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PETA Gives Posthumous Award to Actress Who Died Helping an Injured Opossum

Zina Bethune (IMDB)
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Actress and dancer Zina Bethune was the kind of person who not only braked for animals but tried to help them across the street—even at the end when her life was on the line. For that, PETA is giving Bethune a posthumous "Compassionate Action Award."Bethune was killed in a hit-and-run this weekend. At the time, she was trying to help an injured opossum on Forest Lawn Drive. She pulled over and was struck twice as she tried to help the injured animal. (No, the opossum didn't make it either.) Her final act wasn't out of character. Bethune had been a PETA member for many years, and friends said she was always trying to help out animals.

"Zina has been known to take care of all living things, from birds falling out of nests to relocating a snake; she's that type of human being," Mary Avila, managing director of Theatre Bethune, told the Los Angeles Times.

Her husband will be presented the posthumous award.

"Zina dedicated her life to helping those in need," says PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk. "The death of such a caring soul is a loss to her family, her friends, and the whole community. We hope that her compassion and courage will inspire others to help animals in distress."