From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2011:
“I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him. The evil that men do lives after them. The good is oft interred with their bones.” –William Shakespeare
Jagjit Singh, 70, died of a brain hemorrhage in Mumbai on October 10, 2011. “Widely credited for reviving the popularity of classical Hindustani love songs in Urdu, known as ghazals,” recalled New York Times correspondent Neha Thirani, Singh was also remembered “for using his voice to speak up for elephants needlessly being killed by speeding trains on railway tracks,” said PETA/India manager of media and celebrity projects Sachin S. Bangera. Singh wrote to former Indian railways minister Mamata Banerjee in September 2010, after a train moving at 70 miles per hour killed seven elephants in the Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal, asking her to “limit the speed of trains running through elephant corridors and to use speed-detection guns to monitor train speeds.” The use of speed guns to clock train speeds was introduced in October 2010 by Azam Siddiqui, a TV news camera man who first wrote to ANIMAL PEOPLE about road and railway threats to elephants in 2004. ANIMAL PEOPLE helped Siddiqui to collect the information he needed to apply for the PETA/India grant that funded the acquisition of a speed gun used to demonstrate the efficacy of the technique–but while the speed gun easily passed all tests, train speeds are still not routinely monitored. Three elephants were injured in July 2011 near the site of the collison that killed the seven, and another was killed in October 2011. More than 150 elephants have been killed by trains in India since 1987.
Maggie Houlihan, 63, died on September 16, 2011 in Encinitas, California, after a long battle with endometrial cancer. An 11-year Encinitas city councilor and two-term mayor, Houlihan in 1991 cofounded the San Diego Spay & Neuter Action Project, with Candy Schulmann and others, and was also a cofounder of the Wee Companions small-animal rescue organization and the off-leash dog advocacy group People and Dog Zones, remembered Barbara Henry of the North County Times. Encinitas city official Peder Norby recalled Houlihan as “the one person he knew he could call at 6 a.m. when he discovered an injured pelican,” wrote Henry. Houlihan was also remembered as a longtime ally by Jane Cartmill of San Diego Animal Advocates, and by the Rancho Coastal Humane Society, which hosted a tribute to Houlihan’s life less than two weeks before her death.
Patricia Eleanor Blum, 66, died in Honolulu on August 11, 2011. A dressage, cross-country, and show-jumping equestrian competitor in her youth, Blum lost her vision to a genetic eye disease in her mid-thirties. At the time, recalled Gary T. Kubota of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, the Hawaii requirement of a four-month quarantine for all dogs arriving in the state “effectively prevented blind people from traveling with their service dogs between Hawaii and other states and countries. Blum and other disabled people charged,” in a 1993 lawsuit, “that the rules ruined the service dogs’ expensive training and violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. The state Board of Agriculture eventually changed the rules,” to allow five days or less of quarantine for dogs and cats, if they have been vaccinated, have had a blood test to screen for various diseases, and have microchip identification.
Zephania Mbuso Myeni, 39, a multi-time decorated 18-year ranger for the Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife department in South Africa, was on September 10, 2011 accidentally shot by colleagues during a twilight gun battle with three suspected rhino poachers at the Umfolozi Game Reserve in Zululand. The suspected poachers escaped.