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People Power: John Griffin and Lori Thiele

Michelle Riley/HSUS
It sounds like the trailer for a B movie: “He took care of great apes in a sanctuary. She studied the use of immunocontraceptives in white-tailed deer. When they met, would their animal instincts take over?” Well, the answer is yes—but not in the way you might expect. Instincts, in this case, prompted John Griffin and Lori Thiele to help animals by starting one of the first truly humane wildlife control services in the United States. Griffin had worked on an island off the Carolina coast that was home to a colony of free-ranging rhesus macaques and later at a sanctuary for great apes. After doing graduate work on white-tailed deer, Thiele was working as an animal control officer in College Park, Md. Both of them knew John Hadidian, director of urban wildlife at The Humane Society of the United States—Griffin through his wife, an HSUS employee, and Thiele through her graduate program. Hadidian was looking for animal-friendly people to send north to Toronto, Canada, to study the humane wildlife control methods of Brad Gates, founder of AAA Wildlife Control.

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