Animal obits

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2009:
Titus, 35, the “Gorilla King” of Volcanoes National Park in
the Virunga mountains in Rwanda, died on September 14, 2009 of
injuries apparently suffered in a fight with another silverback
gorilla. Most of Titus’ family were killed by poachers, reported
Edmund Kagire of the Kigali New Times. Abandoned by his mother,
after she was attacked by the surviving silverback, Titus was
accepted into an all-male gorilla band. They were eventually joined
by five females. When the first dominant silverback showed signs of
age, Titus dethroned him, and went on to sire more offspring than
any other known mountain gorilla. Featured in the film Gorillas In
The Mist, based on the life of primatologist Dian Fossey, Titus was
buried near Fossey, who named him, at the Karisoke Research Center.

Mzima, 19, the second oldest bongo in the world was
euthanized due to painful complications of age on October 20, 2009
at Zoo Atlanta, her home since 2004. She was born at a zoo in
Texas.

Tweet, 18, the giraffe featured in Toys “R” Us commercials
and the Jim Carrey film Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, long resident
at the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston, died on September 10, 2009
while eating lunch after a shoot for a film called The Zookeeper.

Hitam, a Malaysian offshore island dog who helped Furry
Friends Farm to rescue dozens of others, died in early October 2009
from apparent poisoning. Hitam and his fellow rescue dog Kuning were
apparently among the first of about 300 dogs who were abandoned on
desolate Pulau Selat Kering island in the Straits of Malacca in early
March 2009 by residents of Palau Ketam, the nearest inhabited
island. Instead of remaining on Pulau Selat Kering, Hitam and
Kuning swam to the nearest kelong, or fishing platform, where the
fishing crew adopted them. Furry Friends Farm founder Sabrina Yeap
learned of the abandoned dogs’ plight in April. The ensuing
international rescue effort was featured on page one of the June 2009
edition of ANIMAL PEOPLE. The kelong where Hitam and Kuning lived
became rescue headquarters. The rescuers had not intended to use
Hitam and Kuning, but Hitam and Kuning “volunteered,” swimming to
Pulau Selat Kering to lead other dogs out of the mangrove swamp to be
captured. Hitam and Kuning also kept a lookout at the kelong for
other dogs trying to swim to safety. A photo sequence at the Furry
Friends Farm web site shows them spotting a refuge dog named Grace at
sea, greeting her as she struggles aboard the kelong, and leading
her to food.

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