Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Chimp Update - Series Part Three of Three



I was told, the Chimp work would start the day after the Flamingos were done.  I was anxious to see, and I was completely surprised, as that is exactly what's happened!  Work on the interior of the Pachyderm Building started February 15th!

A couple months ago I heard a few ideas about what was going to happen, but a few days before construction started, I got details as to what exactly was going to happen in this first phase of the project.  I was So Happy! for Our Chimp Friends, I cried after hearing the plans.  I'm just so happy that they are here and they will get this new experience, because I was able to be their voice and didn't give up on them.

I made a video on the spot, that will walk you through what the plan is.  

In the video you will hear me say, "a few years" in reference to how long it would be for the current phase of the Project.  I may have been confused with that timeline.  I had just gotten this clarity of the plan, and I decided to make this video on the spot.  I was working out the timing, as I was narrating, considering past timelines for Sifakas, as well the previously predicted start of Chimps, and how those estimations were pushed farther out. So, I really have no idea how long it will actually take, but in hindsight, I'd think the estimation for the whole project, both Pachyderm inside/outside and Triple Grotto renovation, shouldn't take more than three years.  That is providing the Zoo does not (and should not!) acquire any new Animals that will require new Exhibits.  If they do continue that trend after finally getting to the Chimps Needs, then there is something seriously wrong with their compassion for these long-time Residents.  There will be no excuse.  The only excuse I would find acceptable would be for a simultaneous build of the much needed new Komodo Dragon Exhibit that was promised to him within two years of his arrival, which was over three years ago and/or a Rescue that had no other option than being Euthanized. 

So, as I understand it, this is a Three, possibly Four Phase Project.  
First, Pachyderm inside remodel.  Visitor Viewing and Indoor Playroom.  Multiple Room Housing.
Second, Sky Trail from Pachyderm into North Grotto exhisting Housing..  
Third, Pachyderm outside (pending).  Possible outdoor area, along west side of Pachyderm.
Fourth, Triple Grotto Renovation.  


Sky Trail envision.
Pachyderm Bldg to North Grotto Housing.
(behind tree ;)

I'm no artist in drawing, 
but I thought I'd do an ariel view of how 
I imagine it will be from the info I got.

So there it is folks, FINALLY!  After exactly two years today, something is happening that will ensure these Precious Babies will be able to live out their lives in the only home they have ever known.  They will have new Friends, and new Environments.  So much to Enrich their lives!  I can't wait!  ... Tearing again!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I tried to post links to all three parts of this Update Series, but for some reason they didn't work. They were posted in succession, if you are new to the story, please check them out.  Thank you for your interest. 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Chimp Updates - Series Part Two of Three



So, what has taken so long?  What's been going on at the Zoo in the past two years?  I'll tell you.  A whole lot of nothing, ... for the Chimps.

I realize that there has been no update for over a year.  The reason for that, other than the energy it takes to write about every issue point, is that there really hasn't been anything to report as far as Our Chimp Friends getting what's been promised to them. ... Till now :)

For the sake of keeping in somewhat Chronilogical order, since I'm a bit obsessive about it, I'm going to post the link to the Timeline I wrote in July 2015.  I just found in my notes additions to it that I hadn't added. So if you've already read it, you may want to read the new entries, starting in July 2015.


So yeah, here we go.  So let's recap.  At the February Joint Zoo Meeting, after the airing of the News Story and public outcry, Zoo Director Tanya Peterson committs to keeping the Chimps. She showed a photo of an exhibit that would cost $10 Million and no money for it.  She noted adding Sky Trails to Pachyderm Building as a start to creating more space, which would be needed to bring in more Chimps, which as we know is key to the situation. She admitted (as I had been posting about) that this was a time sensitive situation, in regard to our group size being a factor point.  She further noted they would be launching the biggest fundraising effort they've ever done (for her 10 mil dream of grandeur). ... Shortly after this Meeting the Zoo set-up a Donation page to Help the Chimps.  This page was only promoted by the Zoo once, and side mentioned a second time. From what I've learned, allegedly no other great efforts towards the Chimps Needs was taken, even though there has since been two ZooFest fundraisers. ... Director Peterson came into the March Meeting with words of encouragement and diagrams of plans.  Yet when I questioned her on a timeline, there wasn't one, and when asking if our group number reduced, were the remaining two secure, her response was first no, they could be sent away, or yes, they could rescue additional Chimps.  The later would mean they would possibly lose AZA accreditation. ... Over the next couple months, I read 250k had been marked for upgrades to current Grottos, yet nothing much changed.  One old structure got repainted, one got repaired.  Both not an upgrade, but over due maintance. ... By the July Meeting, there still was no further mention of the Chimps. I asked at the Meeting what the timeline was for the Pachyderm/Sky Trail expansion and was told it would be done in Fall of 2016.  ... Upset and Frustrated with that timeline, I questioned Director Peterson at the August Meeting as to why the Chimps were on hold while building for new Animals when they are current Residents in need.  She had no valid answers.  

Ever since she said if our numbers reduce the remaining two could be sent away, I have not felt secure in their place, being able to live out their lives here.  Knowing that she was trying to kick them out basically in the dark of the night, in favor of allegedly bringing in Orangutans, I wasn't convinced she wasn't "waiting them out".  I hate to think that, but let's look at the above facts, together with her descison to bring in new Animals and build them new Exhibits, before starting anything for the Chimps.

By October 2015, with still nothing different for the Chimps, I wrote a detailed letter to the AZA, as the Zoo was up for an Accreditation inspection.  It was not as an intention to prevent them being accredited, but to alert to certain things that go on there, as well as call attention the needs of the Chimps, as well as the poor Komodo Dragon.  I will write a post soon about him.  It will be posted to my other blog, please look for it there.  ... My letter included noting that their home has chipping paint and hasn't been painted in over a decade if not two, their lack of Enrichment, and links to four videos I made that included suggestions to expand/improve the Chimps Environment.  Doable solutions to the situation.  That being, the need for the Chimps home at the Zoo to be secure, need to add more Chimps, lack of large funding.  In my opinion, grandeur is uneccessary at this point.  The Sky Trail/Pachyderm Expansion and my other ideas, including painting their home, would be sufficient to give them what they need.  Sure more would be wonderful, but my main concern has always been securing their future and bringing more Enrichment to their life.

Here are the links to the videos I made:
San Francisco Zoo Chimp Expansion - Sky Trails to Pachyderm Building
San Francisco Zoo Chimp Triple Grotto - View and Idea
Idea for Expanding San Francisco Zoo Chimpanzee Home 
Fabricated Structures at San Francisco Zoo - Chimp Content 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGp3aoGxy2U

Between Fall of 2015 and Summer 2016, I continually asked most of the people I know, in various departments, about the Chimp plans.  Every said, "It's happening", but no one knew what or when. And there were allegedly no work orders for the Chimps yet.  Very upsetting as time ticked on.

Someone asked me, what happened to all the money that they got for the Chimps and why it was taking so long for them to get what they needed.  I said, I don't know.   Its been two years since the News story and the launch of their Help the Chimps donation page on their website.  There has been no updates coming out of the Zoo.  They have not even provided an update to those who donated to the Chimps via their website.  In my opinion they have an obligatation to keep people in the loop.and I find it really irresponsible to the donors not providing updates and I find it irresponsible to the Chimps for not taking care of their needs in a more timely manner. 

In June, the new Exhibit for Mexican Grey Wolves opened.  In August, the new Exhibit for Sifaka Lemurs opened.  Don't get me wrong, I love these Animals and feel lucky to be able to experience them and any new Animal.  That said, I do think there are ways to prioritize that our Director and Management team do not consider.  I think considering the Chimps have lived at the Zoo almost fifty years and have been waiting thirty for a new home, are the longest and oldest Residents at the Zoo, that should count for some position of priority.  One they have shamefully, never recieved.  When I questioned this, I was told that a donor came forward with money specifically for Sifaka's.  Basically they took the money and said Yes, and made it happen pronto.  Me, I would have said, Thank you, we would love to have Sifaka's but we have a current situation that needs immediate attention, after that, we will plan to add Sikafa to the collection.  Same with acquiring Wolves.  I don't know for a fact, but I can only guess their fast tracking of them was to use the Exhibit area that was left vacant after Polar Bear Pike passed away.

Last Fall, 2016, a crew started working in the side path entrance to the Pachyderm Building, the site where the new Chimp Rooms are going to be built.  Finally it looked like something was happening. At the same time, barriers were being renovated at Flamingos.  The side path re-opened and the Pachyderm Building doors were closed, and crews gone.  It wasn't until the week the Flamingos were to be done, that I would get any further information about the Chimps.





Friday, February 24, 2017

Chimp Updates - Series Part One of Three



Today marks two years since the News story on our Chimpanzees aired.  If you aren't familiar with what led up to this, my first in the series of update posts will synopsis it and include some links.

The San Francisco Zoo is my hometown Zoo.  I grew up going to the Zoo.  In early 2008, my handful of visits a month, turned into a handful of visits a week.  I made aquaintance with Staff and through that and my own extensive online research, I learned as much as I could about the Animals as individuls as I could.  I started my first blog to share what I was learning.  I became further endeared, I became involved in Enrichment, I became a champion for them.  If I saw something questionable, I asked about it.  I had an open dialog with many there.  That changed in 2011 and at that point I started documenting those questionable points in another blog.  

I was behind in updating my blog, and had several posts about the Chimps in the works.  They had been slighted by the Zoo for decades.  Their home was in desperate need of a make-over.  They sat in the same structures for almost thirty years.  Paint chipping on those structures and their night quarter building.  They had little Enrichment.  They were the longest living Residents of the Zoo and basically got nothing.  My heart broke for them everytime I saw them.  I grew up with these babies and they are special to me.  

In the later part of 2014, I was contacted by Filmmakers from Australia who grew up watching our Cobby Chimpanzee's television show.  After extensive talks, they decided to make a Documentry about his life and planned a trip to visit Cobby.   I didn't want to call attention to the Chimps in anyway, until after their visit, so I held off posting about their situtation.

By the New Year 2015,  after I published my posts, I got wind that the San Francisco Zoo Director Tanya Peterson was kicking the Chimps out, allegedly in favor of hoping to bring in Orangutans.  I was outraged and sickend that these babies who had lived at the Zoo their whole lives, nearing fifty years!, would be darted, crated and wake up in surroundings they were unfamiliar with.  They shouldn't have to, they gave the Zoo their Life, the Zoo needed to give them what they deserved.   

One Staffer asked me point blank, What are you going to do about it?  I said, "Everything I can, because these babies are not leaving on my watch!"  If it turned out they did, it would have not been without the loudest Roar I could make.  I'm crying thinking back to that moment and what it would have meant if they had to leave the only home they ever knew.   I felt they would not survive a change and journey like this.  One Staffer later thanked me, "You saved their Lives."

What I did:  

I posted all information to my blog   http://savesfzoochimps.blogspot.com/
In addition to their prior situation, as I saw it from the prespective of a caring visitor, I learned that a factor in their current Chimpanzee social groups consist of varying ages, to maintain soical diversity and longevity.  In 2013, we lost our beloved Tallulah, leaving the group at three. With them all being seniors, would present a senario that have seen the group reducing to a single Chimpanzee and that would not have happened as they would have been removed at two, but the thought of a social Animal like Chimpanzees reduced to that, is heartbreaking.  Was this their fault?  Should they be punished for the governing managements of The San Francisco Zoological Society, San Francisco Recreation and Parks, and the City of San Francisco failing to give them them what they needed?  Hell No!

I tweeted, I flickr'd, I youtubed, I reached out to media.

One of my contacts, had a contact at KGO (SF local ABC affliliate)  and they were interested in the story.  I gave them all the information I had, and people to contact for interviews.  I was interviewed for the piece as well.  

The exposure of the News Story was invaluable to Saving Our Chimps.  I am the only Member of the Public that is a Voice for the San Francisco Zoo Animals.  I am a pretty loud voice, but the Chimps and I, needed this outreach to create public pressure.  

If you haven't, please review the post list and read what interests you for more information.  I put alot of energy and time into my blog posts and really worked hard on this crusade.This was just a short synopsis for those who are reading this for the first time.  If you only have time to read one post, the Timeline I did was praised by some as being concise.
http://savesfzoochimps.blogspot.com/2015/07/san-francisco-zoo-chimpanzee-timeline.html

The plight of Our Chimps at the Zoo illustrates a trend that continues there.  The San Francisco Zoo continues to have a habit of slighting current Residents in need, for bringing in new and shiny pets, before taking care at home.  Thankfully, I was able to be the foundation for Our Chimps finally getting what they deserve, a future with the Security of living out their lives in the only place they know as home, and that home bringing them, new Enrichments, new Environments, and new Friends.

Thank You for your interest in Our San Francisco Zoo Chimpanzees. 

Stay tuned for more update information over the next few days!  You won't want to miss it, I guarantee!

Links to both the News Stories.

February 24, 2015 - Original Story

February 26, 2015 - Chimps Saved! 




Sunday, October 2, 2016

Misconduct at the San Francisco Zoo - Why Does Management Let It Happen?

I am still really bothered about the "ejection" policy at our San Francisco Zoo.   ... As well, all the other Offences comes to mind and the endless documenting I've done and suggesting of deterrents, both with signage, audio respect reminders, barriers, and visual awareness by Docents, Staffers, and Security themselves. 

I visit the Zoo at least once a week, recently more often.  In my once a week visits, I'm there maybe five hours, and the offences I see are multiple, a good indicator of what goes on the 49 hours a week the Zoo is open.

I've posted many times about Visitor Misbehavior, but after seeing a Visitor calculate and deliberately throw something at an Animal and not be asked to leave, not only bothers me, but disgusts me.  You can read in full about this incident from yesterday in the previous post.  

What I came away with from that incident was stuff I already knew based on other incidents, but let's just review to be clear.  If you throw something at a Zoo Animal, even if it hits the Animal, just make sure you don't do it again.  You are also welcome to verbally abuse other Visitors and that won't even be addressed.  .... The additional thing that still really bothers me, is the fact that these Offenders were drinking liquor bought at the Zoo AND endangering the Animals AND still allowed to stay. Mind Boggling. 

This is the second time I've personally witnessed Animals having things thrown at them and nothing being done about it, but not the first time I've heard about it.  Not the first time I've seen people throw stuff into enclosures either.  Nothing has changed in five years.  

The incident a few months ago with the Stoller Mom throwing Rocks at the Male Siberian was so alarming to me.  This was an Act of Violence against this Animal.  Assault.  All because she wanted him to wake up.  You can't even take a nap in the sun peacefully in your own home and be safe. Disgraceful the Zoo did not make an example of this Offender and Defend this Animal in their Care.

Not to people.  The Zoo is a place to observe Animals.  Its not the Circus, they are not there to Entertain you.

Obviously there is going to be Misconduct because that is the nature of our Society, Disrespectful Elitists who think they can do anything they want.  Its the Adults who are the Offenders.  Sure I'm irritated when I see Kids running wild, chasing the Peacocks and Gulls, Banging on the Glass, Yelling at the Animals, Throwing and Dropping objects into Exhibits, but even with those issues, its the Adults at fault for not Teaching their Kids how to behave and that's because they themselves see no issue with it.  I have asked Parents not to let their Kid,... only to be met with "They are just Kids", Yes, but you're not.   Parents don't teach their Kids how to behave or respect, because they don't have good behavior themselves.  Just the other day, two Member Moms and their combined five Kids were at the Wolves and Mom's were talking with themselves and laughing at their <cough> adorable little terrors, running along the glass and banging on it, howling at the Wolves.  I didn't' say anything, I just filmed them and called Security, which is what I've mostly been doing if its not a direct and immediate danger to the Animals, because I don't need drama.  Security caught up with them at Grizzlies, where they were banging on the glass there too.

There are No Signs at any glassed in enclosure that say Do Not Bang on Glass. Why?  Ask the Zoo, because its a no brainer.   The ARC once had a great sign on the glass that said Do Not Bang, Tap, Rap, Slap, Pound, ... a list  and they were told to take it down.  More evidence that the Zoo just doesn't seem to want to dictate the behavior of the Visitors, even when its detrimental to the Animals.  
There are No Signs at Wolves not to Howl at them.  This is a big problem there, which I've complained about and no one seems to think its of issue or I'd see a sign there.  I see people every visit Howling at the Wolves.  One visit in over ten minutes, three groups Offended.  The first day they were out, the Zoo's own Zoo Camp leaders had a group of Kids lined up at the fencing Howling at them!  UnBelievable!  Well really not.  I've seen Camp leaders and other Education Staff allow inappropriate behavior and I have never heard any respect lessons being given.

Howling at the Wolves is not the only Species Specific Mimic I hear.  There is always someone who thinks Hooting and Banging their Chest at the Gorillas and Chimps is funny, its not.    It upsets the Animals, and the Male Gorilla is one that the Zoo has known for years is easily upset and they do nothing to deter the behavior.  In fact I wrote a blog post or maybe even a letter to the Director years ago with suggestions.   There should be a sign on the glass at the viewing areas not to do this or to stare at the Male for prolonged time, he doesn't like it.

Then there is the whole group of Parents who think the Zoo is their babysitter and let their Kids run wild and often a few car lengths ahead of them, while they are on their phone texting or looking at Facebook.  Just last week a guy with Triplet Toddlers let them all run toward the Flamingos and one almost fell in.   Guess they didn't hear about the Cincinnati Zoo Gorilla incident.  Seriously people need to leash their Toddlers to avoid danger both to the Animals and themselves.  But, no one cares till there's an accident.

That said, then we have those Parents who still hang their Kids over into Animal Enclosures.  Even after Kids have been Dropped in and Killed at other Zoos.  They don't care, they think they can do whatever they want or it won't happen to them.  Well what happens when it does?  Our Animal Gets Shot, that's what happens.

Another issue, People feeding the Animals.  The Zoo Animals have Special Diets, Do Not Feed Them!   People should just know, you don't feed the Animals, but obviously they don't.  The Zoo put up signs maybe last year, again only in select areas (why not every Enclosure?).  That said, People also don't read signs, but at least some might and think, Gee we aren't supposed to feed them and get the message. For those who don't, they most often not only think its ok, but think its funny.  I know this because I've asked many people not to feed the Animals, and they laugh, and most of the time do it anyway and I have to call Security.

Recently a Group of Adults were feeding the Siamangs greenery they pulled from someplace.  I asked them not to do that, that isn't what they eat and they just continued, mocking me while they did.  I called Security, but they were on their way to the Stroller Mom who was Throwing Rocks at the Tiger.  I kept on these People and eventually they moved on to the Squirrel Monkeys, and then started feeding them.  Finally a Maintenance guy came by and talked to them and also called the Keeper at my request so they could see if anything foreign in the enclosure and also note to monitor if they get sick.

If you ever see someone feeding the Animals or foreign objects including food items, please alert Security to alert the Keeper, so they can note the item and document for health monitoring. 
  
One awful and dangerous feeding I caught was when I noticed from a good distance away, one of the Farm Goats with a sucker sticking out of its mouth.   I dashed over in time to pull it out before it ingested the stick.  I of course asked the people, What's wrong with you?  Why would you give that to the Goat?  No Answer, just giggles.  I told the Keeper, who like in every other Animal Endangerment situation she's been present for, doesn't want to confront the Offenders.  She too is on my previous post mentioned list of Why this person even has a job at the Zoo.  

Other Animals not so lucky, who have had non-food items thrown into their enclosures include Niya the Snow Leopard who ingested what I heard was a ball of tin foil and had to have surgery to remove it from her intestines, one of the Sea Lions, and a three time surgery for one of the Gorillas.  These are the only one's I've heard about, which means there are more.

As I mentioned in the previous post, there is a repeat offender who is feeding the Andean Condor. She was finally asked to leave, but is a Member and still allowed to come back.  So, if there is no one watching, she will just keep doing what she wants, and in my opinion that is life threatening to that Bird, but I guess the Zoo doesn't care.

Going back to the Farm, a big Offence there is people trying to ride the Dwarf Goats.  WTF is wrong with people?  These Goats are small, and many are Seniors.  If they break a bone, that's it, they would have to be put down.  So this is not an innocent action.  I've had to leap into action a few times before someone's ass sat on one.  Once in front of that same Keeper who doesn't do anything when these things happen.  .. There needs to be a sign Do Not Sit On the Animals!

So, feeding Goats Suckers and trying to Ride them, both potentially life threatening offences, do not even get you kicked out of the Zoo.

You can even Throw Rocks at Tigers and be allowed to stay, as long as you don't do it again. 

So, what does get you kicked out of the Zoo?  I have no idea, because I think the things I listed here should and they don't.

One time a guy was in the Farm with a stick and hitting the Goats.  I didn't' see it, because I would have taken his damn stick and broke it, but my friend did and told him to stop and he said, "I paid my $15"!!  WTF?  So that must also be the mentality of many Offenders.  They think since they paid to get in they can do whatever they want.  Well, the Zoo is basically letting this theory be rule by not ejecting more Offenders.  Their "Judgement Call" policy if Flawed and does not Support the Welfare of the Animals in their Care.

San Francisco Zoo Please take a Stand Against Animal Abuse.  Please have Stricter Protocol on Visitor Abuse of the Animals.  Send a Message that the San Francisco Zoo will not tolerate Misbehavior.

------------------------------



Facebook Users please comment on the San Francisco Zoo UnCensored Page if you don't mind your Identity known.  Would be great to start a comment community for the posts.  Those who want to remain Anonymous or do not use FB, please continue to comment on the blogs.  Thank you for your comments.   https://www.facebook.com/SanFranciscoZooUnCensored

If you are inclined to,  
you can reach San Francisco Zoo Director Tanya Peterson at 
tanyap@sfzoo.org

San Francisco Zoo Animal Welfare - Vistors Assault Animals - Get a Pass Again

If you Assault, Harass, Taunt, Terrorize, or Throw Objects at the Animals, San Francisco Zoo Management will allow it, as long as you don't do it again.

Oh gosh, where do I begin.  This post has a catalyst issue, but so many other things factor into the whole picture.  Ironically I had planned to write a post today about the same subject, concerning the Andean Condor, but then decided to leave the house and then went by the Zoo to check on a pipping Flamingo Egg.  For those of you who are interested in the Flamingo Chick Hatchings, please check out my Facebook Group, San Francisco Zoo Animal Friends.  Until today, I have been tardy in keeping up with my Zoo Awareness efforts. Its been months on one blog ( iamnotananteater.blogspot.com ), and a year on another ( savesfzoochimps.blogspot.com ).  Its very draining to write about Zoo issues. The Zoo, because of the Animals, is a passion point.  I used to post regularly about everything that I found issue with. As the months have passed, I have decided to narrow my issue points to the Chimps situation, and to Animal Safety.  After the death of Harambe Gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo, I started a Petition and Facebook Page aimed not only at our San Francisco Zoo, but at the AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) as the governing office of all North American Zoos.  I haven't done much to promote it after the initial posting, but still hope to.

So today...  While at Flamingos, I overheard the male in a couple (both holding Beers) say, "I want to grab an Egg".   Now, whether jokingly or not, I don't find it funny and it left me on alert, as I profiled them trouble.  Some find that funny and think I'm nit picking, but I've heard and seen too much disrespect to the Animals, that I'm easily irritated, and frankly I don't think that's a bad thing.  

A few minutes later, I was looking at my phone and saw the female bend down to pick up something off the ground.  I knew what was coming next, so as she was in motion, I said, "Don't throw that in there" and "What is that?"  I was met with, Its none of my business. I don't work there, and then name calling, and she went ahead and threw the object at one of the nesting Flamingos.  I was outraged!  Not only throwing something into an Exhibit, but at a Parent sitting on an Egg/Chick? That's just Evil.  I said I was calling Security and going to have them thrown out.  They continued name calling and mocking.  Security came by on a bike and I stopped them and relayed what had happened and requested them be thrown out.  I added that I was tired of this shit and nothing happening.  Security told me that Management would make that determination.  I noted that if they weren't thrown out I would make a big deal of this, which I completely plan to try doing.  Allowing behavior like this is epidemic at the Zoo and I'm sick of it.  

On the way out, I stopped into the office and asked who in Management makes the decision to throw someone out.  I was told the Manager on Duty today and that was Bob Cooney.  Within seconds Bob Cooney rode up on his bike.  Perfect!

Before I dictate the conversation, I think I'll note a few things about Bob Cooney.  Now, I got not grief with this guy as a person, I don't know him enough to make that judgement.  What I do know is instances in regard to the Animals, that has him on my list of curiosity called, How do these people have jobs?  of which there are sadly many at our SFZoo.   Here are my issue points, you be the judge. Earlier this year Cooney was down at the Farm and I had heard he was the one in charge of making signs.  I heard he had been asked a few times to make certain signs that never materialized, one was about feeding the Farm Animals and minding belongings such as Maps, which the Goats will steal and eat.  I had just seen a Goat eat a Map so I noted that to him and asked if he could get a sign put up about that.  He mumbled something that could have been a yay or a nay who knows.  What I do know is there is still no official sign, and the Staff had to make some of their own, and yesterday I tried to pull a Map out of a Goats mouth.  Fast forward to two weeks ago, after the first Flamingo Chick hatched only hours before.  Cooney comes by and I asked him if he could make a sign telling people not to hang their kids over the barrier, which is about 4-6 feet from the Nests.  He says to me, "That hasn't been an issue."   Ahhh, excuse me < (I think), I just spent 6 days watching this Egg and seeing a constant stream of people hanging into the exhibit, are you kidding me?!  I said, it really has been.  He says, there's no place to put a sign.  I gave a few suggestions, that he poo poo'd.  So folks, I guess because he and maybe others in Management can't figure out how to secure a sign some place that people are allowed to Abuse Barriers and hang into Animal Enclosures?  Good Grief.

Back to today.  So I go over to Cooney to find out what happened to the Offenders at Flamingos.  I asked if they were thrown out.  He told me No.  I asked Why?  He said that they were asked not to do it again and unless they ignore that, they don't throw people out.  I said, so people are just allowed to throw stuff at the Animals and that's ok?  He said it was just a Cracker.  (I did photo it and determine it was a Goldfish Cracker).  I said, but still, they threw something AT an Animal.  He said, "Its a judgement call."  So I said, fine, let's then talk about the person who threw Rocks at the Tiger a few months ago.  He said, they were thrown out.  I said, No they weren't.  He  said he wasn't there, but if that did happened, it was a "judgement call."  I said, can you explain to me, just so I understand the situation, because this person threw Rocks, at an Animal and was not asked to leave, as well if a Member,  they should have their Memberships taken away.  He said, Oh No, we can't just take someones Membership away.  Well readers, who have followed my blogs from the beginning, you have to know where this is leading and those who haven't I'll explain later.  So, I then ask Why?  He says, because of the Membership Bylaws, there is a process to that, several steps and can't just be done by one person.  You don't say!?  < (I'm thinking).  So I then ask if he can give me details about the Bylaw, he sorta laughs and says you're a Member you can look it up.  I said, well you know Tanya (Peterson, Zoo Director) took away my Membership once based on lies, and before I could continued about how no Bylaw protocol was followed, Cooney says I'm not talking to you anymore Kim and rides off.  Comical and Shameful.

Now, I don't offend easily, so my point is not that I'm offended, my point is that this behavior is unprofessional.  It doesn't surprise me, but I always find it curious that I seem to stump so many people there with logical dialog.   Here is a person who is in a professional role at the Zoo and yet cannot hold a conversation with someone and was at a loss for words at several points.   Additionally I think it's pretty disrespectful regardless of whatever the situation for anyone in Management to be dismissive.   Now, maybe Cooney has taken the position same as those who bought Director Peterson's slanderous words against me, but fact remains, I am a paying Member there and if I have a question, I can most certainly ask it and Management needs to answer it (or at the very least, officially decline to answer it),  like they would do with any other Member as I guarantee they would not treat any other Member or Visitor in such a dismissive way.  He or anyone else, may not like the questions I ask, but I'm not breaking any Zoo Rules, or Constitutional Rules by asking them.

Before I continue on, for those who do not know my history with the Zoo, in short, I am an SF Native and I've been a Zoo Visitor my whole life.  In 2008, personal grief and the flexibility of my job allowed me to visit the Zoo more often.  I befriended Keepers and learned about the Animals as individuals. In 2009 I became friends with a Docent and in 2010 we began to make weekly Enrichment for the Big Cats.  During that time we both had an open dialog with Director Peterson. One Keeper cautioned me not to share my suggestions or ideas with her or Management because they don't like outsider opinions.  After a couple of political issues, we stopped making Enrichment.  In 2011, Director Peterson slandered both my friend and myself and based on those lies revoked our Memberships without warning.  After near a year of seeking justice, we were both reinstated complimentary, which I think says it all.  You can read more details as I documented the entire event in a blog,  http://sanfranciscozoocrime.blogspot.com/

I also want to go back to today's incident and document that these Offenders were let off the hook for throwing something at an Animal, as well as calling me names.  I could almost guarantee if I had thrown something at a Visitor or called Visitors names, I would have been thrown out.  But its ok for Visitors to throw stuff at Animals and call me names.  Just to clarify.  

So back to this issue of Animal Safety.   In regard to today's incident.  I don't care if it's a Cracker, or if it's a Rock, its Assault. You don't throw things at the Animals or into the Animal Enclosures!  This is their Home. They should be Safe.  Its the Zoos responsibility to keep them Safe.  Its that Plan and that Simple.  Why is this something that has to be told to anyone?

Let me update on the Tiger Rock event.  If you haven't read my tirade of that day you can do so here:

On my next visit I asked Security if these Offenders were thrown out.  He said, No.  Unbelievable to me.  Well, not really in the sense of the word, anything is possible in that place, but still hard to believe that with the Zoo's History, that an offense against a Tiger of all Animals, would go unpunished by even a simple ejection.  Shameful, Disgusting, Disturbing.  I was told that the Protocol they follow comes from Management.  An example should have been made, a Message sent publicly, the San Francisco Zoo will not stand for this kind of behavior from Visitors against our Animals. BUT I guess that's just fantasy for if I was the Director.  Under the current Directorship apparently the Zoo does stand for it and I'm told that unless people are repeat offenders, they don't get thrown out.  Sad.

I'm offended by this for the Animals.  You have no idea the offenses I see every single time I'm at the Zoo, and multiple times in a visit.  I have posted about it on my blogs endlessly for years.  I have been vocal to Management.  I have Tweeted.  Nothing seems to get anything changed in the Animals favor.  The Zoo Management takes a nonchalant approach to Offenses Against the Animals in their Care.  IN THEIR CARE! < Operative words!

Why is San Francisco Zoo Management Afraid to be Strict with Offences Against the Animals In Their Care?   ... Are they afraid to offend someone who's spending money there?  News flash, these aren't the kind of people we need at the Zoo.

At the start of this post I mentioned that prior to today's event, I was going to write a post.  That post was about another Animal Endangerment issue I had been hearing about.  There has been a Member repeatedly feeding the Andean Condor.  She has been talked to several times and told not to do it, but continues, as she claims she has a relationship with the Bird.  Finally she was asked to leave one day, but her Membership was not revoked.  WTH?!  After several offences, she is still allowed to come to the Zoo, and this Bird is still vulnerable to this offence.  

These offences of objects entering Enclosures intentionally is not new.  The female Snow Leopard, a Sea Lion, and one of the Female Gorillas have all had to have intestinal surgery to remove foreign objects.

Other repeated offenses against the Animals include banging on Exhibit Glass,  Species specific mimic vocalizing to the Animals.  I have reported the constant stream of Visitors Howling at the Wolves, to no avail, there is still no signs not to.   These may not seem like issue points to some, but to me, they are offensive, disrespectful and harassment towards the Animals.  Just last week, two Members and their combined five children stood at the Wolves windows, banging on them and Howling.  Disgraceful.   They were not thrown out either.  

I have for years posted about the Barrier Abuse issue that is epidemic at Code Red Animals.  Code Red Animals are considered the most dangerous if in contact with public.  Code Red Animals are on a Shoot to Kill list regardless of whether Human is at fault for incident or not.  Not Fair, so in my opinion any steps possible to deter any incident should be taken.  Again, Zoos do not take this seriously and our San Francisco Zoo is no different.

That all said, my Petition in regard to this has been up for months.  The Zoo knows about it, the Zoo has seen the photos and video showing offenders and nothing has been done at the three hot spots, Black Rhino, Hippo and Polar Bear.   Not one new sign, no additional barriers, nothing.  Not one thing.  Additional barriers were put up at Chimps and Gorillas, in the wake of Harambe's death. Needed but odd choices for first concern, since neither have been much of an issue, unlike the three I mentioned previous which are an issue multiple times a day.  There continues to be small, limited or non-existent signage at Exhibits.  The signage is inconsistent and selective.  There needs to be signs at every exhibit in regard to objects and people in Exhibits,  backed up by a sign at the Gate House that plainly says, Do Not Throw Anything into Animal Exhibits or you will be asked to leave.  Do Not Stand On or Hang Over Animal Exhibit Barriers or you will be asked to leave.  That's it.  I think the Zoo thinks they have done their job by neatly tucking the Rules in the corner on the side of the Gift Shop.  NO being in people's faces about Respecting the Animals in their Homes is doing your job!

I have always had an issue with signage.  The size, the wording, that lack of.  The Zoo for whatever reason seems afraid of signs, that is unless they are for advertising something they are selling.  I'm offended to see sandwich boards in the middle of paths letting you know where you can buy Beer, when there isn't the same for Respecting the Animals.  AND I'll note that the whole group with the Flamingo offenders today had Beer in their hands. It seems the Zoo is more interested in money passing through their hands than keeping the Animals Safe.

Another issue is that while no one seems to get reprimanded and tossed for their offences, outside of Animal Staff, there doesn't seem to be that many people actually paying attention to what Visitors are doing.  Last week alone I witnessed a Security Guard watching Animals never noticing a kid in front of him throwing stuff into the Exhibit, and someone hanging their kid over a Barrier in front of a Docent.  Why aren't these people more aware?  

So where does this leave us with Keeping the Animals Safe?  Not enough people watching for Offenders, and when we do catch Offenders, they are nicely asked to stop it.  Only when one finally harms an Animal, oh wait, that happened when the Woman threw Rocks and hit the Tiger, so shit, you got me, when are Visitors going to be held accountable for their actions against the Zoo's Animals?

-------------------------

I recently got a comment submitted for an old post I did on Visitors throwing stuff at the Chimps.  I didn't publish it because it was nonsense and Anonymous.  So, let me just say this so that nobody wastes their time, if you're going to comment something that reflects you thinking any of what I've outlined here is acceptable behavior don't bother unless you sign your name and it's a verifiable name. Its not getting published because I want to be able to respond to you because you are part of the problem.

Facebook Users please comment on the San Francisco Zoo UnCensored Page if you don't mind your Identity known.  Would be great to start a comment community for the posts.  Those who want to remain Anonymous or do not use FB, please continue to comment on the blogs.  Thank you for your comments.   https://www.facebook.com/SanFranciscoZooUnCensored

If you are inclined to,  
you can reach San Francisco Zoo Director Tanya Peterson at 
tanyap@sfzoo.org





San Francisco Zoo Visitor Throws Rocks at Tiger - 4.1.16

I posted this to my other blog as a lead in and just realized I never posted it here.  It goes with today's post (next), so I'm adding it in now.

From April 1, 2016

The past two weeks have been Spring Break in our area.  What does that mean for the Zoo?  Influx at gate and attendance larger than Staff can handle.  The Zoo knows when these days are and it never seems they prepare for them.  I never see any more authority figures on the grounds, than on a rainy day.   Yesterday was one such day.  I saw one Security Guard on the grounds, and another heading to the parking lot as I walked in.  

I have before written about my thoughts on Visitors Gone Wild.  I've posted suggestions for deterring.  More Signage at Exhibits, Educational Signage throughout Zoo, Rule Video at Entry, ... Four plus years of notating Visitor Misbehavior and nothing has changed.  The biggest issue is the constant barrier breaching.  I have written about this offense endlessly.   I made a video recently, to supplement another blog post on the subject.  The Black Rhino exhibit is the one most often breached and Our Belozi's life is at risk multiple times daily.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NW5tAsbvZ1M

The offenses by Zoo Visitors is not limited to barrier breaching.   It ranges from terrorizing the free roaming Birds, to taunting, and to actual assault.  What happened yesterday was not the first assault on an Animal I've seen or heard about, but from what I heard and my knowledge of the exhibit, it was the most direct in both action and proximity to the Animal.

I was at Monkeys trying to call Security on an Offender who was Feeding the Monkeys non-regulated diet items.  Translation, some Zoo Shithead thought it would be just fine to pick-up any random greenery and feed it to the Siamang's.  At the same time, Security was enroute to Big Cats in regard to a report that Rocks were being thrown at the Tiger.  

Male Amur/Siberian Tiger Bronevik was in Grotto D, napping in one of his favorite spots in the moat.  Evidentially that wasn't enough for the Offenders (rumored to be Two Stroller Moms), they had to start throwing rocks at him in effort to wake him up, so they could see him better.  Excuse my language but I'm unedited when it comes to Mistreating Animals, SO,  Are you Effing kidding me?! There is all kinds of wrong in this situation.  First of all, Who the F do these People think they are? They come into an Animals living space and throw rocks at them while they sleep peacefully in their own Home?!  I wish I had been the one to see this happen.  Might be a good thing I didn't.  

I used to hate every Christmas when the Media rehash of the Tiger Tragedy of 2007 would appear. Last year was the first year I didn't get any alerts for internet articles about poor Tatiana.  Yesterday I thought, I guess the public does need to be reminded.   I heard someone at the Zoo say, "I guess they forgot what Zoo they were at!"   Either that, or in my opinion, Human behavior is just getting worse.

Last week I was behind two Zoo Shitheads at Tigers.  They started to bang on the window saying, "I want to see a Tiger fight!"  I said, I'd like to throw you in, that's the Tiger fight I'd like to see.  These gals were so wrapped up in their quest to see Animals in action, they didn't even hear me.   I'd like to see how brave these Shitheads are with no glass or fencing between them and the Animals.  Pretty sure the Dhaliwal's learned their lesson.

What is Wrong with these People and Why do they come to Zoo's?   These are not Animal People? Do they come to be around Beings so they can feel superior?   When it boils down to it, its all bullying.  Whether you are evil minded or dim witted.

Most of us are on Facebook, Twitter, ... all Social Media slams us daily with the Horrors of Animal Harm, from Abused Pets to Victims of Trophy Hunting.  I'm not a Humanitarian.  I don't delude myself that I'm not walking among Demons everywhere.  Humans that will think nothing to Harm or Torment Animals is not limited to the stories you read online.  Those People in the News articles are the same level of Evil as someone like these People who would throw rocks at an Animal, just to see it move.   

Note to Zoo Visitors.  Zoo Animals are not there to Entertain You.  You are lucky to be allowed into their Home and should be Grateful you are allowed the experience of OBSERVING them in a place you otherwise would not.  They are living their lives and you get to watch.  That's a Beautiful thing.   Do Not Disturb Them. 

My friend and I were the only people in the history of the Zoo to have our Memberships revoked (I got justice and our Memberships reinstated), based on lies put forth by Director Tanya Peterson.  I would bet that these people got nothing more than a tossing at the most.  Three things would have happened in this case if I was the Director.  They would have been asked if Members?  If so, they would have been revoked. They would have been banned from Zoo.  They would have been arrested and sued.  In my opinion, that is Assault and the Zoo should bring suit against these people and make an example not to come to the Zoo and Mistreat the Animals. BUT the Zoo doesn't do shit and I'm sure nothing more will come of it.  I would bet if they or even the Dhaliwals wanted to come back to the Zoo they could.  If I'm wrong, I will be delightedly surprised.

Over the past few years, the Security Team has changed and gotten better , but there still isn't enough eyes on the grounds. The Zoo needs to either have more Guard presence, and/or utilize Docents and other Staff.   The zoo needs to take charge and make a stance against Visitor Misbehavior.   Society's acceptance of bad behavior needs a good slap, especially when there are lives at stake.  Whether Elitist Attitude, Disrespectful Behavior or Simpleton Stupidity, the Zoo needs to get in tune with the reality of the actions of today's society for the sake of the Animals Well-Being.

I'm not trying to place blame here, but two things do need to happen.  The Zoo needs more eyes on the grounds, and not just rely on other Visitors making a call, and Visitors need to be more Respectful.  With the state of Humanity, its got to be the Zoo that makes the effort.

Facebook Users please comment on the San Francisco Zoo UnCensored Page if you don't mind your Identity known.  Would be great to start a comment community for the posts.  Those who want to remain Anonymous or do not use FB, please continue to comment on the blogs.  Thank you for your comments.   https://www.facebook.com/SanFranciscoZooUnCensored

If you are inclined to,  
you can reach San Francisco Zoo Director Tanya Peterson at 
tanyap@sfzoo.org

Sunday, June 12, 2016

San Francisco Zoo UnSecure Barriers - Rhinos, Hippo, Bears & Chimps


I have posted a Series of Videos, showing the Barrier Situation at Code Red Animal Exhibits for Black Rhino, Nile Hippo, Polar Bear, Chimpanzees, One-Horned Rhino.

These Videos are not only for documentation purposes, but to Support a Petition I have planned, Calling the San Francisco Zoo to Action, to Secure the Barriers to these Animals Homes, by adding Floor to Ceiling Glass across entire length of Exhibits.

It is also Unacceptable that these Exhibits, have little to no Signage.  The Yellow Respect The Animals Sign, is too wordy to be useful.   Simple to the point Signs, need to be placed at least every Six Feet across Exhibit.  ... Until these Enclosures are Secure with Glass, these Signs need to be in place.

The Black Rhino is one Animal I have repeatedly been vocal about.  His Barrier is Abused Constantly.  My guess would be at least a dozen times a day.  That's a dozen times that this Innocent Animal dodges a Bullet a day.  It is my opinion that he is the most Vulnerable, because there is  No Secondary Barrier, the Wall into his Enclosure looks less than Six Feet tall and he can come right to it, even looking over the top of it.  You will see in the video, that there is No Secondary Barrier, and One Sign for the entire length of the Enclosure, which is well over Eighty Feet.   


The Hippo is another one I have been vocal about.  His Barrier is Abused Constantly as well.  The only difference is he has a Secondary Barrier, by Zoo Standards, but in my opinion will not stop anyone from entering his Enclosure, accidentially or voluntarily.  You will see that the wiring is primarily, if not exclusively designed only to keep him in.  There is only One Sign along this Barrier that spands over Sixty Feet.


The Polar Bear is another Hot Spot for Barrier Abuse.  As Vulnerable as the Black Rhino, as there are people constantly on or over this Barrier all the time, only difference is, there is a Moat and the time it might take for Ulu to get down there, could be the saving point for Staff to be able to call her in. That is not a given though, making this enclosure in the top three that need to be Secured by Floor to Ceiling Glass.



The exact lay-out is at the Grizzly Bears Grotto.  They are Vulnerable to same situations as at Polar Bears.  Although, not as often as for most of the Business Hours, the Girls are in the Gulch, which is Secure.

There was an incident in 2009, that had their lives on the line.  The Zoo didn't learn from that, and has continued to leave our Bears Vulnerable to date.  Please read my previous post for more details about that incident.


The Chimps Barriers have been of Issue for too long.   This enclosure is three Grotto style areas, with Moats, tall side walls and that's basically it.  Designed to keep the Chimps in, aside from the Roping, there is nothing keeping people out.  In the front of the Exhibit the Roping looks to range from about Six to Eight Feet from the edge of the Enclosure.  I have seen Kids cross the Rope Barrier many times, both while Parents are watching and while they aren't.  There is a viewing area off the Cafe Party Room, that has been breachable for years.  Please read my previous post from over two years ago.    http://iamnotananteater.blogspot.com/2013/10/kids-allowed-beyond-barriers-at-chimp.html . The Exhibit side that borders the path along the Pachyderm Building is of extreme issue as the Enclosure edge is about Three feet from the Roping.  I think it being  tree-lined is why I haven't seen anyone hanging over this Barrier, but I have seen people cross it to get closer for photos.   This Enclosure is Rumored to be on the board for renovation, so I assume money won't be spent for a Glass Barrier (it hasn't even been spent to paint their house), but there needs to be a temporary fix to these Breaching Points, as well as additional Signage.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBIByK9lCXY

UPDATE:  I took the Videos posted during the week after the Cincinnati Tragedy.  Last week there were Barrier additions to the Chimp Exhibit.  There is now a Secondary Barrier across the front of the Exhibit.  A waist high fencing that runs across the front length of the Exhibit to the existing fencing that stems from the Cafe viewing area.  Whether it extends into the trees that pose a breachable point, I don't know.   This Barrier will keep out anyone crossing the Barrier, but not looking to actually enter the Exhibit.  It won't keep out anyone who's intent is to Enter the Exhibit.  There has also been added,  a Floor to Ceiling Bamboo fencing that runs along the side that parallels the Pachyderm Building.  This is a Secure Barrier.  They have added a viewing window, which I think is a good idea, as this was a very good place to view the Chimps.


The Asian One-Horned Rhino is a very curious set-up.  For being a Code Red Animal, he is out there front and center, with no Secure Barrier at all.  The Barrier that is there, will keep him In, but it in no way will keep anyone who wants in to easily access him.  This makes him high on the list of Vulnerable Animals.  The 100+ Foot Exhibit has a waist high Barrier of a Wooden Fence with heavy mesh.  Then there is a Flower Bed that stretches vertically about Eight- Ten Feet til it reaches the Floor to Ceiling Wire Barrier that keeps him in.  The initial Wood Barrier is Abused constantly and I've seen it a couple times even in front of Keepers.  First, I do think if anyone dropped their Kid over the Barrier,  because of the diastance to the Enclosure, unless the Kid was really a shit and not listening, it wouldn't reach the Animal.  BUT if the Kid was a shit, or it was someone who intentionally wanted to gain entry, neither of these Barriers would prevent that.  Also, in addition to the Respect the Animals useless signage, there are only two Do Not Cross Barrier type Signs, for the entire 80 Feet of the East portion of the Exhibit and Zero for the 24 Feet of the West side.                                     
https://youtu.be/X4ml_db5wHo

Added:  Will post more detailed look at Gorillas soon.  Someone asked me about the Barriers there. I didn't originally include them, as I don't think they are vulnerable to accidental breaches, so they weren't at the front of my mind when writing this.  The Gorilla viewing platforms that were built as open air, with just a singular Cement Barrier over looking the Enclosure.  A few years ago three or four of the five platforms were glassed in.  I haven't seen any Barrier Abuse since then. The other (s) with fencing indicating they were closed.  I have always thought that to be curious.  Those areas along with some landscaped areas are vulnerable to anyone wanting to enter the enclosure voluntarily.  One area may still be of issue.  Will take a closer look.

There are many other Exhibits that are victims to Barrier Abuse.  Patas Monkeys are one, I see too often.  The poor Meerkats and Prairie Dogs have people reaching into their homes.  Sea Lions, Kids Standing/Sitting on Rails.  Haven't seen much at Lemurs, but that one drops right in.  No signage about not being on Rails.  Pecarries, I see people sitting on that Barrier.  No Signs not to.  Puente, people hanging into that place where Anteater and Capybara are spending the most time.  Kangaroos. I'm sure there are others, but I'm getting overwhelmed.  I think I've gotten my point across.  I feel there needs to be a Message put forth that Informs Visitors that NO Barriers should be Sat On, Stood On, or Crossed.   Regardless of whether it is considered a Dangerous Animal or Not.  Having a Universal Message instills the basics that those acts are prohibited.   I personally feel like the Barriers are the Windows to the Animals Home.  How would you like it if a Stranger at any random time, hung over into your Home?






Please see my next Post (later today) that outlines my Petition to Keep Our Zoo Friends Safe.  Thank You.