statesman.
Wrote Sanders, “Maslyk told police investigators that after he
watched Tony take the tranquilizer gun and break it, the chimp
headed toward him… Fearing for his safety, Maslyk said he twice
shouted, ‘I’m gonna shoot,’ in accordance with UT police policy,
and then fired. Maslyk lost his footing, the police report says,
and continued to shoot at the chimp as the chimp passed him.”

Oyin, 10, one of four gorillas known as the “Taiping Four,”
died on June 2, 2008 at the Limbe Wildlife Centre in Camer-oon.
Believed to have been captured in 2002 at cost of the lives of 20-40
adult gorillas, the “Taiping Four” were smuggled to Nigeria and sold
to the Taiping zoo in Malaysia in 2003 as allegedly captive bred in
Nigeria. Pressured by the International Primate Protection League,
the Malaysian government sent the four gorillas to the National Zoo
of South Africa in Pretoria in 2004. IPPL continued campaigning on
their behalf. They were returned to Cameroon in 2007.

Leila, 10, an orangutan kept by the Hamburg Zoo in Germany,
drowned on July 30, 2008 when she fell into a moat while trying to
catch bread thrown by a visitor.

Hercules, 43, the Dallas Zoo silverback gorilla, died on
August 12, 2008 “two days after undergoing treatment to relieve back
pain,” reported Marissa Alanis of the Dallas Morning News. “Zoo
officials were trying to reposition Hercules, who still remained
immobile despite the treatment, when he underwent cardiac arrest,”
Alanis wrote. Transferred to the Dallas Zoo from the Baltimore Zoo in
October 1993, Hercules was star of a gorilla exhibit that was then
considered the world’s best–and was believed to be escape-proof,
but Hercules climbed out, inflicting multiple bite wounds on keeper
Jennifer McClurg, 25. Despite efforts to improve security,
recalled Andre Coe of Associated Press, “In 2004, Dallas police
shot and killed a 13-year-old gorilla named Jabari at the zoo,”
after Jabari “jumped over a wall, bit three people, and snatched up
a toddler by his teeth during a 40-minute rampage. The enclosure was
remodeled and the city paid a $10,000 fine to the U.S. Department of
Agriculture.” Hercules’ death came five days after the Dallas Zoo
was directed by the Dallas City Council to produce a new plan for the
future of Jenny, 32, the zoo’s last elephant. The Dallas Zoo had
intended to transfer Jenny to a five-acre exhibit at the newly opened
Africam Safari Park near Puebla, Mexico, a drive-through photo
safari venue. In Defense of Animals and other animal advocacy groups
contend that Jenny should instead be retired to the Elephant
Sanctuary at Hohenwald, Tennessee, which has offered to introduce
her to a 300-acre enclosure that she would share with three other
African elephants.

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