Animal obituaries

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 2008:

Claudio, a three-month-old gorilla,
died on August 16, 2008 at the Munster Zoo in
Germany. “M√ľnster zookeepers said Claudio’s
death was almost certainly the result of [his
mother] Gana neglecting and mistreating the
infant,” wrote Tony Patterson, Berlin
correspondent for The Independent. “Gana, 11,
last year gave birth to her first baby, a female
named Mary Zwo,” Patterson added. “Gana
rejected Mary Zwo for six weeks. Staff at the
zoo finally intervened and rescued the baby,”
who “has lived at a zoo in Stuttgart with four
other gorillas ever since.” Said Munster Zoo
director Jorg Adler, “There was no point in
intervening again. We cannot keep on taking away
children from a mother.”

Genuine Risk, 31, winner of the 1980
Kentucky Derby, the only filly to win in her
lifetime, died on August 18, 2008 in her
paddock at Newstead Farm in Upperville,
Virginia. “After her Derby win, Genuine Risk
finished second to Codex in a controversial
Preakness and second to Temperence Hill in the
Belmont Stakes–the only time a filly has
finished in the money in all three Triple Crown
races,” recalled Associated Press sportswriter
Hank Kurz Jr. “She won 10 of 15 career races,
and never finished worse than third for Hall of
Fame trainer Leroy Jolley.” First bred to 1973
Triple Crown winner Secretariat, in the
first-ever mating of two Kentucky Derby winners,
Genuine Rick produced a stillborn foal, and
birthed only two offspring successfully in 17
attempted breedings. She was retired to pasture
in 2000.

Indra, an Asian elephant exhibited by
the Mexican traveling circus Circo Union,
escaped from his enclosure just before dawn on
September 23, 2008, wandered through two
neighborhoods of the northern Mexico City suburb
of Ecatepec, and was killed when he stepped in
front of a bus driven by Tomas Lopez, 49, who
also died in the collision. Four passengers were
hospitalized. The Mexican environmental
protection agency seized two other Asian
elephants and 10 Siberian tigers from the circus
the following day, after reportedly finding that
all of them were potentially capable of escaping.

Misha, 27, an African elephant who was
transferred to the Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City
from Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo,
California, in 2005, was euthanized on
September 9, 2008 due to mysteriously
deteriorating health. Results of a necropsy to
determine the cause of death were not expected to
be available for weeks, zoo spokesperson Holly
Braithwaite told Lynn Arave of the Deseret News.

Mama Cuddles, 46, a Nile hippopotamus
who was born at the Philadelphia Zoo in 1962,
transferred to the San Francisco Zoo a year
later, was euthanized on August 13, 2008 after
becoming unable to stand due to arthritis and
other conditions of age.

Dorothy, a chimpanzee believed to be
between 35 and 50 years old, died on September
22, 2008. “Dorothy spent at least 25 lonely
years, and probably closer to 40 years, chained
by her neck before a daily parade of people at an
amusement park,” recalled In Defense of Animals.
“After the first ever armed confiscation of
primates in Cameroon in May 2000, Dorothy
enjoyed eight years and four months at the
Sanaga-Yong Center,” sponsored by IDA,
“surrounded by people and chimpanzees who
cherished her.”

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