‘Diana’s death a great loss to Ministry and wildlife’

‘Diana’s death a great loss to Ministry and wildlife’

2 de noviembre de 2018, Daily Express Malasia.- Kota Kinabalu: Wildlife Rescue Unit veterinary Dr Diana Angeles Ramirez Saldivar (pic) had been known to have always gone the extra mile to save lives, especially animals and wildlife.

And even in her death, the 36-year-old continued to make a difference by giving others the chance of life through organ donation.

“We decided to donate many of her organs because we all know that she was always saving lives and this way she would continue saving lives,” said her sister, Sandra Karina, 35, when met at her wake services at Wisma Fook Lu Siew, here, Thursday.

“Because she loved to be here, living in Sabah and in Malaysia, this way a bit of her would always remain here. We know that some people already have received and we are very happy to know this was possible,” she said through a family friend, Dr Milena Salgado, who was also a close friend of Diana.

She described Diana as someone who was always dedicated to what she was doing and that initially she wanted to be a medical doctor for humans but eventually decided to be a veterinarian because she thought that animals were more loyal.

“She was always interested in wildlife and it was her dream to be out in the field and doing something related with wildlife,” she said.

It was understood that Diana started her medical veterinarian degree and subsequently volunteered in one of the zoos in Mexico City at the age of 18. Ever since, she never left wildlife.

Sandra has many memories of her sister, one of which was a few years ago during her visit to Sabah to see how Diana was working.

“Diana had to perform a necropsy in one of the baby elephants. At that time, I had never seen an elephant, let alone a dead one and certainly never a necropsy.

“But I was allowed to accompany Diana a bit and saw her literally immersed in secretions. She was stinking and everything and even with all that she was happy doing it. Not necessarily happy…but relieved that the elephant had died by natural causes, that at least it had not been killed,” recalled Sandra.

The last she had contact with Diana was last month and the conversation was work and family related.

“She asked how was everyone in the family, how were things in Mexico and what was happening back home, but work wise she had the intention to continue working on wildlife and helping wildlife,” she said.

Meanwhile, Melina described Diana as someone who was always working hard to get things done properly and how they had worked together to set up a wildlife forensics laboratory in Kg Potuki.

“I have known her for almost 20 years and it was a job relationship that sometimes could have difficulties and disagreements but in general we were family, we were not just friends, she was like an additional family member,” she said.

Being the third child of four siblings, Diana’s passing is also greatly felt by Harjinder Kler, who is attached with the conservation NGO Hutan, saying “Diana has given so much to Sabah and even in death she kept giving by having her organs donated.”

“Sabah owes Diana and her family a deep depth of gratitude. She will be missed,” she said.

Also there to pay his last respects was Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Datuk Datu Rosmadi Datu Sulai who described Diana as a very good officer, very dedicated and passionate about animals.

“It is a great loss to the ministry, to the wildlife, she did a lot,” he said.

Diana’s 64-year-old mother, Concepcion Esperanza, was also present at the wake which came with a Catholic requiem followed with the cremation of her remains.

Meanwhile, the circumstances leading to Diana’s death was not immediately made clear. However, Danau Girang Field Centre’s (DGFC) Director, Dr Benoit Goossens, who has worked closely with her thinks that she should be remembered in Sabah for the work she did.

“She should be remembered as a Mexican woman who came eight years ago , she spoke very little English, she didn’t speak a word of Bahasa, but in a couple of years she was fluent in English and Bahasa.

“She was dedicated to her work and one of the greatest wildlife conservationists and wildlife carers that I know in Sabah and I really think that Sabah should honour her and should do something to make sure that she is not forgotten and that her memory is kept forever in Sabah,” he said.

He also doesn’t think that her death was linked to what happened at the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park. She was working for the Wildlife Rescue Unit, not for Lok Kawi Wildlife Park. – Sherell Jeffrey

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Diana Angeles Ramirez Saldivar

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