Man who modded his body to look like a tiger may have killed himself

Contributed by
Jan 14, 2013, 2:52 PM EST

In an effort to look like his spirit animal, Dennis Avner, who more often went by his Native American name, Stalking Cat, became the world-record holder for having the most body modifications. Sadly, his life ended recently and, it seems, it may have been self-inflicted.

Avner believed passionately in the Huron tradition of physically adapting oneself to resemble a spirit animal. He identified not only as a tiger, but also as a female tiger, to the point that he was willing to have subdermal implants, his nose flattened, his septum relocated, and his upper lip bifurcated, to name just a few of the alterations.

While no official cause of death has been established, it is believed that Avner took his own life. Considered by those close to him to be a kind man, he was also "at times as troubled as he was remarkable."

While it could be argued that this raises questions about the ethics of extreme body modification, what it more important is that a truly unique person is no longer with us.

(via Gawker)