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News
11/27/2012

Lions Lose a Friend: Researcher Deanna Dawn Passes Away

Last week the mountain lion research community lost a coworker and a dear friend when biologist Deanna Dawn unexpectedly passed away.

Deanna suffered a severe brain aneurism on Saturday, November 17th and despite being rushed to the hospital, never regained consciousness. Deanna was surrounded by her mother, sisters and good friends until the time she passed.

Deanna had a Master's degree in biology and cherished field work. She was never one who could be tied down to a desk job and preferred that the outdoors be her office. She most recently worked for Garcia and Associates in Auburn, California as a wildlife biologist. She also worked on her ultimate passion - mountain lion research - for several grant and privately funded projects. She has been an associate of Panthera, the UC Davis Wildlife Heath Center's California Cougar Project, and the Mountain Lion Foundation.

Photo of Deanna Dawn and Winston Vickers kneeling behind sedated lion.Last year MLF's staff biologist Amy Rodrigues tagged along with Deanna Dawn and Winston Vickers on a mountain lion capture. To revisit Deanna in her element read the full story.

Deanna was dedicated, generous, and a fun person to be around. Amy is honored to have had the opportunity to spend some time with her in the field. Deanna will be missed dearly by our lion community.

True to form, Deanna was an organ donor. Since she was in excellent physical health ALL of her major organs have been matched with recipients throughout the United States. With her lung recipient in the San Francisco Bay Area to the heart and kidney recipients in Southern California to the liver recipient in Utah, all three places that hold special meaning for Deanna, we are all blessed to know that Deanna's life and spirit will continue to benefit so many. Deanna's family maintains the hope that those who are fortunate enough to receive her organs may one day honor her spirit through animal preservation and environmental consciousness.

Furthermore, the family asks that anyone wishing to express their condolences to please donate to any animal preservation organization in Deanna's name in lieu of cards or flowers - any amount would be appreciated.

Click here to make a donation to the Mountain Lion Foundation in Deanna's honor.