Obituaries [June 2009]

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 2009:
Princess Elizabeth de Croy, 88, died on
May 18, 2009 at the Refuge de Thiernay she
founded in 1968, three miles from the Chateau
d’Azy, her birthplace and the de Croy ancestral
home. The Princess worked as a flight attendant
in the early years of commercial aviation,
traveled with actor Rex Harrison, and knew
General Charles DeGaulle. She did humanitarian
relief work in Biafra, and with her six sisters,
helped to raise funds for Mother Teresa. Her
first experience in humane work included
introducing the use of captive bolt guns to
French slaughterhouses in 1962, as a member of
the French organization ‘uvre d’Assistance aux
Bêtes d’Abattoirs. She demonstrated stun guns
donated by the International Society for the
Protection of Animals, a subsidiary of the
Massachusetts SPCA which was in 1981 merged with
a subsidiary of the Royal SPCA of Britain to form
the World Society for the Protection of Animals.


The Princess started the Refuge de Thiernay and
the Association Defense et Protection des
Animaux, she told Alice Furlaud of The New York
Times in 1988, “with a very small legacy from my
aunt, Princess Marie de Croy, and people gave
me building materials.” Her mother contributed
the farmhouse that became the refuge
headquarters. The Princess in 1980 joined
Michael Seymour Rouse in founding Eurogroup for
Animals, which represents humane concerns to the
European Parliament; accompanied Annabella
Singh, the Maharani of Udaipur, India, in a
landmark 1981 investigation of the largest
slaughterhouse serving Delhi, India; and
beginning in 1980, actively encouraged the
growth of humane societies in Poland. “Animals
and animal groups in Asia could always count on
her help,” testified Pei-Feng Su, executive
director of ACTAsia for Animals. “In the last 20
years, the Princess was an advocate for animals
in Indonesia, Thai-land, Korea, Japan, the
Philippines, Taiwan and China,” Pei-Feng Su
remembered. “In 2006 she supported ACTAsia’s
first workshop in China. The day before she
passed away, I was at her bedside. I thanked
her on behalf of all the animals who benefitted
from her presence in this world.”

Anna Worth, DVM, 55, died of
pancreatic cancer on May 16, 2009 in Bennington,
Vermont. Worth and her husband Robert Bergman,
DVM, founded the West Mountain Animal Hospital
in Shafts-bury, Vermont in 1978. They relocated
to Bennington in 2007. Named “veterinarian of
the year” in 1992 by the Massachusetts SPCA,
Worth later chaired the Vermont Animal Cruelty
Task Force, the Vermont Animal Welfare Committee
and the Euthanasia Board for Animals; was for
seven years the Vermont delegate to the American
Veterinary Medical Association; and served terms
as president of the Society for Veterinary
Medical Ethics and the Vermont Veterinary Medical
Association. She was immediate past president of
the American Animal Hospital Association.
Charlotte Baker Montgomery, 98, died on
April 28, 2009 in Nacogdoches, Texas, from
complications of Alzheimer’s disease. The
daughter of author Karle Baker, Charlotte Baker
Montgomery became a prolific writer and
illustrator of children’s books. “Her many
titles placed special emphasis on being kind to
our ‘animal friends,'” recalled Trent Jacobs of
the Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel. “In 1959
Montgomery and her husband Roger led the effort
to organize the Humane Society of Nacogdoches
County, and inspired the formation of other
animal welfare groups throughout East Texas.” In
1983 Montgomery donated a 16-acre conservation
easement on property that became the Banita Creek
Nature Preserve. In 1993 she deeded 15 acres of
the site to the Texas Land Conserv-atory. Tthe
Humane Society of Nacogdoches County continues to
lease the last acre.

Carole C. Noon, 59, died on May 3,
2009 of pancreatic cancer in Fort Pierce,
Florida. Her sister Lee Asbeck told Bruce Weber
of The New York Times that her feelings for
animals became known to her family wehn they saw
the 1955 Walt Disney animated film Lady & the
Tramp. Then Carole Cooney, age 6, she cried so
hard when the Tramp was taken to the dog pound
that she had to be carried outside. Becoming
Carole Noon through a brief early marriage, she
“often said her career path was set when she
heard Jane Goodall lecture in 1984. She went on
to earn a master’s degree in anthropology and a
doctorate in biological anthropology from the
University of Florida,” wrote Weber. “Her
specialty was socializing captive chimpanzees.
She did much of her field research at the
Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage in Zambia.” Noon
in 1997 founded Save the Chimps, hoping to win
custody of the former U.S. Air Force research
colony, who had been housed by the Coulston
Foundation in Alamogordo, New Mexico, and were
to be given to the Coulston Foundation, then the
world’s largest supplier of chimps to
laboratories. Suing the Air Force, Noon in 2001
obtained 21 ex-Air Force chimps as part of an
out-of-court settlement. When the Coulston
Foundation declared bankruptcy in 2003, Noon
bought the Coulston facilities in Alamogordo,
with the aid of $3.7 million from the Arcus
Foundation, and acquired the 266 Coulston
animals. Her 150-acre sanctuary near Fort Pierce
grew to house 148 chimps, with a staff of 46.
Another 134 chimps remain in Alamogordo, in
improved facilities, being introduced to living
in compatible social groups prior to moving with
their groups to Fort Pierce. Noon told ANIMAL
PEOPLE in 2003 that the process would probably
take longest for the chimps who had the least
social contact as experimental subjects, and
that some might never become
de-institutionalized. Succeeding Noon as interim
director of Save the Chimps is Jen Feuerstein.
Feuerstein became Save the Chimps’ director of
operations after six years as a caregiver at the
Yerkes Regional Primate Center in Atlanta turned
her against the use of sentient species in
biomedical research.

Eva Majlath Rhodes, 65, missing since
September 10, 2008, was confirmed dead on April
28, 2009. Her remains were found on March 18,
buried near the Puss in Boots Animal Trust
shelter she founded in 1996 in Bony, Hungary,
near Gyor. A Puss in Boots worker, not named by
police, was charged with beating her to death,
trying to burn her body, and finally burying it
after he could not get it to burn. “The killer
was identified as a suspect after CCTV footage
showed him with his 65-year-old boss on the day
she disappeared,” reported the Austrian Times.
“Her home was ransacked and a laptop computer and
telephones were stolen. Her office records and
files were partially destroyed and her car was
found abandoned nearby.” Her disappearance left
70 dogs and 50 cats temporarily neglected.
Believing this to be grossly out of character,
her daughter Sophie Rhodes, of Chelsea, and
sister Judith Majlath, of Vienna, pushed
Hungarian officials for seven months to pursue a
criminal investigation–and pushed British
officials to push Hungary. “The disappearance
provoked an international row,” recalled
Austrian Times, “when British Member of
Parliament Malcolm Rifkind accused the Foreign
Office of not doing enough. Foreign Secretary
David Miliband had dismissed the disappearance as
a missing persons case, saying there was no
‘hard evidence’ of a crime.” Born in Hungary,
Eva Majlath fled with her family after the 1956
Russian invasion. Relocating to Britain, she
took up modeling. Yoko Ono and John Lennon cast
her as the never-named victim of a
camera-carrying stalker in Ono’s seldom-shown but
recently revived and critically acclaimed 1968
film Rape. Promised £25,000 for her performance,
Eva Majlath received only a signed album from Ono
and Lennon at the time. Marrying architect Mark
Rhodes, she became an antiques dealer in East
Anglia. After their divorce, Eva Rhodes, as
she had become known and remained, returned to
Hungary and invested £150,000 of her own money to
start the Puss in Boots Animal Trust. Learning
of the project and the unpaid 1968 debt, Yoko
Ono donated £25,000. Puss in Boots was warmly
profiled by former veterinary nurse Patricia
Johnson in the summer 2003 edition of The Ark,
the journal of the Catholic Study Circle for
Animal Welfare, but was often in conflict with
the Gyor police detachment, whom Eva Rhodes
accused of ignoring dogfighting and illegal sales
of dogs to laboratories. “It ended with a
victory for Mrs. Rhodes in the European Court of
Human Rights, which upheld her claim that police
had acted over-aggressively towards her,” wrote
David Williams of the Daily Mail.

Mallige, 29, a forest watcher at the
Bannerghatta Biological Park safari near
Bangalore, India, was trampled on May 6, 2009
when he tried to distract a bison named Bheema
from charging a vehicle carrying visitors to the
park.

Suhendra, 37, an elephant trainer at
Way Kambas National Park in East Lam-pung,
Indonesia, was on May 6, 2009 thrown and
trampled by the elephant he was riding, for whom
he had been mahout for five years.

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