Sunday, 9 October 2016

Vivienne, My Heart Sinks to Hear You Are Gone

It saddened me greatly to learn that one of my former staff, a wonderful human being, Vivienne McKenzie, just got killed by a tiger in South Africa.

Vivienne came to me as a complete surprise while I was looking for a tiger supervisor for the South China Tiger rewilding project in South Africa in 2008.  She had no former training in biology or zoology but to me, that was actually an advantage, as what we were doing was completely unprecedented and required open-mindedness. She was keen to learn everything.  She was hard-working, punctual and dependable. She never failed a day at work. I could always rely on her and we worked wonderfully as a team. Even when I was no longer involved in the project in South Africa, I knew the tigers were in good hands with her.  I was enormously fond of her. 

The culprit was a tiger named Beta. Vivienne and I witnessed the births of Alpha and Beta by the tiger mother Cathay, who I brought from China to South Africa in 2003.  We rewilded them. In fact, I named the two tiger siblings, first as temporary names which then stuck.  I don’t have any details of what happened but it appeared that Beta had now been put down. I morn the deaths of both, Vivienne and Beta.

Although I no longer have had any involvement with the South African part of the South China Tiger project since 2012, I have continued to follow the progress of the tiger reintroduction project.  We understand that China has been ready since last year with two state of the art facilities to receive the tigers back from South Africa and has been trying to get the tigers to return back to China since then.
It will be wonderful to see these South China Tigers, long absent from home,  set their powerful feet back on China’s soil again soon. It will be a great day of celebration. 

Vivienne, I know that’s what you would like to see too, for all the years of hard work you have put in for them. I am saddened that you won’t see that day yourself but it is coming, soon.

Hats off to you, Vivienne!

And my heart reaches out to your mom and friends...

From TigerLi
 9 October, 2016


今天得知我的前工作人员,老虎管理员Vivienne McKenzie (薇薇麦肯锡) ,昨天在南非被一只华南虎咬死。
2008年我在为我们在南非的华南虎野化项目寻找老虎管理员时, 薇薇的履历让我感到意外和高兴。她没有生物学或动物学的背景,也没有以前的培训,但我认为这实际上是一个优势,因为我们所做的完全是前所未有的,需要有开放的态度。她勤奋刻苦,准时可靠。从来没有耽误过一天的工作,非常靠得住。我们俩是非常好的搭档。虽然之后我不再参与南非的项目,我知道只要有薇薇在, 老虎就没问题。我非常喜欢她的老实忠诚。