The assistant sports editor for “The Campus” died on Monday after leaving school to pursue her “life dream” of becoming a meerkat trainer.
After spending just one semester studying English at Allegheny College, Colleen Pegher realized that meerkat trainers enjoy a much more lucrative job market than journalists.
Pegher withdrew from the college and moved to Africa, where she began training meerkats.
Her long-term goal was to direct a comedic musical version of “Macbeth,” starring the small mammals.
Pegher had suffered for a long time from nerve damage to the lips, the result of a wisdom tooth extraction gone horribly wrong.
She also had absolutely no cartilage in her left knee, making it difficult for her to recover from even minor stumbles.
When Pegher tripped and fell while chasing after a particularly energetic meerkat on Monday, she was unable to get up.
As she waited for help to arrive, Pegher could not feel a rabid meerkat nibbling on her totally numb lower lip.
By the time someone found her, the rabies had already set in.
Pegher loved to spend her time with her favorite meerkats, a glass of Jameson and a highlight reel of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ journey to their 2005 Super Bowl title.
Friends who knew her endearingly as “Bad Knees” or “Little Whiskey” no longer find Pegher’s college nicknames very humorous.
“I always knew the nerve damage would catch up with her someday,” said friend Andrew DeJong, ’12. “It was only a matter of time.
I almost feel kind of bad about the drool I’ve drawn on images of Colleen in the public view…almost.”