BY TERRY MORSE, Big Bend Wildlife Sanctuary
Betsy Knight fought off more than one illness in her life, but I am afraid that she lost the battle this time. Betsy passed away around 11:30 this morning with her family by her side.
This was shock to many of us because we thought she was on the road to recovery. However, when she had planned surgery this week, the doctors discovered a mass that was cancerous and it had rapidly spread through her body.
Betsy Knight had a beautiful soul and dedicated her life to conservation and wildlife. She loved the outdoors and some of you may not know that every year in March she would go kayaking with friends and some of her grandchildren. She raised and rehabilitated many native animals during her years as the Director of Big Bend Wildlife Sanctuary. From all the stories I have heard, I don't think there is a species she hadn't cared for at one time or another.
If Betsy had to pick one accomplishment though, I think she would say she was most proud of the success she had with Florida Black Bears. She has raised or rehabilitated over 40 bears and returned them to all back the wild, even though she was told it couldn't be done. Few people told her no and if they did, it only made her WILL to prove them wrong all the stronger.
I will miss Betsy's stories and her wealth of knowledge. I hope I can continue her legacy with wildlife as many others are already doing. Betsy knew more about the natural history of each animal than I could ever hope to know. But mostly I will miss Betsy.
Thank you all for your prayers for Betsy and her family. The schedule for services has not been determined yet, but I will post that information as soon as I get it. I know Betsy had so many friends and I hope I have reached all of them either through phone calls, FWRA, Facebook or email but if anyone thinks of someone that might not know please pass this information on to them. I attached 2 of my favorite photos of Betsy.
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