Longtime animal advocate mourned

Kathi Travers, an internationally-recognized animal rights advocate, died suddenly Monday night at her Prince George home, her spouse Jo Graber confirmed Tuesday.

She was 69.

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Born and raised in the Boston, Massachusetts area, she went on to live in New York and Los Angeles as she developed her career in animal welfare, specializing in exotic animals.

During those years, she collaborated with world-famous conservationist and primate expert Jane Goodall, consulted with Michael Jackson on the proper care necessary for the animals he kept at Neverland Ranch and worked with Mary Tyler Moore, Tippi Hedren and other Hollywood stars noted for their animal advocacy.

She came to Prince George in 1998 and used her American connections while working at the Prince George Film Commission. Shortly after her arrival, she began writing about animals in a weekly column in The Citizen.

A longtime supporter and volunteer with the SPCA, Travers also volunteered with Rotary and the B.C. Liberals. She was frequently heard - with her thick New England accent fully intact - on the community radio station, CFIS 93.1 FM, where she hosted a weekly morning talk show for years.

On both her talk show and in more recent column work in The Citizen, Travers showed her political stripes, often calling out the "malarkey" of elected officials in her Boston twang. She was ecstatic when Barack Obama was elected president of the United States and was despondent when Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. She was also a fierce supporter of Justin Trudeau.

"I suspect I may be the only person in Prince George that has a Trudeau calendar next to their computer," she wrote in a 2018 column.

She took the Boston Marathon bombing in April 2013 hard - her nephew Scott, a Boston firefighter, was working at the finish line when the bombs went off and leaped into action to help the wounded.

A passionate sports fan, Travers always cheered for her beloved Boston Bruins, Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots.

A public celebration of life has not yet been planned.

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