Obituaries [May-June 2013]

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  May/June 2013:


“I come to bury Caesar,  not to praise him.  The evil men do lives after them.   The good is oft interred with their bones.”  ––William Shakespeare

Bowatte Indrathana Thera,  a Buddhist monk of the Porambe temple in Pelmadulla,  Sri Lanka,  died on May 26, 2013 at the Colombo National Hospital,  two days after setting himself on fire outside the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic.  “The monk had been heard making a statement saying his effort was not to take his life,  but to sacrifice it,  in a bid to end cattle slaughter.  Indraratana Thera had been an active campaigner against cattle slaughter, and had launched a number of animal rights campaigns,”  Ceylon Today reported.  Added the news portal Ada Derana, “Certain media aired videos of the monk issuing demands such as putting an end to the killing of cattle for meat and Buddhists being converted to other religions.  Indrarathana Thera informed those media of his intentions before committing self-immolation,  while they recorded the incident.”  The fiery suicide,  apparently the first on record by a Sri Lankan Buddhist monk,  was followed by conflict among Buddhist factions over which would perform last rites for Indrarathana Thera.  

Mariclare Haggarty,  58,  a 22-year employee of the Chicago-based National Anti-vivisection Society and member of the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries board of directors until her terminal illness,  died of lung cancer on April 9,  2013.

George Winegar,  78,  of Howell,  Michigan,  was fatally injured while unloading a dumpster from a truck in his driveway.  A graduate of the Michigan State University veterinary school,  Winegar spent more than 33 years with the USDA Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service,  then worked in the Animal Industry Division of the Michigan Department of Agriculture,  and was active in the Animal Transport Association.  His fields of interest included bovine and swine tuberculosis and horse welfare.

Sarah McClay,  24,  was fatally injured on May 24,  2013 by a Sumatran tiger at South Lakes Wild Animal Park, in Dalton-in-Furness,  Cumbria,  United Kingdom.  McClay was an experienced keeper at the 19-year-old park.  “For some unknown reason,  an inexplicable reason, because there is no reason for why she did it,  she opened the door and went into the tiger enclosure and straight into the tigers,  and now we’ll never know why,”  said park owner and founder David Gill.  But detective chief inspector Bob Qazi on May 26,  2013 gave a distinctly different version of the incident.  “Sarah McClay was going about her routine duties and was in the staff section of the enclosure building,  which animals are not allowed access to,  when a tiger entered from an  adjacent pen and confronted her.  The tiger then attacked Sarah,”  Qazi said,  “taking her from the building into the open-air external enclosure area where Sarah was left and later attended by staff and paramedics.  We are still trying to establish exactly how and why the tiger was able to get from the pen into the staff area,”  Qazi added.  Another South Lakes Wild Animal Park employee,  food worker Brittanie Crook,  was killed earlier in the month in a traffic accident.

Catherine Gowing,  VMD,  37,  was remembered at a May 18,  2013 memorial service in Buckley,  Flintshire, North Wales.   Originally from County Offaly in Ireland,  Gowing in 2010 joined the Esmor Evans Veterinary Practice in Mold,  North Wales.  Alarmed by a partial cell phone message,  her friends and sister Emma MacGuire in October 2012 initiated a desperate search for Gowing that ended with the discovery of dismembered remains at multiple sites around the region.  Clive Sharp,  46,  with a 30-year history of sexually motivated violence against women,   was sentenced to life in prison after admitting to Gowing’s murder.

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