With deep sadness I write that we lost Minnie last Wednesday evening, January 21. The following is an update from Pat regarding her passing:
For the past few months, Minnie had been experiencing a recurrence of her urinary tract infections and bladder problems which have plagued her for many years. This was the first incident in three years, and we hoped that the miraculous effects produced by her cranberry diet might have cured her.
During this last bout, Minnie refused most food and water, except for cranberry sauce and cereal. We hand fed and watered her, and administered necessary medications at two hour intervals around the clock. We we all concerned that we might lose our beloved Minnie.
Miraculously, once again, she began eating and drinking on her own. During the month of January, she made incredible strides toward recovery, and we were optimistic that she would have one more summer in the lake with her friends.
On Wednesday, January 21, Minnie had her very best day in a long time, playing with Rebecca and chirping and squeaking at her keepers, who were delighted to see her behavior. Ed Stewart, one of her favorite people, spent most of the day with her, and Pat Derby fed her buckets of her favorite treats. Ed gave her a very warm bath, and she spent several hours throwing dirt, chirping and thumping. Everyone was delighted with her progress.
Minnie and Rebecca went into their dirt stall in the Asian barn and ate hay and dusted in the late afternoon. At 6:00 p.m., the afternoon keeper, Jon, served meals to Minnie and Rebecca. Minnie devoured every bit of her food. As Jon warmed water for their drink, Minnie laid down and seemed to be going off to sleep. Jon called softly to her, then realized she had stopped breathing.
Minnie, our 54 year old circus retiree whose vocalizations and sweet disposition charmed everyone at ARK 2000, died peacefully in her barn with Rebecca, her long time companion, and Pat Derby, Ed Stewart and her keepers at her side. Her peaceful posture and the serenity with which she slipped away were a great comfort to all of us. Minnie, who had endured years chained in railroad cars, died tranquilly among her old friends.
Rebecca slept next to her, and Wanda, Annie, Pat, Ed and her keepers Annamarie, Tom, Jon and Brian spent their last evening with the beloved leader of the Asian group.
We are so grateful to our dedicated staff and veterinarians who spent all their time and energy feeding, medicating and caring for Minnie. We take comfort in our loss knowing that her last days afforded the peace and dignity which this great lady deserved.
Fortunately, Pat had produced the following video update including Minnie the week prior to her passing.