Animal obituaries

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  July-August 2013:

Bijlee,  58,  a female elephant who spent 54 years appearing at weddings and in parades,  and begging on the streets of Mumbai and Thane,  India,  died on June 30,  2013,  nineteen days after collapsing on the Mulund-Bhandap Link road in eastern Mumbai. Suffering from severe chronic arthritis,  Bijee was allegedly abandoned by her mahouts. People for Animals,  the Thane SPCA,  Animals Matter to Me,  Wildlife SOS,  PETA/India,  the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organizations,  and the Plants & Animals Welfare Society combined efforts to try to save her,  five years after saving her once before.  “In 2008,”  recalled Vijay Singh of the Times of India, “Bijlee,  then known by her alias Ramkali,  had to walk over 100 kilometers to Alibaug to attend a wedding of a politican’s son. On her way back to Mumbai,  she fell in a ditch and a crane could pull her out only after nine hours.” Thandora,  29,  an elephant who was reintroduced to the wild in March 2013 at the Gondwana Game Reserve near Mossel Bay, South Africa,  after spending 23 years at the Bloemfontain Zoo,  died on June 12,  2013 of apparent botulism poisoning.  Thandora was the first known long-time captive elephant to be returned to the wild.  Botulism poisoning typically occurs in the wild when animals ingest bacterial spores from decomposing organic matter of either animal or plant origin.

Homer,  25,  the last sea otter known to have survived the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound,  Alaska,  was euthanized on June 24,  2013 at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.  The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that from 1,000 to 5,000 sea otters were killed by the Exxon Valdez oil spill.  The Prince William Sound sea otter population recovered to about 2,000 by 1993,  and is now about 4,000.  Only 37 oiled sea otters were found alive and flown to various zoos and aquariums for recovery.  Kenai,  23,  the next-to-last survivor,  was euthanized at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago on October 10,  2012.

Andreas,  50,  believed to have been the oldest bear on record,  died in June 2013 at the Arcturos sanctuary in Greece. Captured as a cub,  Andreas performed as a dancing bear for about 30 years before legislation that ended traveling bear acts in Greece brought him to Arcturos in January 1993.  No dancing bears have been reported in Greece since 1995.  

Vicky,  an orca whale born on August 3,  2012 at Loro Parque in Tenerife,  was reported dead of unknown causes on June 16, 2013.  The Loro Parque orcas belong to SeaWorld.  Vicky,  the second orca born at Loro Parque,  was reportedly related to 21 of the 26 SeaWorld orcas.

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