Rewilding Earth board member, Member of Parliament, & giraffe advocate at CITES
Crumbo presumed dead in Shoshone Lake, Yellowstone National Park
Conservationist Kim Crumbo, 74, remembered by Project Coyote founder Camilla Fox as “a true environmental hero for wildlife and wildlands,” has been missing and presumed dead since September 20, 2021, when the remains of his brother Mark O’Neill, 67, were discovered on the east shore of Shoshone Lake in Yellowstone National Park.
Autopsy results released by the National Park Service on September 29, 2021 determined that O’Neill died from hypothermia.
Reported missing by family members after they failed to return from a four-night backcountry visit to Shoshone Lake, Crumbo and O’Neill are believed to have experienced a canoeing accident in high winds, suffering immersion into water averaging 48 degrees Fahrenheit, offering them a possible window of survival of only 20 to 30 minutes.
Three weeks of active search and recovery efforts using helicopters, boats, sonar, and ground crews, and even a sled dog team were scaled back due to the onset of winter weather on October 8, 2021, Yellowstone National Park spokesperson Morgan Warthin said.
Limited search efforts would continue, however, Warthin added, as long as conditions allow.
Retired National Park Ranger
Both Crumbo, of Ogden, Utah, and O’Neill, of Chimacum, Washington, were retired National Park Service personnel.
Crumbo, a former four-year member of U.S. Navy SEAL Team One, survived two combat deployments to Vietnam. Earning a bachelor of science degree in environmental studies from Utah State University, Crumbo did postgraduate work in outdoor recreation before spending two decades as a river ranger and wilderness coordinator in Grand Canyon National Park.
Crumbo later worked as professional river guide for 10 years and served for two years as Utah Wilderness Coordinator for the Sierra Club.
Crumbo at his death was a board member of Rewilding Earth.
Crumbo, recalled Rewildling Earth in a prepared statement, was “a proud citizen member of the Potawatomi Tribe. His grandparents were Native American and he spent a good portion of his early childhood on or near reservations,” preparing him well for later conservation work with members of the Navajo, Hopi, Paiute, Havasupai, Hualapai, Zuni, and Ute tribes.
Crumbo left his wife of many years, Becky Rae Crumbo, and two adult sons, David and Zachary.
Amess assassinated at meeting with constituents
Sir David Anthony Andrew Amess, 69, a leading advocate for animals in the British Parliament since 1983, was on October 15, 2021 stabbed to death at a public meeting with constituents in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex.
His assassin, Ali Harbi Ali, 25, a British citizen of Somali descent, was arrested at the scene.
Said Crown Prosecution Service spokesperson Nick Price, “We will submit to the court that this murder has a terrorist connection, namely that it had both religious and ideological motivations.”
Ali, reported Joseph Lee for BBC News, is the son of “a former adviser to Somalia’s prime minister. Ali is accused of visiting the home of one Member of Parliament, the Houses of Parliament, and the constituency meeting of another Member of Parliament at various times this year as part of reconnaissance for a potential attack,” before stabbing Amess multiple times.
28 years in Parliament
Born and raised in Essex, Amess studied economics and government at Bournemouth University. Upon graduation, Amess taught disabled children at St John the Baptist Primary School in Bethnal Green for a year, then worked briefly as an insurance underwriter before becoming a recruitment consultant.
Elected Member of Parliament for Basildon as a member of the Conservative Party in 1983, Amess served in that capacity until 1997, when redistricting split the Basildon district into three portions. Amess then stood for election in the Southend West district, his seat until his death.
Amess, with fellow members of Parliament Henry Smith, Sir Roger Gale, and Gale’s wife, the Lady Suzy Gale, circa 2006 formed the Conservative Animal Welfare Group, which in 2016 morphed into the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation.
Both organizations oppose fox hunting, in conflict with the position of the Conservative Party as a whole.
Protection Against Cruel Tethering Act
Amess introduced the Protection Against Cruel Tethering Act in 1988, which provides that no one “shall tether any horse, ass or mule under such conditions or in such manner as to cause that animal unnecessary suffering.
Amess also sponsored the 1984-1985 Horses & Ponies Bill, the 1990 Pet Animals Bill, and in 2016 organized a Responsible Pet Ownership Competition for MPs and Peers, i.e. Members of Parliament and the House of Lords.
Three weeks before his assassination, Amess on September 23, 2021 called for a debate on “animal welfare generally, cruelty to animals and the welfare of farmyard animals, ” to have been held on October 4, 2021, World Animal Day.
“Westminster Dog of the Year”
Amess’ three-year-old French bulldog Vivienne was on October 28, 2021 named the Dogs Trust “Westminster Dog of the Year” in competition against the dogs of other Members of Parliament.
Vivienne “won the backing of both the judges and tens of thousands of members of the public after appeals on social media to pay tribute to the murdered MP by casting online votes,” the BBC reported.
Anna McMorrin, Labour Member of Parliament for Cardiff North, and Suzanne Webb, Conservative Member of Parliament for Stourbridge, both urged voters to elect Vivienne instead of for their own dogs, who were also contestants.
Abagana ““passed away suddenly at 50 years old”
Colonel Ali Laoual Abagana, Coordinator of the Wildlife Corridors Project in Niger under the United Nations Development Program, “passed away suddenly at 50 years old, leaving behind a wife and three young sons,” announced Born Free Foundation representative Alice Stroud.
Recalled Rosie Awori for the African Elephant Coalition, “Colonel Abagana was a gifted expert in wildlife and protected areas who worked tirelessly for the protection of wildlife habitats and sustainable management of biodiversity,” who “was finalizing a thesis on the socio-ecology and human dimensions of giraffes in the Garabedji Wildlife Reserve” in Niger.
Before joining the United Nations Development Program, Abagana served as the deputy national director of National Parks and Wildlife Reserves in Niger.
“He was also the head of the Natural Forest Development Project and worked directly in the Fight Against Desertification of Tchirozérine area,” wrote Awori. “He served as a member of the Niger delegation to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES),” and “served on the CITES Standing Committee as a representative of Africa.”
Won CITES protection for giraffes
In those capacities, Abagana in 2019 helped to win CITES Appendix II protection of all five sub-species of African giraffes that were recognized at the time. The International Union for Conservation of Nature now recognizes nine giraffe sub-species, but the CITES Appendix II listing, the equivalent of a global “threatened species” designation, continues to restrict trade in all of them.
About 117,000 giraffes remain in the wild, after as many as 40,000 giraffe were shot by trophy hunters or exported to zoos during the decade preceding the CITES Appendix II listing.
“Abagana was also actively involved in the African Elephant Coalition, a consortium of more than 30 African countries, that calls for tighter regulations on the trade in elephants and their parts,” Awori wrote.