Animal Obituaries

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2011:


Knut, 4, a polar bear who was rejected by his mother soon
after birth at the Berlin Zoo on December 5, 2006, but was raised
by his keepers, died suddenly on March 19, 2011 from unknown
causes. “He was by himself in his compound, he was in the water,
and then he was dead,” bear keeper Heiner Kloes told Associated
Press. “He was not sick. We don’t know why he died,” pending a
necropsy that was to be done on March 28. Knut’s first chief
keeper, Thomas Doerflein, 44, was found dead in his apartment of a
heart attack on September 22, 2008. A 25-year Berlin Zoo employee,
Doerflein from March 2007 to July 2007 exhibited Knut to the public
in a popular play-wrestling act. The act ended when zoo management
decided that Knut had become too large for Doerflein to play with
safely. The “Cute Knut” phenomenon reportedly boosted Berlin Zoo
attendance by 27% in 2007, and increased revenues by $10 million.

Fred, alpha baboon of the Smitswinkel troupe near Cape Point,
Cape Town, South Africa, “was killed by the authorities” on March
25, 2011, “despite our efforts to get him a stay of execution,”
e-mailed baboon advocate Lynette Johnson. “About 420 baboons in 17
troupes roam the Cape Town outskirts,” reported Courtney Brooks of
Associated Press. Among them, Fred won individual notoriety when on
November 19, 2009 he led a videotaped 29-baboon raid on four
carloads of tourists outside Simon’s Town. Johnson expressed
concern for “two other male baboons facing the same fate.” Gandhi,
“the alpha male from the Da Gama troop,” apparently attacked a woman
holding a child. “He is a habitual raider, stealing stuff from the
local convenience store in Da Gama Park on a daily basis,” Johnson
said. “The other baboon, Oswald, is a house raider in the
Constantia area.”

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