Obituaries [April 2010]

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2010:

Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, 81, died of an apparent heart
attack on March 10, 2010 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. After 10 years
as Grand Mufti of Egypt, Tantawi was in 1996 named Chief Imam and
Shaikh of the al-Azhar Mosque at al-Azhar University in Cairo,
considered the leading center of religious study in Sunni Islam.
Tantawi led the funeral prayers for Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat
in 2004, but argued against indiscriminate attacks on Israelis, and
condemned suicide bombers, Saddam Hussein, and al Qaida. Tantawi
issued frequent fatwahs, or religious opinions, upholding the
rights of women, including in opposition to veiling in classrooms
and genital mutilation. At request of Egyptian Society of Animal
Friends cofounder Ahmed el-Sherbiny, Tantawi on April 24, 2008
issued a fatwa meant to reinforce observance of the intent of hallal
slaughter. “Any action incompatible with kindness to animals or
treating them any way other than with mercy at the time of slaughter
is forbidden and sinful, and is inconsistent with the kindness to
animals that Islam requires,” Tantawi wrote. “This includes
transporting animals. Transport must be done in a way that is
comfortable and ensures the animal’s safety.”

Dana Payne, 54, died of cancer on March 20, 2010 in
Shoreline, Washington. Payne became a keeper’s aide at the
Wood-land Park Zoo in Seattle in 1974. After an interlude at the
Chaffee Zoo in Fresno, Calif-ornia, he returned to the Woodland
Park Zoo as a reptile keeper in 1983. He became curator of reptiles
in 2003. Payne also served informally as the Woodland Park Zoo
historian.

Edgar Wayburn, M.D., 103, died on March 5, 2010 at his
home in San Francisco. Joining the Sierra Club in 1939, Wayburn
eventually served five terms as Sierra Club president, while
practicing and teaching medicine for more than 50 years. “Wayburn
had central roles in protecting 104 million acres of Alaskan
wilderness; establishing and enlarging Redwood National Park and
Point Reyes National Seashore in California; and starting the Golden
Gate National Recreation Area in and around San Francisco,” recalled
Douglas Martin of The New York Times. His wife of 53 years, nature
writer Peggy Elliot Wayburn, died in 2002.

Walter Plowright, 87, died on February 19, 2010 in London.
Commissioned into the Royal Army Veterinary Corps in 1944, Plowright
was sent to Kenya, where he encountered rinderpest, a disease which
killed up to 90% of the African cattle, sheep, goats, buffalo,
giraffes, and wildebeests that it afflicted. Plowright from 1956 to
retirement in 1981 worked to develop and perfect a vaccine against
rinderpest, which eventually proved so effective that his death came
only months ahead of an anticipated announcement that rinderpest has
been eradicated. Plowright also applied his research to developing
vaccines for several other cattle diseases.

Audrey Wright-Anderson, 77, died on March 15, 2008.
Wright-Anderson founded the Coalition for Animal Protection in North
Omaha, Nebraska, in 1991, and was president until it disbanded in
2006. The organization did both animal rescue and animal rights and
vegan advocacy.

Nancy Ring, 54, died of breast cancer on January 17, 2010.
Heading Summit County Animal Control, in Frisco, Colorado, since
1982, Ring lobbied to pass the Colorado felony cruelty law and
helped to develop the Colorado state program for certifying animal
control officers.

Simbarashe Batau, 22, a rhino guard on the Eldorado Ranch
near Macheke, Zimbabwe, on February 27, 2010 met three poachers.
“When he asked them what they were doing,” reported Zimbabwe
Conserv-ation Task Force founder Johnny Rodrigues they responded that
they were shooting baboons. He ordered them to leave and they opened
fire, wounding him so badly that he died in hospital the next
morning.” Batau left a wife and infant daughter.

Ray Ashton, 64, died on March 10, 2010. Author of The
Life of the Gopher Tortoise, Ashton and his wife Pat cofounded the
environmental consulting firm Ashton, Ashton & Associates in Archer,
Florida, and the Ashton Biodiversity Research & Preserv-ation
Institute in Alachua County, Florida.

Doyle Nordyke, 82, died on February 11, 2010 in Austin,
Texas. Cofounding the Austin Humane Society in 1949, Nordyke served
for 36 years as executive director. Houston and Austin in 1985 became
the last two U.S. cities to abolish killing shelter animals by
decompression, against the opposition of the Austin Humane Society,
which then held the Austin animal control contract. Nordyke retired
coincidental with the decision.

Grelia Smith, 44, of San Carlos, California, on March 28,
2010 drowned at Sharp State Beach in Pacifica while trying to rescue
one of her two dogs from an undertow that had killed two other people
in six months. Smith, her 14-year-old-daughter, and Clark Smith,
her husband of two years, were at the beach exercising the dogs,
who both survived.

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