Top bird-watcher in world killed dies in bus crash
Monday 29 November 1999
Phoebe Snetsinger, 68, from St Louis, Missouri, died instantly when a tour minibus overturned in Madagascar last Tuesday as she slept in the back. Other passengers escaped with injuries.
Mrs Snetsinger took up her bird-based globetrotting after she was diagnosed with cancer 18 years ago, and became famous through catching in her binoculars more than 80 per cent of the planet's known bird types.
Her final total stood at more than 8,300 out of about 10,000 known species - a feat thatearned her a place in the Guinness Book of Records, and which no fellow twitcher is near to challenging.
Her travelling - she had just returned from Australia before going to Madagascar three weeks ago - began after doctors diagnosed cancer in 1981 and gave her a year to live. She once described how "the world birding started with a death sentence". The mother-of-four set off on an almost non-stop series of journeys to exotic locations - and when her cancer went into remission she continued travelling.
Mrs Snetsinger, who was in Madagascar with a specialist bird-watching tour group, had in her final days added five extra species to her world list, including the rare helmet vanga (Euryceros previstii), a shrike- like bird found only in the eastern part of the island.
The UK's leading rare bird seeker, Lee Evans, who earned himself a Guinness Book record for the number of bird species seen in Britain in a year (359 in 1990), got to know her during his world travels and spoke of being "deeply saddened" by her death.
"In my several meetings with her at various points around the globe, I was always bowled over by her sheer enthusiasm for birding," Mr Evans said.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
- 2 Belgium fan Axelle Despiegelaere lands L'Oreal campaign after World Cup viral photo
- 3 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 5 Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Pope Francis: ‘One in 50’ Catholic priests, bishops and cardinals is a paedophile
Fry ‘criticises Operation Yewtree in dinner party rant’ calling for tougher laws to deter false sex abuse allegations
Supermoon 2014 in pictures: The moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Saharan remains may be evidence of first race war, 13,000 years ago
Israel-Gaza conflict: ‘Sderot cinema’ image shows Israelis with popcorn and chairs 'cheering as missiles strike Palestinian targets'
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
Emergency data law: David Cameron plots to bring back snoopers’ charter
NUT strike: David Cameron announces crackdown on strike action ahead of mass industrial action
£40000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Dynamics CRM D...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Web Developer ...
£50000 - £67000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# R&D .NE...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...