In the last 50 years
many animals have made their mark on history.People and animals can form relationships and bonds
that will last forever. This article will be documenting the life of some animals that have recently passed away.Some of the entries discuss specific events when a large number of animals were killed, while
others look at times when the animal had to be put down by authorities.All of the animals mentioned
have died in the last ten years.
November 14, 2005
Day 2005 sparrow, generally known as the domino sparrow, was a House Sparrow that became a nuisance during the preparations
of Domino Day 2005.Domino Day is a televised program that features the demolition of millions
of dominos.With only four days to go until the event, the bird flew into the building and landed
on several domino bricks, eventually causing 23,000 of them to fall.Event organizers were concerned
that the bird would duplicate the behavior, so a hunter was hired and the sparrow was shot and killed in the Frisian
Expo Centre in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands.The public prosecutor fined the shooter 200 euros for
illegally killing an animal belonging to a protected species.
19. Rose the
May 3, 2007
The Sudanese goat
marriage incident occurred in 2006 when a Sudanese man named Charles Tombe was forced to marry a goat with which he was caught having sex.The incident happened in the Hai Malakal suburb of Juba, Sudan.The
owner of the goat, which was later given the name Rose, subdued the perpetrator and asked village elders to consider
making the man pay a dowry because he “used the goat as his wife.”
The perpetrator was thus ordered to "marry" the goat, pay the cost of the goat, and pay a dowry
of 15,000 dinar (US$75).The story was first published on February 24, 2006 on the BBC website.It attracted massive attention and was republished in numerous newspapers, blogs and websites.On May 3, 2007 it was reported that Rose had died after choking on a plastic bag.She was survived
by a four-month old baby.The BBC honored the animal with a mock obituary.
18. 2009 Flu Pandemic
Actions Concerning Pigs
In reaction to the
2009 flu pandemic, governments around the world have responded with some extreme actions against pigs, which have included
the official extermination of all domestic pigs in Egypt.During the flu outbreak, pigs were
slaughtered in many Muslim countries.This has been attributed to religious restrictions on the consumption
of pork. Many other countries have banned the international trade of pigs and pork products.The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that there is no reason to believe that pigs are transmitting
the flu to humans.However, on May 2, 2009 people on a farm in Alberta were infected with the “swine
flu” (Influenza A virus subtype H1N1) by a group of pigs.
According to the New York Times, "based on its genetic structure, the new virus is without question
a type of swine influenza, derived originally from a strain that lived in pigs".This origin
gave rise to the name "swine flu", largely used by the mass media in the first days of the epidemic. Despite
this origin, the current strain of the flu is a human-to-human transmitted virus, requiring no contact with swine.As a result of the disease, by mid-August 2009, pork had become the second-worst commodity investment in the world.U.S. pork exports plunged 20 percent in the first half of 2009 and are heading for the first
annual decline since 1990.
September 23, 2009
Gigolo FRH was a
chestnut colored Hanoverian gelding.A Hanoverian is a warmblooded horse that originated in Germany.They are often seen in the Olympic Games and other competitive English riding styles.During
Gigolo FRH career, he was ridden by Isabell Werth at dressage competitions, and won four gold and two silver medals
at the Olympic Games. The pair also achieved four world championships, eight European championships, and four
Dressage is a path and destination
of competitive horse training, with competitions held at all levels from amateur to the Olympics. Its fundamental purpose is to develop, through standardized progressive training methods, a horse's natural athletic
ability and willingness to perform, thereby maximizing its potential as a riding horse.Before Gigolo’s
death in 2009, he was considered one of the most successful sport horses in world history.Like
many great sport horses, Gigolo was euthanized after sustaining a serious injury.
May 26, 2000
Bodacious was a Charbray
bull that was infamous throughout the sport of rodeo, and was commonly referred to as “The World’s Most Dangerous Bull.”In his career, only 7 out of 135 competitors succeeded in riding Bodacious for a full
8 seconds.Bodacious was made famous by a move in which he fiercely whipped the rear segment of his
body, bringing his head almost to the ground.This forced the rider to shift all of his weight forward. Professional rodeo rider Tuff Hedeman was one of the men that was able to ride Bodacious for 8 seconds.However, he was also severely injured by the bull.Tuff ended up having his entire face reconstructed,
as Bodacious crushed and broke every main bone in his face.
Died: February 16, 2009
Travis was a
male chimpanzee who appeared in many American television shows and commercials.On February 16, 2009,
Travis viciously attacked Charla Nash, a friend of his keeper.The attack caused Charla to lose her eyes, nose, face, and hands.Travis was fatally shot by police during the incident.As an animal actor, Travis appeared in advertisements for Coca- Cola and Old Navy.He also
appeared on The Maury Povich Show, The Man Show, and in a television pilot that featured Sheryl Crow and Michael Moore.
Traviscould open doors using keys,
could dress himself, was able to feed hay to his owner's horses, ate at a table with the rest of the family, drank wine from a stemmed glass, logged onto computers to look at pictures, and even could operate a motor vehicle.Sandra Herold considered Travis as a son and pampered him.He also bathed and slept with his
In 2003, a young man threw a projectile at the car Travis was traveling in and the
object went through a half-open window and struck Travis while they were stopped at a traffic light. Startled,
Travis unbuckled his seat belt, opened the car door and went after the man, but did not catch him.In
2009, Travis stole Sandra Herold’s car keys and Charla Nash was called to the scene in hopes of corralling
the animal, upon seeing Nash, Travis immediately attacked her.
Benson was a common
carp and Britain's biggest and best-loved fish. Benson was a female and she originally disappeared during a flood
of the River Nene in 1998.She was named due to a hole in her dorsal fin that resembled a cigarette
burn.Benson lived in the Kingfisher Lake at the Bluebell Lakes complex, just outside Oundle in Cambridgeshire.She lived among 150 carp that the lakes support.“Among keen anglers there are about
20 carp that can be seriously called household names. Benson was near the top of that league. The
thing that made Benson famous was her accessibility. Unlike other big carp, she was a day-ticket fish
and anyone could go along and try to catch her.”
Benson was actually caught 63 times in 13 years.She has been referred to as “the people’s
fish” and weighed around 64 pounds.Benson died in 2009, at the age of 25.At
the time of her death, she weighed the same as a large dog and was worth £20,000.The owner
of the lake where she lived alleged that she was accidentally poisoned by anglers using uncooked tigernuts as bait.
Another possible cause of death was the complications of pregnancy with 300,000 eggs.
Springs Reptile Center Killings
In October of 2008
a 7-year-old boy broke into Alice Springs Reptile Center in central Australia and killed thirteen popular animals.The boy started by bashing many lizards to death with a rock and then he began feeding other reptiles to
Terry, who is an 11-foot, 440-pound saltwater crocodile.The 30- minute rampage was caught on the
zoo's security camera and occurred after the boy jumped the park’s security fence. During the incident, the boy killed the zoo’s beloved 20-year-old
goanna.By the time he was done, 13 animals had been killed, including a turtle, bearded dragons
and thorny devil lizards.It was a rare event for this area of the world and the boy's face remains
largely blank as he performs the act.The child’s small size is probably the reason he didn't
trip the zoo's security system, which relies on sensors to detect intruders.
Died: January 21, 2006
The River Thames
Whale was a juvenile female Northern Bottlenose whale which was discovered swimming in the River Thames in central London
on January 20, 2006.According to the BBC, the animal was five meters (16 ft) long and weighed
about seven tonnes (24,400 lb). The whale appeared to have become lost and its normal habitat would
have been around the coasts of the far north of Scotland and Ireland, and in the seas around the Arctic Ocean. It
was the first time a Northern Bottlenose had been seen in the Thames since records began in 1913.Sadly,
the animal died on January 21 after suffering from convulsions as it was being rescued.
December 25, 2007
Tatiana was a 243-pound
Siberian tiger that lived at the San Francisco Zoo in California.During her stay at the zoo, Tatiana
was responsible for two separate attacks, the final one occurring on Christmas Day 2007.On December
25, 2007 Tatiana escaped from her open-air enclosure at the San Francisco Zoo and attacked three visitors shortly after
closing time. After escaping from the tiger grotto, Tatiana killed Carlos Eduardo Sousa Jr., aged 17, and injured
two others, Amritpal and Kulbir Dhaliwal, brothers aged 19 and 23.The brothers fled to the zoo cafe
approximately 300 yards (270 m) away and according to initial reports, left a trail of blood that the tiger followed.
It took 13 minutes for rescue officials to reach
Carlos Sousa.He was found with a slashed throat and his autopsy later revealed that he had died from blunt force injuries of the head and neck, many punctures and scratches to his head, neck and chest, skull and spinal
fractures.He also had a deep cut into his jugular vein.When four police officers
and a zoo shooting team member reached the tiger, they found her guarding one of the injured brothers, Kulbir Dhaliwal.They did not shoot Tatiana immediately, according to the SF police chief, because they could not be assured of
"containing their fire" without risk to human life.
a distraction, the tiger turned towards one of the officers and was shot dead.After the shooting,
Tatiana's head, paws, and tail were removed by the San Francisco police department's crime scene investigation
unit.The Dhaliwal brothers received deep bites and claw wounds on their head, neck, arms, and
hands.However, their injuries were not life-threatening.The attack was the first
visitor fatality due to an animal escape at a member zoo, in the history of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
Died: March 13, 2009
Endal was a famous male
Labrador retriever from England.At a young age Endal qualified as a fully operational assistance
dog. In the 1990s he became the service dog for disabled ex-Royal Navy Chief Petty Officer Allen
Parton.Endal was able to respond to over one hundred instructions and many signed commands.He could retrieve items from supermarket shelves, operate buttons and switches, and load and empty a washing machine.He was also the fist service dog to be able to put a card into an automated teller machine,
retrieve the card when the process was complete, and return the card to a wallet.
In 2001 Endal gained national attention in the UK after Allen was knocked out of his wheelchair by a passing car.The dog pulled Allen, who was unconscious, into the recovery position, retrieved his mobile phone from beneath
the car, fetched a blanket and covered him, barked at nearby dwellings for assistance, and then ran to a nearby hotel
to obtain help. Endal has been described as “the most decorated dog in the world” and the most famous
dog in the UK.
During his lifetime, Endal was filmed by over 340 news crews from around the world.He also had a number of world firsts as an assistance dog.Be sure
to watch out for Endal the movie, which will be released in the UK.In March of 2009 Endal suffered
a stroke and was euthanized.
Died: April, 2009
Trakr was a German
Shepherd police dog who along with his handler, Canadian police officer James Symington, discovered the last survivor
of the September 11 attacks at the World Trade Center in 2001.Trakr was trained in the Czech
Republic and joined the Halifax Regional Police in 1995 at age 14 months.Trakr worked as a police
dog for six years, finding over $1 million in contraband, as well as discovering missing people and helping arrest
hundreds of criminals.On the morning of September 11, Officer Symington and his dog watched search
and rescue operations in New York City and decided to drive with their friend, Corporal Joe Hall, for 15 hours from
Prospect Bay, Nova Scotia to Manhattan.
September 12, Trakr found a "live hit" (signs of life) under the rubble at approximately 6am or 7am.Firefighters dug in the spot, and found Genelle Guzman, the last of the 20 survivors who had been inside the buildings
when they collapsed.Guzman was on the 13th floor of the South Tower when it fell.She was trapped for approximately 26 hours before her rescue.On September 14, Trakr collapsed
from chemical and smoke inhalation, burns, and exhaustion, and was treated with intravenous fluids.
In his later years, Trakr suffered from degenerative myelopathy, a neurological
disease, and lost use of his hind legs.Some experts attributed the condition to inhaling smoke at
the World Trade Center site.Symington took Trakr to Pawspice, a hospice for pets and outfitted him
with a cart so that he could power himself with his front legs.Trakr died in April, 2009, at age
16.However, In 2008 Symington won an essay contest sponsored by BioArts International to find the
world's most "cloneworthy dog", as a result Trakr was cloned, producing five puppies.
Xiang (giant panda)
Died: February 19, 2007
Xiang Xiang was the first
giant panda to be released into the wild after being bred and raised in captivity.He was born at
the Wolong Giant Panda Research Center in the Sichuan Province, Xiang Xiang, China.Xiang Xiang endured a three year training regimen to equip him with the skills necessary to survive in the wild.Upon
his release in April of 2006, Xiang Xiang was given a radio-collar and the five-year-old male was tracked each month. Unfortunately, Xiang Xiang was found dead less than a year after his release. The Xinhua News Agency
announced the panda's death on May 31, 2007.Chinese officials determined that a fall from the
trees was the probable cause of death.However, scratches on Xiang Xiang's body suggest that
he was probably being pursued by other pandas when he fell.
June 26, 2006
Bear JJ1, also
known as Bruno, was a brown bear that is believed to have been the first brown bear on German soil in 170 years.Previously, the last sighting of a bear in what is now Germany was recorded in 1838 when hunters shot a bear
in Bavaria.Bruno was initially welcomed by the locals, but his preferences for sheep, chickens, and
beehives led government officials to believe that the bear could become a threat to humans, so they ordered that
he be shot or captured.The decision was publically disputed because the bear was an endangered species
in Germany.Bruno was described as bloodthirsty, clever, and fast. Bavarian Prime
Minister Edmund Stoiber referred to him as a Problembär (problem bear). Farmers claimed the bear enjoyed killing because he typically killed sheep without
eating them.However, that is a typical behavior of a carnivore.As of June 2006,
Bruno’s kills included 33 sheep, four domestic rabbits, one guinea pig, as well as some hens and goats. Further
concern was expressed due to the proximity of the bear's preferred prey to humans. Bruno was shot dead at Rotwand Mountain near Lake Spitzingsee in southern Bavaria on the early morning of June 26, 2006.The Italian government in Rome has declared
Bruno’s body state property of Italy, and is demanding his return. The Bavarian government where
Bruno was shot dead refused, claiming a carcass on German land is theirs to keep.He has been
stuffed, and is currently on display at the Museum of Man and Nature in Munich.
Died: October 22, 2006
Mancs was a
male German Shepherd Dog that was the most famous rescue dog of the Spider Special Rescue Team of Miskolc, Hungary. His
name means "paw”.Mancs was a special dog and his job was locating earthquake survivors
who lay trapped deep beneath rubble.He could differentiate by smell whether the person under the
rubble was dead or alive, and was trained to give different signs.If he sensed a dead person, he
would lie down, but when he was sensing that the person beneath was alive, he stood up, wagged his tail and barked. Mancs and his owner, László
Lehóczki, took part in several earthquake rescue missions, including the 2001 earthquakes in El Salvador and India. Mancs became famous when he helped rescue a 3-year-old girl who spent 82 hours under the ruins after the Izmit earthquake
of 1999 in Turkey.In December 2004, a statue of Mancs was erected in downtown Miskolc. He died on October 22, 2006, of pneumonia.
September 14, 2009
Titus is the name
given by researchers to a silverback Mountain Gorilla of the Virunga Mountains. Titus is remarkable
in that he was under almost constant observation by researchers since his birth in 1974, including Dian Fossey,
Veronica Vecellio and Felix Ndagijimana.Titus was born on August 24, 1974 and was named by gorilla
researcher Dian Fossey, who was observing his group at the time.At a young age Titus formed a bond
with another male gorilla named Beetsme and the pair became the nucleus of an unstable bachelor group.Eventually five females joined Beetsme and Titus' group. Beetsme, now a fully-grown silverback,
drove off all of the males with exception to Titus and became the dominant male of the group.
The females however, especially dominant female Papoose, seemed to have
been more attracted to Titus and began to mate with him in secret.In 1991 he began systematically
asserting his dominance over the other males in his group and a year later, aged eighteen, Titus peacefully displaced Beetsme as the dominant male of the group.Titus sired more children than any other gorilla on record
and by 2004 controlled the largest known gorilla group in the world.However, at age thirty his dominance
was fading and he began fighting with his son Kuryama.Three years later, Kuryama asserted himself
as the dominant male.Researchers reported that Titus was still regarded with great respect and affection
by the entirety of the group in the last years of his life.Titus died in September of 2009 after
a week of illness.
River Derailment Fish Massacre
August 5, 2005
The Cheakamus River
derailment occurred when nine cars from a Canadian National Railway freight train derailed into the Cheakamus River in
British Columbia. The cars contained approximately 40,000 liters of caustic soda (sodium hydroxide),
which quickly entered the river.Sodium hydroxide is used in many industries, mostly as a strong chemical
base in the manufacturing of pulp and paper, textiles, drinking water, soaps, detergents, and as a drain cleaner.
The chemical spill killed over 500,000 fish from 10 different species, including chinook salmon, coho
salmon, pink salmon, and rainbow trout, both freshwater and ocean-dwelling.On November 5, 2005, federal
transport minister Jean Lapierre ordered the Canadian National Railway to limit the number of cars on its conventional
trains traveling in the area.
3. Lin Wang (elephant)
Died: February 26,
Lin Wang was a famous Asian
elephant that served with the Chinese Expeditionary Force during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945). After
a battle at a Japanese camp in 1943, Lin Wang, along with twelve other elephants, were captured by the Chinese.During the war, the elephants were used by the Japanese to transport supplies and pull artillery pieces.
The Allied forces also used these elephants for similar tasks. At this time in
history, Lin Wang was named Ah Mei (The Beautiful).In 1952, the army decided to give Lin Wang to
the Taipei Zoo at Yuanshan, where he met his life-long mate Malan.
Lin Wang became the most famous and popular animal in Taiwan, and in 1983 the zoo threw the first birthday party for
his sixty-sixth birthday. Since then, his birthday was celebrated every year on the last Sunday of
October at the zoo.Many adults and children alike affectionately called the bull elephant "Grandpa
Lin Wang."In early 2003 Lin Wang suffered arthritis on his left hind leg. He
started to lose his appetite along with other complications, and on February 26th, Lin Wang died.The
average life expectancy for a typical Asian elephant is 70 years.Lin Wang lived to the age of
86.He is the longest-living elephant to die captivity.
2. Ah Meng (Sumatran
February 8, 2008
Ah Meng was a female
Sumatran Orangutan and a tourism icon of Singapore. As a child, she was smuggled from Indonesia and
kept illegally as a domestic pet before being recovered by a veterinarian in 1971.At age 11,
Ah Meng was given a home at the Singapore Zoo.For many years she was the head of the small clan which
lives in a large enclosure at the zoo. During her stay, Ah Meng was the poster girl for the Singapore Zoo. Pictures
of her were used in Singapore's tourism advertisements worldwide. She has also been featured in over 30 travel films
and more than 300 news articles.
Due to the
fact that Ah Meng was raised by a human family, she was more approachable than other primates in her clan.She helped launch the Zoo's Breakfast with an Orangutan program.In 1992, the Singapore
Tourism Promotion Board gave Ah Meng the "Special Tourism Ambassador" award.Ah Meng
died in February of 2008 due to old age.She was 48 years old, or 95 orangutan years, and is survived
by two sons and three daughters, as well as six grandchildren.Today, there are only about 7,500 Sumatran Orangutans left in the wild rainforests of Indonesia.
November 24, 2003
Snowflake was a modern
marvel.He is the only known albino gorilla ever to exist, other albino apes have been born, but Snowflake
is the only gorilla. During his lifetime, Snowflake was the most popular resident of the Barcelona Zoo in Catalonia,
Spain.He has many different names including Nfumu Ngui, Floquet de Neu, Blancanieves, and Copito
de Nieve. The official story is that an ape specialist, Jordi Sabater Pi, found Snowflake in 1966
in Ikunde, modern-day Equatorial Guinea.He was captured outside Nko, near Rio Campo, in the Rio Muni
region, on October 1, 1966, by Benito Mañé.Mañé killed the rest of Snowflake’s
family in order to obtain this unusual albino specimen.
Benito kept him at his own home for four days and then transported him to Bata, where Snowflake was purchased by Sabater
Pi, who worked for the Barcelona Zoo's Ikunde Center, in Spanish Guinea, and paid 10,500 pesetas for the gorilla.Snowflake was a Western Lowland Gorilla.He was known worldwide, mentioned in tourist guides
and put on postcards, becoming the unofficial mascot of Barcelona.Snowflake displayed marked photophobia which caused him to close his eyes repeatedly when exposed to bright light. It was calculated that he blinked on an
average of 20 times a minute.
During his life at
the zoo, Snowflake fathered twenty-two offspring, but none of them were albino.Towards the end of
his life, Snowflake was thought to be between 38 and 40 years old; the average lifespan of a gorilla in the wild is
25. Since 2001, he had suffered from an unusual form of skin cancer, almost certainly related to his
albinism condition.In September 2003, it was publicly announced that Snowflake was dying.Thousands of people visited the zoo to say goodbye before he was euthanized in November 2003.One will hope that we will see another like him.
January 31, 2008
Zeltim Odie Peterson,
better known just as Odie, was a purebred pedigreed pug, who received international media attention for his unusual talent.Odie, with the encouragement of his owner Erica Volkman, appeared to be able to speak the words "I love
you".AOL Television declared Odie's 2005 appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman
as "the most memorable moment of the year".I don’t know about that, but it is a cute
clip.Sadly, Odie suffered from an enlarged heart and died on January 31, 2008.
Hypnodog is a canine
stage hypnotist act, based in Mountain Ash, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Wales.The show is run by a professional
hypnotist named Hugh Lennon who discovered Oscar, a 10 month old black Labrador retriever puppy, on a farm in Yorkshire.Lennon states that he initially he bought Oscar as a pet and brought him to shows for companionship, but "one
night I brought him on stage with me. He started staring at this girl and she fell into hypnosis,
without me doing a thing".Lennon maintains that a number of dogs and other carnivores have a
natural ability to hypnotize prey.
Oscar made headlines in the UK and all over the world, when he went missing while appearing at the Edinburgh Fringe in
Scotland.He is also familiar to many students of English as a second language, as materials about
Oscar and his act are featured in the Oxford University Press English language course.In 2001, after
12 years performing, Oscar's eyesight failed and he was no longer able to hold the penetrating stare necessary for stage hypnosis.He passed away the following year.