Obituaries [July/Aug 2010]

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2010:
 
Robert Byrd, 92, died on June 28,
2010. Entering politics as a Ku Klux Klan
organizer, Byrd served six years as the West
Virginia state legislator, then served three
terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Elected to the U.S. Senate in 1958, Byrd
remained in the Senate for the rest of his life.
Perhaps best known for his turn against the Klan,
after filibustering against the 1964 Civil Rights
Act, Byrd was most politically consistent on
behalf of animals, voting for the Humane
Slaughter Act during his House tenure, and
delivering perhaps the most thorough denunciation
of factory farming ever uttered in Congress on
July 9, 2001 while seeking funding for stronger


Humane Slaughter Act enforcement. Byrd began
describing a case of cruelty toward a dog that
had generated national outrage. “We have a
responsibility to roundly condemn such abject
cruelty,” Byrd declared. “Apathy regarding
incidents such as this will only lead to more
deviant behavior. And respect for life, all
life, and for humane treatment of all creatures
is something that must never be lost.” Then Byrd
came to the point: “Our inhumane treatment of
livestock is becoming widespread and more and
more barbaricŠBarbaric treatment of helpless,
defenseless creatures must not be tolerated,
even if these animals are being raised for
food-and even more so, more so. Such
insensitivity is insidious, and can spread, and
is dangerous. Life must be respected and dealt
with humanely in a civilized society.”
 

Ted Stevens, 86, a U.S. Senator from
Alaska from 1968 to 2009, was killed in a plane
crash on August 9, 2010 while en route to a
private lodge. “While we disagreed with him on
many issues through the years, including drilling
in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the
use of steel-jawed leghold traps, he became
demonstrably more sympathetic and active on
animal welfare issues later in his life,”
recalled Humane Society Legislative Fund
president Mike Markarian. Markarian cited
Stevens’ co-introduction of the Pets Evacuation &
Transport-ation Standards Act, to require local
and state disaster plans to include provisions
for household pets and service animals; support
of legislation against transporting downed cattle
to slaughter; support of the Engine Coolant and
Antifreeze Bittering Agent Act; and support of a
budget amendment that ended a $2 million annual
subsidy for the U.S. mink coat industry. “As
chair of the Appropriations Committee,”
Markarian added, Stevens “supported adequate
funding for the enforcement of the Animal Welfare
Act, the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, the
federal animal fighting law, and other animal
welfare programs.”
 

Jim Cole, 60, survivor of two grizzly
bear attacks and author/photographer of Lives of
Grizzlies: Alaska, and Lives of Grizzlies:
Montana & Wyoming, died at his home south of
Bozeman, Montana, of an apparent heart attack on
July 22.
 

Amit Jethwa, 35, was shot dead on July
20, 2010 as he emerged from his office opposite
the Gujarat High Court in Ahmedabad, India.
Mortally wounded, Jethwa tore the shirt off of
one of his two assailants, leading to the
identification and arrest of alleged assassin
Pachan Shiva, 28, and police constable
Bahadursinh Dhirubha Wadher, 37, who allegedly
hired Shiva and the other alleged killer,
Shailesh Pandya, who as of August 21, 2010
remained at large. New Delhi TV on August 20,
2010 reported that Wadher confessed to acting on
behalf of Shiva Solanki, nephew of Bharatiya
Janata Party member of Parliament Dinu Solanki.
“Solanki has 42 criminal cases including murder,
land grabbing, illegal mining, etc. lodged
against him,” reported the newspaper Daily News
& Analysis. “But the police have shut most of
the cases,” DNA added. Jethwa had since 2008
pursued charges against Shiva Solanki for
illegally erecting cell phone towers in the Gir
Forest, against Dinu Solanki for illegal mining
in the forest, and against Wadhir for illegally
occupying forest land. Two days before he was
killed Jethwa detailed death threats he said had
received from Dinu Solanki to attorney Anand
Yagnik, Yagnik told DNA. Yagnik also represents
Lisa Warden, a Canadian resident of Ahmedabad
who has extensively exposed alleged corruption
involving the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation and
the Animal Shelter & Hospital at Ahmedabad
Foundation. “Be it about saving marine turtles,
or chinkara, lion, leopard, tree, birds or
crocodile, Jethwa was there at service in Kutch,
Saurashtra and Ahmeda-bad,” recalled Japan K.
Pathak of Desh-Gujarat. Founder and president of
the Gir Nature Youth Club, Jethwa in 1998 filed
court cases against actor Salman Khan for
poaching and actor/director Aamir Khan for
allegedly filming two chinkara in a way that led
to them becoming injured. Jethwa protested the
use of tied goats to attract endangered Asiatic
lions as part of the 2005 Gir Forest lion count;
demanded investigation of the shootings of three
endangered Asiatic lions near a forest guard post
in 2007, leading to the exposure of a poaching
gang from Madhya Pradesh who had killed more than
20 lions; and opposed a plan to translocate
lions to the Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhya
Pradesh.
 

Adrian Priscu
, 50, of Brasov, Romania,
according to numerous witnesses whose testimony
was relayed to ANIMAL PEOPLE by Pitesti animal
advocate Carmen Arsene, on July 30, 2010 asked
Dumitru Abrenuc, 56, to stop kicking and
beating a stray dog who approached Abrenuc’s two
dogs, after Priscu’s wife Teodora and his mother
appealed to Abrenuc unsuccessfully. Abrenuc,
who was drinking beer, broke the bottle over
Priscu’s head, then fatally stabbed him with the
bottle neck. Alleged Braila activist Daniela
Dragomir, “This is the result of the policy of
violence against street animals promoted and
encouraged by Romanian authorities.” The stray
dog limped back to the scene at a candle lighting
ceremony in Adrian Priscu’s honor, placed his
head in Teodora Priscu’s lap, and moaned.
Abrenuc is now charged with murder.
 

Padmabati Parida, an undergraduate at
Bonth College in Bhubaneswar, India, rescued
three cows from a midnight fire on June 20, 2010
but was killed while trying to unchain six others.
 

Dejiram Deka, a forest guard at Orang
National Park in Assam, India, who refused to
carry a firearm, was knocked off his bicycle and
fatally gored on August 1, 2010 when he
inadvertently approached a rhino and her calf.
Steve Kok, 71, was fatally gored on
August 10, 2010 by a buffalo he was trying to
help near Charara, Zimbabwe. The buffalo had
reportedly lost a leg to an illegal wire snare.
“For the past few years, Steve woke up at 5
o’clock every morning and scoured the bush for
snares,” recalled Zimbabwe Conservation Task
Force founder Johnny Rodrigues. “Thanks to him,
hundreds of animals were saved from an agonizing
death.”
 

George Clements, 84, died on June 13,
2010 in Langley, British Columbia. A World War
II veteran, Clements married Lorna Catherine
Caldwell, who became known as Bunty Clements,
in 1951. Both became teachers. They founded the
Associ-ation for the Protection of Fur-Bearing
Animals, later called Fur Bearer Defenders, in
1952. “George and Bunty were introduced to fur
traps when George got caught in one while the
couple were living at Hart Lake, 50 miles north
of Prince George,” recalled former Fur Bearer
Defenders executive director Jennifer Allen. At
first they promoted research to develop more
humane traps. Film of the tests convinced them
to oppose trapping entirely. George Clements
became known for collecting and evaluating
Canadian trapping data, sharing his findings
with other pro-animal organizations and news
media. Clements recalled to ANIMAL PEOPLE in
2008 that as the Canadian fur trade declined
circa 1990, “The four main Canadian
anti-trapping and anti-fur groups were told by
Revenue Canada that if they persisted in their
criticism of the fur trade, they risked losing
their charitable status. All of the groups but
ours quickly acquiesced. We had our charitable
status annulled. U.S. groups cannot understand
why Canadian groups never speak against fur.
Friends in Britain cannot understand the Canadian
silence about sealing. We were hit hard,
because no foundation can legally donate to any
group that cannot provide income tax receipts.
The Better Business Bureau advises that donors
should support only registered charities. Our
supporters cannot claim contributions as
charitable donations.” But the numbers of
animals trapped for fur in British Columbia,
Alberta, the Yukon, and the Northwest
Territories fell 90%, and have not increased.
Lesley Fox, the current Fur Bearer Defenders
executive director, “trained with and worked
with George and Bunty,” Allen told ANIMAL
PEOPLE. “Two current directors served on the
board with George and Bunty, and other board
members have been members and involved in these
issues for years,” Allen added, anticipating
continuity in the organization.
 

Eleanor R. Mauck
, 84 known to friends
as Ellen, died in June 2010 in Jarreau,
Louisiana. A longtime welder for the Caterpillar
Tractor Company in Peoria, Illinois, Mauck was
among many women who were portrayed by various
artists as “Rosie the Riveter” and “Wendy the
Welder” during World War II. The most famous
“Rosie” model was Shirley Karp Dick, who posed
repeatedly in 1939-1940 and 1943-1945, and most
famous of the artists were J. Howard Miller and
Norman Rockwell, but Mauck recalled that almost
every wartime industrial plant had at least one
“Rosie” on locally printed posters. Post-war,
Mauck became an enthusiastic motorcyclist, who
rode into her eighties. In mid-life Mauck became
active against child abuse. Concern about abused
children led to involvement in animal rescue.
Upon retiring to Louisiana, her birth state,
Mauck helped to found several local humane
societies, used her welding skills to help build
at least one shelter, was an early supporter of
Legislation In Support of Animals, which evolved
into the Humane Society of Louisiana, and
closely read ANIMAL PEOPLE, often calling to
discuss articles.
 

Jim Bohlen, 84, died on July 5, 2010
in Vancouver, British Columbia. Born in New
York City, Bohlen served in the U.S. Navy during
World War II, but became a Quaker anti-war
activist, and emigrated to Canada with his
second wife Marie to keep her son out of the
Vietnam War draft. They met fellow Quakers
Irving and Dorothy Stowe at a 1968 anti-war
protest. The four became charter members of the
British Columbia chapter of the Sierra Club,
then founded the Don’t Make A Wave Committee to
oppose U.S. nuclear testing at Amchita Island,
Alaska. The committee evolved into Greenpeace.
Irving Stowe, a vegetarian who encouraged
campaigns on animal issues, died in 1974.
Bohlen left Greenpeace in 1987, but campaigned
on against nuclear weapons and nuclear power for
the rest of his life as a member of the Green
Party.
 

Sagar Panda, of Puri, Orissa, India,
who had reputedly rescued more than 1,000 snakes
and returned them to the wild since 1995, on
July 7, 2010 died from a cobra bite. His wife
and two sons were reportedly left homeless.

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