Sunday, May 13, 2018

Cobby Chimpanzee the Movie to Premiere in San Francisco!

Some of you already know that the Life Story of our Male Chimpanzee Cobby is the subject of a Documentary titled,  Cobby: The Other Side Of Cute.  From the beginning of production I have hoped that the film would have its first showing here in San Francisco.  Last week the wonderful news was made public when SF DocFest announced their 2018 line-up.  Cobby: The Other Side Of Cute will have its World Premiere June 3rd at the Roxie Theater!  A second showing will be the following day.  

Here is the SF DocFest page photo and link that will take you directly to this page, where you can purchase tickets. 

I have not seen the film yet, but I was involved and know all the people who will be interviewed and I think it will be a great film for awareness of the overall plight of Chimpanzees.  There are still so many people who don't know what horror wild Chimps face.  When I first was contacted by one of the Filmmakers, Donna McRae, she didn't even know.  I myself may only know because I know our San Francisco Zoo Chimpanzees and their histories.  

Donna had grown up watching Cobby's TV Show Cobby's Hobbies.  Filmed in the USA, but only shown in her native Australia.  Like Donna, I grew up watching a TV Show featuring Chimps, Lancelot Link Secret Chimp.  Before Lancelot, before Cobby, there was Chatter (who was Cobby's adopted Brother).  Chimps have long been subjects of Entertainment, and while they have become less used in TV/Film, probably because of the stigma that's been attached in recent years, you will still see Chimps used this way and in other media and advertising.  For one, there is an abundance of greeting cards featuring Chimps.  All these Chimps are infants and juveniles.  Whether taken from the wild or born in captivity, all have been taken as infants from their Mother's, and have become part of an ongoing Exotic Animal Pet Trade.  

When I began filling Donna in on Cobby, and our Maggie, Minnie and Tallulah's history, she had no idea about this, and was horrified.  All four were victims of the Pet Trade. They were all wild born. They were all taken from their Mother's.  Their Mother's most likely murdered, in order for the kidnapping to take place.  In the current crisis, Mother's and other Family members are murdered and their bodies sold for bushmeat, while infants sold as Pets.  ... Along with her search for Cobby, and now learning the horror Cobby, our girls, and other infant Chimps had and continue to face, it was clear this was a film she and her partner Michael Vale wanted to make.   Cobby Movie was born.

I helped with research and interviewee suggestions, so I know this will be a Film that tells Cobby's story and how it relates to the plight of wild Chimpanzees.  He personalizes the crisis.  Cobby knew the horror of being ripped from his wild Family, but thankfully, he was one of the lucky ones.  He was treated well by the Family that bought him, and has lived a good peaceful life since arriving at the Zoo.

Hope everyone who knows our SFZoo Chimps, and who cares about or wants to learn about the plight of Chimpanzees will be interested in seeing this Film.

I made a video telling Cobby about the Movie :) 

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Hot Topic Blogs and Blogging History.

Hot Topic Blogs linked at bottom of this post.

When people find out I blog about the Zoo, they are curious what I write about.  I tell them that unfortunately most of what I write about are things I have issue with.  Its not all I write about but it is a huge part.  It wasn't how this blog started, and it certainly was not how my blogging started.  

For those who have known me for many years, know that my first blog ever, was aimed at sharing all the I was learning through my own research, and from Keepers, about the SFZoo Animals.  In the wake of the Tatiana Tiger event, I had read so much slamming of the Zoo, that I wanted to put forth some good stuff and hope that people would be endeared to the Animals as I was, and find the good in the Zoo.   That blog was  Started in 2009 and like this blog, named in honor of my Beloved Tapir Friend Goober.

Through the years, there have been many other happy animal themed blogs and other online efforts. They are all listed here  ... One of my favorites is my Enrichment dedicated blog

I want to note three other blogs that like the others, I no longer post on, but do contain important past issues.  These are my Hot Topic Blogs. For anyone interested in SFZoo related issues, take a look through the archived posts on these blogs.   

Dedicated to my Crusade to Save our Chimps from being kicked out of the Zoo.

Dedicated to my Crusade to get our Andean Bear natural surface added to his home.

Assorted topics of issue

Thank You to all who have an interest in everything about the San Francisco Zoo.

Animal In Danger? ... Please Take Action! ... Resource Info

Well, the weekend is closing on me again and I still have several posts in draft that I have been trying to finish and post for a couple of weekends now.  Last weekend was a bust, as mid-week I was told about a very disturbing incident at Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park. I was so upset the following days that other than trying to help that situation, I got nothing done. So, even though the posts I have in queue flow from the last post I did, I'm going to insert this one here for Awareness, in hopes it reaches even a few people and lives can be saved.

The incident is as follows.  Early Wednesday (4.11) morning, I was watching the Great Horned Owl Nest in the Park.  The self-titled (much like I am the "Director" of this blog) "Director" of San Francisco Nature Education, approached a friend of mine and told him about one of the Heron Nests at Stow Lake.  For those who don't know, there is a tree at Stow Lake where up to seven nests have been seen over the years, as the Great Blue Heron nests there annually.  One of her friends had witnessed a Nest with Chicks, fall out of the tree, to the ground on the Island below.  She said, "Nothing could be done."  This happened Monday afternoon. When the story was relayed to me, I was horrified, and of course had questions as to whether anything was done.  I know for fact the Boathouse would work with Animal Care and Control to get to the Island to check on the Nest.  I immediately called Park Patrol and asked if there had been any calls about this.  No.  I then called ACC.  No reports in their system.  They asked me to call back if I get anymore information.  I went over to Stow to see for myself if I could see anything, and from shore you really can't.  I was so upset and felt helpless.  

When I got home, I emailed the "Director", Nancy, I asked her about the nest, questioning if anyone was called.  She replied, ignoring my question and just saying, it fell, nothing could be done, sad.  I replied, explaining that something could have been done, and that ACC should have been called. She didn't reply.  I emailed and asked again, as well questioning who made the decision that, "Nothing could be done."  Her reply was hostile and again provided no information.  This interaction was over the course of the next day.  Before getting any of her replies, I got up Thursday morning and made some calls.  I called ACC again and they again confirmed they would have went out if there was a call at the time it happened and would certainly go out now if I had more info regarding where it fell.  Basically they needed first hand witness info.  I called Park Patrol again, since I talk to that Dispatcher often, shared my frustration and he ended up connecting me to Stow Lake Supervisor Andy Stone.  I relayed the story to him and he responded, something like, I understand what you're saying but I don't know how to respond.  So, I made it easy for him.  I said, I would like you to get a boat from the Boathouse, go to the Island, and search for the Nest.  He said he couldn't do it today, but would do it tomorrow am.  I thanked him and asked him to update me.   I called ACC back and got a different Dispatcher, who took all the information and said she would call Andy as well.  The next morning Andy left me a message that he went out to Island in a boat and looked but couldn't see a Nest or see/hear any Chicks.  I don't know if he got out of the boat and went on the island, which is what I would have wanted, but at this point, I had done all that I can do, and I'm grateful he at least went out.  All that was left to do was Pray that the nest broke the fall and that the Parents were able to care for the Chicks on the ground.  I hope to one day soon see big babies fledge from the island.  I'm still sad that I couldn't do more.  Sad that no one else did anything at the time.

I have for years, continually been in situations where I've heard of Animals in distress or being harassed, and no authorities have been called.  I just don't understand this.  I have to assume people just don't know who to call?  If I don't assume that, I must assume that people just don't care.  What is most disturbing about this incident is that someone who runs a Nature Education program, had the information and by all accounts from Park Patrol and ACC, she nor the people who witnessed this horror, allegedly did nothing.  Sad.

If you spend anytime in our natural areas, please make note of the contacts I've put together in this flyer.  I have had these numbers in my phone for years and have used them many times.  I share them with friends I spend time with in the Park, or random people who I get in conversation with.  Each time in the past when something happens, I think I need to try and do something about it. I have wanted to do more outreach, but just never get that far.  I'm going to try now to take a few steps further in creating Awareness.  I started a new blog and Facebook Page, San Francisco Wildlife ER Resource.  I haven't added much yet, but hope to include information for SF and all the surrounding areas.

For now its just this information.  Feel free to copy and share.  Thank You.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

HOT TOPIC! - SFZoo Stop Collecting Animals You Have No Place For! - Like the Poor Fossa!

The title of this post pertains to a few Animals over the years, but the catalyst is one new species, that I can no longer say is a recent, Acquisition.  I've been trying to write this post for eight months, which is when I found out the Zoo brought in a pair of Fossa, with no place to house them.  As of this writing, they have been at the Zoo at the very least nine months.  They allegedly lived in Quarantine for several months, before moving into an off exhibit Small Primate Holding area.  Let's just call it what it is, its a damn cage.  

This is so upsetting.  I have to tell you right now, I am what, one paragraph into this and my ears are pulsating I'm so upset by this.  This will soon escalate to anxiety and this is why its difficult for me to keep writing posts that are not about the warm and fuzzy side of the SFZoo.  I continue only because I need to document stuff as a Voice for these Animals. 

So, back to the cages.  In November, I went on the Zoo's Bird Walk for the first time.  I had heard that the Fossa were moved into those cages, so when the Bird Walk took the turn to that off exhibit area, I was excited to possibly get a glimpse of them.  I had not seen the state of those cages since they were on actual exhibit, probably more than twenty years ago.  When I saw the Fossa, the happy and excitement turned to sadness, at the size and near barren cage.  Knowing this was possibly their destiny for at least another year or more, I just felt sick.  I know the Keepers are trying to add enriching items to the cage, but let's not sugar coat this, these poor Animals should have never come here, with no housing in place. 

 I don't know if they have access 
to both these cages or just the one 
on the right, closest to the camera.

Some back story.  Last year, I was pitching an idea for the meeting space in the Primate Center.  A few weeks later, the person I pitched it to, told me idea can't be used for that space because a Donor wanted to bring in another species from Madagascar.  They donated funds to build an exhibit in that space.  This was around the time when ground broke for the Chimp Expansion and way before they started on the Komodo Dragon's new home. 

In July, someone mentioned to me that we had Fossa.  I was very happy to hear this.  Had no idea since I don't keep up with the Joint Zoo Agenda, as something in it usually is upsetting, I only check it out every few months.  I have always loved Fossa, but never saw one in person.  I asked where they were going, and was told a place was being built in the Primate Center.  

Hold everything, so a Donor hands over Money, says get this Animal, and the Zoo gets it, with no appropriate housing for it.  I can't even with how awful that is.  Maybe this is a regular practise, but I think its very questionable as to why these poor Animals had to be transferred before housing was available for them.  No one seems to know.  And even if they did, I don't care.  These Animals should be living in a better environment.  If the SFZoo couldn't provide that and they had to leave their former home for some reason, then an alternate place for them needed to be found until their home was built for them.  There is no reason they should be living in a cage for nine months and who knows how much longer.  Unexcusable.  As much as I'd love to know Fossa, I do not think these poor Beings should be here at this time. 

The Zoo makes a big deal about Wellness.  They pat themselves on the back for it every chance they get.  I do not think these living conditions are considered in good Wellness practice.  Only one person I have talked to about this thinks this is ok.  This person is on Management level Animal Staff, and I was quite surprised that this person thought these living conditioins were ok.  Everyone else, both those I know there and other visitors I know think this is Shameful and rightfully so.  

Meet Dorian and Violet, the male/female pair came to SF from Denver.  They are an established pair, having successfully produced offspring.  

Here is a video of Dorian when he debuted at the Denver Zoo.

Screencap of the video, since some might not watch
and many have asked me, What's a Fossa?

Here is a link to photos of Violet and their first babie.

These are the faces of the two Beings that are living in cages.  Unacceptable. 

I've been posting alot about the recent build of the Komodo Dragon's new home.  I'm putting forth this idea, so this never happens again.

The Komodo Dragon home is in the old Tapir exhibit area.  Next to that between it and the Asian Rhino, there is another unused exhibit.  Something needs to be done with that space.   It was used to house the Sea Lions the last time their pool needed painting.  It is usable and should be built out as a holding space.  It doesn't need to Species specific, it needs proper multi-purpose landscaping and to be enclosed.  That bare minimum would be 1000x better than those damn cages!  

The Komodo build took four months. This would take less and get those poor Animals out of those cages.  I can't even believe the AZA allowed this.  Well maybe I can.  I don't have faith in them as a governing authority at all.   Does the Donor know?  Does the Donor care?   Its all very upsetting.  San Francisco Zoo, you NEED to do something to fix this situation!

I think my first thought about this stems from my love for our Chimps.  Its been ten years now, but when I started visiting the Zoo more regularly and learning more about the Animals as individuals, from Keepers and through my own online research.  That research turned up articles pertaining to the Chimps being promised a new home in 1997.  They never got a new home.  They will get an expansion, that will allow them environmental and social enrichment.  They waited 21 years.  ...  The Komodo Dragon had to wait 4 years.  ... It seems the Fossa will be at the 2+ year wait if construction on their proposed home even starts by fall of this year.  Who knows how long these next Animals will have to wait. 

Let's also talk about the Condors.  Yes we have two now.  Anyone ever wonder what happened to Claudia who lived at the Puente?  I think I wrote about it, or maybe its just swirled in my mind the past year.  So Claudia the Andean Condor, came to SF from New Jersey.  The SFZoo was supposed to provide her with a temporary home until her new home within the Turtle Back Zoo that she called home, was built.  When it was built, Claudia was supposed to go back home to her brand new enclosure and get a mate.  Imagine my surprise when after she was here a couple months, her name, like all the rest of the Animals, was auctioned off at the Zoo's annual fundrasier ZooFest.  Very curious!?  

Claudia is awesome.  She was hatched in 1985, making her 31 years old when she arrived at in SF.  I love this Lady, who by the way knows her name!  and I miss seeing her.  She was hand raised and imprinted on Humans, so enjoys the social aspect of meeting Visitors.  There was a problem with someone continually feeding her and in a dangerous way, but that wasn't handled as it should have been and it became a repeat situation. The only good thing that has come from her being off exhibit is she is safe. 

The story continues and goes something like this.  Allegedly, SFZoo Director Peterson, convinced the AZA/SSP to not only let Claudia stay in SF, but to send her proposed mate here as well!  Turtle Back Zoo found out after the fact and were surprised that Claudia would not be returning back home to her new enclosure that was build FOR HER!  As much as I love Claudia, and would be sad to not see her, that was her home and she should have been able to go back there.  So, the male gets to SF and Claudia is taken off exhibit, denying her social enrichment, to go meet her new beau.  Having never been near another Condor, its not even certain an imprinted, 31 year old Claudia will even want to mate.  The two were eventually moved to the off exhibit FCC (Feline Conservation Center) where for over a year now they still live mesh to mesh, with it uncertain when and if they will ever meet without a barrier between them.  They will continue to live there indefinitely because surprise, the Zoo had to have them, even though they have no public enclosure for them. I have heard rumor that they want to build something for them next to Tropical Aviary, where they put that stupid ropes course they spent money on.  Who knows when that will happen.  Who's in the queue first, Condors or Fossa? Anyway, til then, FCC is not the pit those Fossa cages are, but still for an imprinted Bird like Claudia being in public might be good for her.  That said, I'm fine with them being off exhibit, at least they are in a nice space, its just the whole alleged story behind the Acquisition that saddens me. 

I certainly hope there is a plan in place to start on something for these Fossa asap!  now that Komodo Dragon home is done.  I'm not sure the Primate Building location is a decent one, but who knows.  What I do know is to continue to keep these Animals in this living situation, is not good Wellness practice.  

Chimpanzee Expansion - Another Update!

I started this two weeks ago, but actually glad I didn't get the energy for it til now.  This Month's Joint Zoo Committee Meeting Document in regard to Acquisitions, notates information on our new Male Chimpanzee!  So together with the two Females noted in my previous post about the Chimps, we now have information on our three new Chimps! 

Week before last, I also made this video.  Shows a bit of the SkyTrail progress, but what I love is the chat I had with Minne and Cobby.  They probably can't hear me, and who knows if the could or would even know what I'm talking about, but I love talking to the Zoo Friends.  Here I'm telling them all about the exciting times ahead for them!

It was several weeks ago now that I started to work on the few posts that I had in current draft form.  I thought since writing about the Zoo takes alot out of me, I'd get those out and then be done for awhile, maybe just writing about a new topic here and there.  I started with the fun stuff, about the Komodo and Chimp's new enclosures.  I didn't even get to the tough one, when things came my way and I started thinking about a few posts I had back-burnered and wasn't even going to continue working on.  Gotta say, they are nagging at me and I may end up randomly finishing and posting them.

Since my last post, I have another Update on the Chimpanzee Expansion Project.  Its moving along pretty fast, progress each day I visit.  I made a few more videos, but decided except for the one above, they were too much like my others, construction info and my personal ideas on further use of space.  I tried to illustrate visually all the things the could happen with the surrounding areas available.  It got overwhelming as thoughts continue to come to mind, in regard to ideas based on how I'm viewing the logistics of the situation.  I think rather than use multiple videos, I'll just try to write it out and use previous videos of area I'm referring to as the visual.   Who knows, most  readers might consider this just a rambling of ideas, and it pretty much is.  But, I'm always thinking about how the Zoo can improve, so why not put it all down.  Maybe it will spark an idea in the minds of Management. 

So many thoughts about the future of the "Great Ape Passage"  that will soon start with the opening of the Chimpanzee Expansion.  What I'm basically trying to figure out is how the current Chimp enclosure, the Triple Grotto will eventually be renovated.  When the current expansion in the Pachyderm Building is completed, there will be a new indoor night quarters with six bedrooms, to accommodate our current three Chimps and the three new Chimps.  There will be an indoor playroom, and an outdoor yard.  These areas will be connected to the Triple Grotto.  By connecting, what I have now heard will be two Skytrails (the second one going from the South Grotto to the new side yard), there must be a commitment to at least keep the current Triple Grotto House in any future plans?   

The future of this area does seem to have a big ? mark on it.  Three years ago Director Peterson put forth photos that showed a definite plan to bring in Orangutans for the area that is currently the Triple Grotto.  Those plans were drawn up under the assumption that Director Peterson's plan to kick out our Precious Senior Chimps would succeed.  

I don't know what the timeline is for acquiring Orangutans.  My calculations are at least 2-4 years.  For one, nothing can be done to manage another Great Ape Species in that area until renovation of Triple Grotto or build of another enclosure takes place.  And most important, nothing can be done until our current three Chimps are fully introduced and integrated with the three new Chimps.  Chimp introduction could take years.  How big the new side yard will be, is another important factor, but from my calculations, using the Pachyderm expansion as the only Chimp habitat during a project that would put the Triple Grotto out of commission, doesn't seem right.  Guess it will be a wait and see what space the expansion provides. 

I don't know if those original project plans are being followed, but if so, again it would be pending size of expansion space, there might then be a need for an additional Chimp yard to be built before any Triple Grotto work can be done.  It appears to me the Chimps would need access to a larger space if the Triple Grotto was out of access.  Especially with six Chimps. 

I made a series of three videos in 2015, with some ideas for the expansion, past the Skytrail/Playroom project.  

Since I'm reaching back to 2015, I must mention something I read a few months ago.  Going back to that first evening, at the Joint Zoo Committee Meeting when it was announced the Chimps would be staying. Director Peterson pulled out this diagram for a Chimp Forest.  She mentioned it cost $10 Million and eluded that if not for the price tag it would be a consideration, if a lead donor came through.  Gotta say, I feel frauded.  I was recently researching something and came across a news article that mentioned the $10 Million Chimp Forest Project.  It would seem like she pulled out some old plans and presented it as a serious option if she met her fundraising goals.  At the time it was mentioned with the enthusiasm that the "biggest fundraising effort to date" was going to be an actual thing.  It never happened.  So even though, the proposed site for the Chimp Forest, through my own research,  was not a viable location for Primates, in relation to weather, because of its position near the beach, there was still the guise that a huge deal was about to be made to get the Chimps a new home.  I just wanted to document that because it really rubbed me the wrong way.  I would have preferred her just say, Chimps are staying and we are going to do everything we can to give them a more enriching life.  Provide them with more space, upgrade their current home, and social options.

I'm actually fine with there not having been a real plan to build a brand new enclosure.  Part of My Crusade to Save the Chimps, was because I felt they needed to stay in the only home they had ever known. I love what is being added with the SkyTrail and areas within and connected to the Pachyderm Building.  I think adding those Environmental Enrichment options to their lives while they are still allowed access to the familiarity of the Triple Grotto is the best thing for them.  At their age, I think too much change, especially all at once would be detrimental.  

So, back to what will happen next.  Who knows.  Will the Zoo go ahead and try to get Orangutans and rebuild the Triple Grotto for them?  Will there be another area for the Chimps during that time?  Would any new area built on that site be a rotating enclosure with the Chimps?  These are the things that I wonder about for the future.

The Zoo has proven to not have funding for huge projects.  They often don't even have funding for small projects. Aside from their fundraising abilities, its really disgusts me that in a City as rich as San Francisco, that there is virtually no City funding to even provide for upgrades.  What's wrong with this town?  

That all said, I am all for re-purposing old exhibits.  I have read and heard views where Zoo purists (the Zoo Chat forum is one) think the Zoo should knock down buildings and build fresh from the ground.  In my opinion that is a waste of time these Animals don't have, and money the Zoo doesn't have and probably never will.  The existing buildings and exhibit walls seem to be sturdy foundations, so why not use them.  These same Zoo purists have definite thoughts about what Animals they want and don't want.  It amazes me that a group of people so invested in Zoos (and this goes for not only these purists, but also the elitists within our Management/Society) who would ignore taking care at home first.  I've written this before, but you do right by those in your current care before bringing in new Beings to care for.  Sorry to digress but anytime I hear something related to this, its very upsetting.

So, back to my thoughts.  Some of the ideas that come to mind are similar to those you will see in one of those 2015 videos.  I talk about re-purposing the Triple Grotto.  I still think that's the best idea for renovation of that space.  There is so much unused topical space because of the moat.  I have always thought filling in the moat and glassing it in would be the best way to go to create more space, in the least expensive way.  Extending the topical space, would allow to keep the current familiar structures, as well as add in other landscape enrichment.  The three existing Grotto's could be one enclosure or it could be split, with the North and Middle, one enclosure, and the South and the cement walk area South of that, a second enclosure.  This way both Chimps and Orangutans can occupy that space.  The Chimps would have their night quarters in the Pachyderm Building and access to the Grotto's via the SkyTrail.  The Orangutans occupying the existing Chimp House.  There will be a SkyTrail connecting the new yard to the South Grotto, so interchanging the enclosures would also be an option.

So, back to wondering how work can be done on the Triple Grotto at all with only the Pachyderm area available to six Chimps.  There is still the North side of the Pachyderm Building.  There is indoor space, outdoor space at side of the building and the huge meadow area across the path, between the Binowee Aviary and the Food Depot.  Even if the Zoo didn't want to use anymore of the Pachyderm Building, that unused meadow area in my opinion is a prime location for an additional Ape Passage yard.  It could be built out while Triple Grotto still in use, and then used in place of it while under renovation.  After renovation, via SkyTrails it could be used for both Chimps and Orangutans.  I don't think building it out specifically for Orangutans would be doable, as a new "house" would have to be built then as well, adding to the price tag significantly.  But, a yard, totally doable. 

Seeing what they do next will be interesting.  I think there's a lot to consider, maybe even more than what I've currently thought about.  

I'm looking forward to Summer which is my estimate for this current stage to be finished.  I sure hope the Zoo documents and Shares! all the new experiences our Maggie, Minnie and Cobby will be having.   I want to see video of our Chimpers the first time they use the Skytrail!  The first time they explore the Playroom!  The first time they explore the new Yard!  The first time they see their new Friends!  It will be a long introduction process, so how will their first hellos be seen?  Will it be via howdy mesh?  Will it be via a window from across the path?  Will they wave to eachother from Grotto to Grotto?  I imagine this, assuming the new Chimps could go to North Grotto, while our current Chimps have access to Middle and South Grotto.   

I can't wait for them to have these new experiences.  I can't wait to meet their new Friends! It will be an exiciting time in all their lives and for those of us who have wanted this for them for so long.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Komodo Dragon - New Home Adventures!

Here's another look into Falcor the Komodo Dragon's life in his new home.  I will keep posting updates on his adventures and progress, now that he has space to enjoy his life.  It will do wonders for him to be able to excercise, and take part in enriching activities.  I'm just really happy for him.  I shed tears of joy, every time I see him in his new home.  I'm tearing now just writing about it.

Catching some sun from the skylight!

I've made a few new clips.  The first one is beyond cuteness!  I walked up in time to view Falcor getting brushed by his Keeper!  I had never seen this.  He was loving it so much!  Not sure who loved it more him or me!  So lucky to get to see this, and video a bit to share!

  Hey people where you going with that brush! 

Falcor Getting Brushed!

In the video you hear me mention the idea of having brushes for him to use himself.  I passed two brush ideas onto the Keeper.  Hopefully they will give it a try and see if he likes it.  I think he will.  Also after seeing Angelo/Anteater pick-up a pine cone and use it to scratch himself (amazing right?!  no video sorry), I'm going to suggest that too.  Like a branch with the cones attached would probably be good if that's something he can have don't see why not.

While I was there, one of his Sprinklers came on.  I was hoping to see this, as I had heard about it.  After I took this video, I clairifed how it works.  There are four Sprinklers in different areas of the enclosure.  When one is about to go one, a sound goes off to alert him a Sprinkler is going to come on.  Then a light will indicate which Sprinkler it is, so he can go to it if he wants.  Love it!  ... You will hear me say in the video that I think it should stay on longer.  That's because he doesn't have full power in his legs, so unless he's closer, he won't get to it in time.  He did seem to want to go to it, but when he decided to, it went off.   Keeper said that since there are multiple ones, that the timing isn't an issue.  Hopefully that is true, because he sure perked up and seemed like he was interested in it.


I apologize,  I know I repeat myself, but after watching him several days now in this enclosure, I feel even more strongly that my concerns have been valid.  He needed to have more room to exercise post surgery.  The Zoo indeed did him a disservice by not having him in a new home before his health issue presented, which was well within the time frame promised when he arrived. In my opinion his recuperation would have been more successful (time wise) if he was able to exercise on his own daily.  He probably would have regained use of his back left leg if he had more exercise over the past two years.  Having him in a tank basically with no place to really move around, meant he had his physical therapy sessions and that was it.  Once the assisted (Therapist and Keepers) exercise was over, he just sat there.  Two years of just sitting there. If he would have had more space, he could have been exercising his hind legs, by moving around on his own.  Very Sad.

This video is more cuteness and him motoring about his new home.  His back left leg is still not the strongest, so it drags a bit, but he's getting around!  I've seen him make use of all the heat lamps, and chase the sun that shines down through the skylight (another great aspect of this enclosure).  The glare was less in the morning so I took opportunity to show more of the size of the enclosure and the skylight.
You can see into the enclosure,
pretty good here.
Gives idea of size, as well
you can see the skylight.

New Home Adventures!

In one of the clips I was talking about the temperature.  I asked what temp it is in there, as well what temp it needs to be for him to go outside.  Info I should have already known, but because they held off putting him in the exhibit until the temperature was regulated, now it was on my mind to ask. ... Inside its kept at 98 degrees, but can range anywhere from 80-120.  It will need to be at least 60 degrees for him to use the outside yard.

I can also be heard saying that Komodo's are only found on the Island of Komodo in Indonesia.  I thought that's what I read at one point, but I looked it up just to confirm and found that they are actually found in the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, Gili Motang, and Padar

Added 3.18.18  Uploaded yesterday, video of Falcor on his heated rock for the first time! For Video Updates, Subscribe or Check back to my YouTube Channel leo811sf, or Follow leo811 on Twitter.  

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Chimpanzee Expansion Update

Gosh I have been working on this all day long.  After going through my Chimp blog  looking for a couple photos, I got to reading through so many of my posts and have had an emotional afternoon.  I decided with the three year Chimp Save Anniversary tomorrow, I will write a separate post about that.

So for the updates!

I made a video a couple weeks ago
I uploaded and planned to post it last weekend and never got that far.  At this point they had not started to set the SkyTrail poles.  Update shows progress and thanks everyone for helping in my Crusade to Save Our Chimps.

I made another video with several clips from last week.  It shows a couple different view points.  Usually I have filmed from the Triple Grotto view, this one starts by showing the South side.  The area that is in the red circle on the map cap below.  

The photo below is added to the video, 
but I'm not sure how easy it will be to read, 
so including it here as well.

The update is really good!  I'm happy that a part of the original plan that was initially a wait and see if we are going to do it, has been approved and I was told recently added to the current project build!  Last week they broke ground on it!  It will be for an outdoor area along side of the Pachyderm Building.  If you are familiar, its where the old Black Swan enclosure was plus neighboring areas. The original finish date for the project, Indoor and SkyTrail was Spring.  I'm estimating a four month build like with Komodo Dragon, and hoping it will all be ready by Summer.

Here's my video of the Update for the described area and of the SkyTrail progress!  Poles and partial bottom have been set!                     

I don't read the Joint Zoo Committee Meeting Agendas or Minutes regularly anymore.  Mostly because there is usually something that will irritate me so I tend to do a catch-up every so often instead.  As the Chimp Expansion has progressed, I made a point to check the Documents a few weeks ago to see if any entry for Chimpanzee Acquisitions has been made.  I have asked a couple of people and everyone claims nothing is set yet, which is hard to believe.  In fact I asked someone this past week, after knowing this had already been published.  This is someone who was most likely at this very Meeting.  They said, "Not yet.  Build it and they will come."  I made some comment about It being a Dream (as in the Field of Dreams reference).  So I guess we are to keep on Dreaming?  Dream no further people, this is actually happening!  ... I did some research and it seems Zoo Miami may only have two females, named Samantha and Bubbles.  So, they may be our new girls!?