Sunday, August 20, 2017

Bear Cubs on Facebook! - New Group for Fun and Facts


I apologize.  I posted last Saturday that I would have another post later that day.  That didn't happen. I have been working on a new Facebook Group, and didn't get all the info sorted that I want to include so I put it off, planning to launch and post about it by mid week.  During Tuesdays Zoo visit, there was an incident that was upsetting on several points.  I got home and spent the evening writing about that, but at the end, decided to hold off on posting it.  Will get back to it.  The rest of the week was busy, and I've been sorting through 1000+ Bear Cub pix the last couple of days!  And that number doesn't include the hundreds of videos.  

Today I will launch my new Facebook Group, Rescued Bear Cub Club!  I know, I already have so many online ventures I can't keep up with, but I start each of them out of passion and intention of making them all they can be.  Often, time and energy drain get the best of me.  I do try my best and its always for the Animals, that's what keeps me going.  So, please visit my new Group!  Join, Contribute, Share or just Lurk.  I think you will find it informative, and fun. Hopefully together we can add a bit to much needed awareness about how so many precious Cubs end up losing their Mothers and left orphaned.

The San Francisco Zoo's recent acquisition of two orphaned Black Bear Cubs, Juneau and Valdez, has created excitement and joy for me, as I have never known Bear Cubs.  I've wished for the experience of not only seeing a Cub, but the experience of watching one grow-up.  Now I have the gift of seeing these two precious babies grow and thrive.  I have been endeared to these babies from before they got here.  I am drawn to their story, and the plight of other abandoned Cubs.

The news of their impending arrival reminded me of the first Bear Cub plight I followed online. Sadly that Bear didn't have the opportunity these two will have.  I don't remember how I came across the story of little Bear Cub Makoon, but I followed his journey from early start to finish. A journey that was frustrating and a finish that was heartbreaking.  Makoon was found near death on the side of the road in Manitoba, Canada.  Rescued by a member of the public, a Sanctuary offered to rehab him until he was old enough for release.  They were denied by the Government, who instead allegedly placed him in the Assiniboine Zoo.  Despite public outrage, and opposition of experts, he was allegedly released into the wild at five months old to fend for himself.  This is younger than the two Cubs currently at SFZoo.  There was never any proof provided that Makoon ever made it to the Zoo or to the Wild. It is speculated that Manitoba Government killed him. His sad story is documented on the Facebook Page linked below, which also serves as an advocacy platform, for Bears and other Wildlife.   


The woman who started this Page for Makoon was instrumental in advocating for him every step of his journey.  She kept track of all the details put forth by the Assiniboine Zoo and Manitoba Government. When something wasn't right, she asked questions.  Her name is Judy Allen Stearns and she rocks!  I'm lucky to have met and remained friends with such a driving force for Bear Cubs.  I learned alot about Government interference, and cried alot over something simple as doing right by a vulnerable and in need young Being.  She and her Husband Roger are in the process of opening their own Bear Cub rehab facility on their property in Manitoba.  

San Francisco Zoo has provided forever homes to other Wild Born Animals in need, including three Bears.   

The first Bear rescued was in 1980.  Wild Born Polar Bear Ulu, came to the San Francisco Zoo at approximately three years old.  She and her Mother, along with two other siblings (all who are thought to have found homes in other Zoos), were repeat offenders in the town of Churchill, Manitoba, Canada.  Its common for Polar Bears to head into town in search of food.  The ones lucky not to be involved in a direct Animal/Human conflict and killed on sight are caught and taken to Bear jail, then released by helicopter far from town. They are marked and if they return, the three strike limit applies even to Bears and Ulu had reached hers.  Thankfully her life was spared, when a forever home was offered by the SFZoo.  We were lucky to have her.  I loved this Lady and I am honored to have known her.   She lived a long, happy life, passing in April this year.  At 36, she was the oldest living female Polar Bear in a North American Zoo and estimated to be one of the oldest in the World.  
The two Grizzly Sisters, Kiona and Kachina, have lived at the SFZoo since being rescued in Montana in 2004.   They had lost their Mother, who was euthanized by State officials after an Animal/Human conflict situation.  Orphaned, they were rehabbed and released at a year old. Fending for themselves they eventually ended up coming into human populated areas in search of food.  Like Ulu, they ran out of strikes and at almost a year and a half, they too were set to be euthanized before being offered a forever home at the Zoo.  

How do all these Bears end up in peril?  The information we have on SFZoo Bears, Ulu, and Kiona and Kachina, has been attributed to Animal/Human conflict, with these Bears repeatedly coming into human populated areas in search of food.  The case with Makoon, our Valdez and Juneau, along with the other seven Cubs rehabbed this season at the Alaska Zoo, is unknown. Cubs can become Orphaned, for reasons of conflict that results in Mother's  being killed for nuisance,  abandoned because they are weaker and can't keep up,  and being illegally or legally murdered.  Yes, it is legal to Hunt Bears in many places.  Our current disgrace of a President has also made it legal for blood thirsty Humans aka Hunters that Murder for joy, to legally kill Mama Bears and their Cubs in their dens.  This Bill includes the same parameters for Wolves.  The allowance of these acts of violence are in my opinion, barbaric, horrific and downright evil. 

It is thought that the Bear Cubs who have come to live at the SFZoo, became abandoned as a result of Animal/Human conflict.  The specific reason is unknown.  These Cubs were rescued by the Alaska Wildlife Dept. and rehabbed at the Alaska Zoo.  It was determined they were not candidates for release because they had been too habituated by Humans.  Releasing them would only cause them to wander into a town and be at risk for being killed.  Homes for all have been found in North American Zoos.

Interviews with the Alaska Zoo Director, in regard to these Cubs,  have him urging for more Bear Awareness.  If you live in or are traveling to Bear Country, few tips include, keeping trash inside, don't put trash out until day of pick up, take down bird feeders, don't leave pets or their food outside. Helping to reduce interaction will help to reduce the number of Orphans.  So, while our disrespectful President and other evil demons are out there murdering these precious Beings, there are kind souls who do everything they can to help these babies who are desperately in need.   

I have learned these basic tips, but there is more information out there.  You can visit:
https://www.fs.fed.us/visit/know-before-you-go/bears  or a simple google search will turn up many results for those who want to learn more on Bear Awareness and Orphaned Cubs.

This Group will document the growth and life of the San Francisco Zoo's two Black Bear Cubs, Juneau and Valdez, along with other Cubs the Alaska Zoo has rehabbed this season and sent to forever homes at other North American Zoos, three Black Bear Cubs to Greater Vancouver Zoo and four Brown Bear Cubs to Oakland Zoo.  I will also post related stories about other Orphaned Cubs as I come across them.  

Hope this has been interesting and informative.  In an effort to spread the awareness and information, I may also post this to the Group in full and/or in parts.  Sorry for the repeat of info if that happens.









Saturday, August 12, 2017

Bear Cubs Debuted This Week!

I've been trying to get this post done since early last week, but with seeing the Cubs most of last week and my Birthday yesterday, I'm just now finishing it and posting.  

So Yes!  The Bear Cubs are out!  I can not even express the amount of cuteness that's going on with these two!  They are a complete delight and and joy!  I am so happy to be able to know these babies and be able to watch them grow up.  I feel very blessed.  For as long as I can remember I have wanted to see Bear Cubs and following their journey has and will be an incredible experience.

The Cubs were let out into their enclosure for public viewing last Monday and were on view from 10a-noon and 2-4p, with a bottle and nap break in between.  That will probably be the schedule again this week, unless they choose to extend or shorten times, pending the Cubs needs.

I watched these babies both viewing times Monday and in the morning Tues, Wed, and Thurs.  I seriously can not get enough of them (and I'm not the only one)!  I'm still going through my photos and video from Monday. The babies were very active, exploring their new home, running and chasing, rolling and playing, climbing, they were all over the place and it was great fun for them and me!  I think I captured alot of their "firsts", and look forward to sharing them.  Check back for my next post later today.

By the end of the day on Monday, the babies were showing signings of tuckering out.  They had too much fun and excitement!  This low energy moment came just near 4p, and I was lucky to capture them sitting side by side. 


I had been referring to them as Dezi and June, in relation to the areas they were found in,  Valdez and Juneau.  I was surprised and very happy to learn the Keepers were calling them the full names.  I hope the Zoo allows these names to become official.  With every new arrival, whether born there or transferred, I fear the worst in naming, ever since poor Tucker Hippo was named after a ballplayer and that trend took off.  So sad and disrespectful.  Animals deserve names that mean something to them, their species, or at the very least a name that fits. 

I have posted a few videos so far.  I'll link the first one, if you want more Cub Cuteness, you can click on my user name you can view the others.  I'll also add more today. ... The Cubs first order of play was the trio of tree trunks! So much action on these, they showed them attention all week!   Little Girl Juneau was quick to start stripping the bark off everything she could lol!  They had a ball!   

Here's the initial fun  https://youtu.be/AW3TdslxLV4

Sharing these Cubs is one reason for this post, the other is I have found it very curious that the Zoo has not taken the opportunity to talk about these Cubs in detail.  What I mean is, not only is it exciting they are here, but their journey is one that should promote awareness.  They should have posted about their acquisition, as soon as it was secured.  I finally posted about it two weeks after reading news articles out of Alaska.  The Zoo first mentioned it, that same day, most likely after getting wind that I had broke the news.   


I haven't looked at the Zoo Facebook since last week, but as of Monday evening, there was still no mention of the Cubs, since that day more than two weeks ago (after my blog post), and the Cubs were now out.  In my opinion they have really dropped the ball, following these Cubs journey, from the Alaska Zoo, to quarantine, to their first day out. They are going to be popular and posting about them every step of the way and about their story would have been wonderful for visitors to follow and a great way to spread the message they represent.  I'm not surprised, but it saddens me sometimes the missed opportunities to share and educate people.  

Education is something the Zoo puts forth as part of their Mission, yet they fall short in doing so.  For years I blogged about Awareness Days that I'd visit the Zoo and find there is no information being put forth, either in display or talks. In the last few years, they have seemed to step it up a bit, but not enough in my opinion compared to the plight of so many Animals.  They did a good one for Rhino Day a few years back, but then on Thursday, there was no evidence at the Zoo that it was World Lion Day.  Lions are having a really tough time these days with poaching, canned hunting, and other evils that threaten their species, and nothing to build awareness about that.  Maybe at the Keeper talk it was mentioned, but what, those talks reach a couple dozen people, when an average of four thousand walk through the gates each day?   There needs to be some displays at Entry Village circle, appropriately outside the Education Building. 

As I expected, these babies are very popular.  Not only did a see a few of the same people come by to see them, there was a continued heavy stream of visitors lined up along the barrier for extended time watching with smiles and more comments of how cute they are than I can count.  Also as expected, there were too many people dangling their kids over the barriers.  The first one within ten minutes of the Cubs being out for the first time. UG.


Anyone who know me, or is familiar with my blog, this issue is something I write alot about and did in regard to the renovation of this exhibit.   


I have watched and called attention to this issue for over six years now, and the Zoo fails to do little to keep the Animals safe.  I have yet another post in detail about Barrier Abuse at the Zoo, so I won't digress too much here, other than to say, the Zoo had the opportunity before these Cubs went on view to secure this barrier railing with a deterrent and they didn't.  I pray these babies stay safe, because no one at the Zoo seems to care about safety.  You can see that by the photo I posted, the person over the barrier is in front of the Zoo Security Ranger and he wasn't the only Staffer who this happened in front of.  There was one Docent on Thursday who said something to someone, but that was after three previous days of nothing. I have heard that Management allegedly tells Staff not to say anything about certain misbehavior, so I have to wonder if that applies to dangling over the barriers of code red Animals, because I see this every visit.  The times I have reported it and Security has got there in time, they and Zoo Management seem to make light of the issue when talking to visitors. I don't know, I think its as serious an issue as I make it out to be.  Anyway, I'm not trying to hate on the guy (Ranger), he's nice to me, as are the Security Guards, Docents, and many Staffers, but MY mission is to document issues, and if anyone is not putting forth their best to be aware of misbehavior that could endanger the lives of any of the Animals, I'm going to be vocal about it.  I'm sorry, but the Animals safety and well being is MY priority.  

Anyone, especially those employed by the Zoo should have their eyes on barriers at all times when near exhibits.  If they aren't doing that simple thing to keep the Animals safe, they need to ask themselves, ? How would you feel if you missed it or didn't say something and someone fell in resulting in the death of an Animal, when the target team shoots to kill in an effort to save a human? Because that is exactly what would happen.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

I Sure Am Popular! - Membership Crime Update

This could all be uninteresting to the masses, but I need to document certain things, so I'll make it as interesting as possible!

Today's Zoo visit was entertaining.  I spied a Security Guard following me.  The reason I know this is because I rarely see Security, and this guy sat there while I stood watching them build a climbing structure for the Bear Cubs.  So Ridiculous and a waste of time, when Security should be watching for people harassing the Animals and misbehaving, like hanging over the barriers and putting the Animals lives in jeopardy, but oh my bad, more important to tail me.  That said, at least it gives them something to do. Usually they speed by and don't even look at what visitor's are doing.  The last few visits I've seen multiple guards standing around shooting the shit, while someone's hanging over the barrier.  Oh, and I'm being literal on that.  The other day I saw two guards outside the Lion House, yucking it up, and a few minutes later when I walked up the path to Hippo, someone had their kid sitting over the barrier.  

Anyway, I'm sure this could be called harassment since I have done nothing to warrant this, but good on them if they want to follow me.  I'm usually spotting visitors misbehaving, so instead of calling Security and waiting for them to get there (which is often never),  they will be right there with me and I can just point the offenders out to them. 

Speaking of not doing anything to warrant the harassment and denial of Membership, Zoo Management must be working hard to find something to pin on me, whether truth or lie.  I've heard whispers of alleged scenarios involving me.  Apparently I'm becoming quite a Legend!

Maybe I'll use the GoPro as a hidden body cam to document all the action?

Anyway, like in 2011 when I was slandered by San Francisco Zoo Director Peterson,  many there got obsessed with me and what I was doing, saying and posting.  For someone who is not liked by some, they sure are interested in me.  Recently I've been hearing whispers of the same. All I can say is, if the Zoo Staff spent as much energy on important things as it does on me, maybe the Animals would have better Barriers, more Enrichment, and other necessities and the Zoo in general would have less Turmoil and Scandals.

So yeah, entertaining, comical, ridiculous and pathetic.   That's ok.  I just keep on loving the Animals and watching out for them.

Caring about the Animals might be a Crime in the Eyes of the San Francisco Zoo Management, but in My Eyes, its just Doing the Right Thing.

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

I got home and had a FedEx delivery from the Zoo.  An envelope with my refund check.  Its only been near four months since I paid and almost two months since I requested it.  But hey, par for the course, the Zoo does whatever it wants to maintain its position of dictating all situations.  And, of course there was no letter of reasoning for denying me renewal of my Membership. Didn't expect one, as they don't feel they need to provide that.  They didn't in 2011 and again not now.  Bottom line, it's because they got nothing valid.

  



Sunday, July 23, 2017

Bear Enclosure Renovation Update

I took a video on Friday of the improvements the Zoo has made to the Polar Bear enclosure, for the arrival of the Black Bear Cubs    https://youtu.be/jS3sw6OYJqc

You will see that three parts of the concrete areas have had dirt added to them and tree branches have been added around the pool and moat walls, I guess to deter them from going on/falling over.  Looks like some of the railings have been replaced, yet no sign of any deterrent for human's hanging over them.

You will see below the Zoo is calling this enclosure Black Bear Bluff.  Huh.  ... As I wrote in my previous post, I sure hope these Bears will eventually be getting a proper home built to live out the next 20-30+ years of their lives.  ... There has been rumor that the Zoo has plans to build a new Polar Bear Enclosure out to the west side of Gorillas. Considering we no longer have Polar Bears, I hope those plans are now on hold until these Bears get a new enclosure.  Giving these babies a home was a wonderful thing.  Hoping they will be done right by for years to come. 

Interesting timing gave me a chuckle.  I finally got my post about the Cubs out on Friday morning, and then the Zoo finally posts about them on their Facebook late that afternoon.  I only look at the Zoo FB and Twitter maybe once a week, sometimes every two weeks, but I checked it out that night since I had a feeling once I did, they were sure to follow.  What were they waiting for?


Friday, July 21, 2017

Meet the Zoo's New Residents! - Rescued Bear Cubs!

I've been trying to post this for a couple weeks now.   Big News regarding to New Zoo Friends! Interesting thing is I read about them on one of my Google News searches. There were several news reports out of Alaska, but still no mention on this side.  Why hasn't the San Francisco Zoo mentioned anything?  Nothing in local media, and no mention on the Zoo's Facebook or Twitter.  Surprised because I consider this a big deal, but not surprised because non-disclosure is typical of the Zoo, in too many areas.  Too many secrets there is one of my issue points.  In my opinion being more transparent, shows that you are secure in what goes on there, in the job that you're doing and the care you're providing. Maybe I'm digressing in topic, because I do have Animal well-being in my mind relating to this foremost.  No relation to that issue in this News!  

I'm overjoyed to report that the Zoo has rescued two American Black Bear Cubs!  One of the good things the Zoo has done, is provide homes to Animals in need, who otherwise might have no where else to go.  Here is a link to the original news article I read:


Big Smiles as I read this through!  A couple of weeks before,  I read about the Oakland Zoo getting a Mama Bear and her three Cubs.  So excited that I would finally see Bear Cubs, only to read they weren't going to have them out on exhibit until next summer.  I thought I would never get to see Bear Cubs.  A few days later, I said to someone, Oh I bet Tanya (our Zoo Director) is pissed that Oakland got Bear Cubs and she didn't. ...  I'm always thinking of things I'd do if I was in charge of the Zoo, one of those things is, what direction I'd like to see the Zoo go in.  I would want to see the Zoo not do as much captive breeding but focus more rescuing. So, this rescue is an interesting and exciting chain of events, especially after those recent pre-thoughts.  

When I read this article, I assumed that these Cubs will be going where Ulu used to live because I saw them working on that exhibit the same day.  I assumed that they would eventually try and put another North American Animal in that exhibit because it kind of goes with the area now that they have the Wolves there.  I just didn't think they would be allowed more Bears in the the current Bear Grotto as is (with concrete).   .... I made a video of the work being done and some editorial comments about barriers:


If you have read my blog before, you know that one of my main issue points is barrier abuse.  If you haven't you can search word barrier in the upper left corner of the blog. I plan to write yet another detailed account of this, but until then I want to make a note in regard to the "renovation" and future use of this Bear exhibit.

Barrier abuse has long been a problem at the Zoo and one they refuse to do anything about.  I guess they are waiting for someone to lose their life because of it.  I for one do not want that life to be one of the Animals.  The Bear barriers have been a constant point of abuse, Ulu's was the worst with offenses in that area.  I have constantly pushed in writing for all enclosures of Code Red Animals to have glass, which would prevent both accidental and intentional entry to Animal side of enclosure, and at the very least to have better signage and (not or) barriers that are not vulnerable to abuse, but the Zoo has done nothing.  I do not want to see these Cubs vulnerable to losing their lives every time someone stands their kid on the railing or sits them over it.  If someone accidentally falls in, the Animals are shot.

One of countless times I've seen kids hung over
the barrier.  This one (of many) at Ulu's home.

After years of pointing out the barrier abuse at the Anteater exhibit, it took an impending AZA Accreditation Inspection for the Zoo to install a bamboo fencing barrier along the Anteater and neighboring Bob Cat.  The staggered effect allows for all heights to see over but prevents people from standing on or sitting over the barrier.  

One of many abuses I've seen at 
the home of Angelo Anteater.

Glass would prevent access both accidentally and intentionally, but this bamboo design at the very least would solve the daily abuse, and go along way to keep the Animals safe.  SO, why has it only been done at this one exhibit area?  The Black Rhino and Hippo remain vulnerable all day, everyday. Ulu rounded out that trio, also constant victim to people abusing her barrier.  Thankfully she was able to live out her life naturally as intended.   

Bamboo Fencing at Anteater/Bob Cat

This all said, at the very least, this type of bamboo fencing should be installed at the railing barrier at Bears, to serve as a deterrent to the eventual abuse at the Black Bear Cubs home.  Please San Francisco Zoo, do the right thing to keep these Bears safe.  While you are at it, show some like love to the Black Rhino and Hippo barriers. 

As I said, I was surprised the Zoo was allowed to have Bears in this enclosure again.  It was Ulu's home and at her age, worked well for her to live out her life in.   I'm really happy that they've chosen to put a rescued animal there and that these babies will have a place to live.  That said, these Cubs are less than a year old and with Bears living into their late 20s-30s, I hope that there will be a future plan for a more appropriate long-term home for these precious babies.  

Its unfortunate that the Zoo didn't think ahead and after Pike (Polar Bear) passed away, instead of renovating her home for the Wolves, didn't move Ulu into her home, (which included the meadow she was already familiar with) and renovate Ulu's home for the Wolves. If that had been done, then having the Cubs side by side with the Grizzlies, would have allowed for the never used alleged "phantom" shifting system, that would allow shifting/rotating all Bears into the Grizzly Gulch exhibit.  That way, all Bears would get the Enrichment of that natural habitat, not just the Grizzlies.   This was something former Bear Keeper Deb Cano pushed for.  She wanted all the Bears to have that experience to enrich their lives.  

Sadly the Zoo never activated that option and our Andean Bear Wishbone literally pounded his bones to death living on concrete his whole live.  I bring this up in posts from time to time, because his death still weighs heavy on me as one of the most tragic Zoo deaths.  Preventable, and I tried to help him and no one cared.  Not Zoo Management, Not the Zoological Society, Not the Rec and Park, Not the City.  Not even two of the main Zoo Donors who I wrote to, The Hearst Family, who funded Grizzly Gulch and are the Taube Family who had been quoted in a news article of wanting to do more for the Animals. If you're interested in learning more about Wishbones plight, you can read my blog dedicated to my crusade for him:


So, back thoughts for the future.   I do hope that a new home will be eventually built for these Cubs. But, I'm also not going to hold my breath, as under the current administration, I don't have much faith.  Just ask the Komodo Dragon.  I'll do another post after this one about Resident homes, highlighting precious Falcor.  

Next to the Grizzly Gulch, there are two old enclosures that have been boarded up since the Black Rhinos moved in 2009 I think it was.  Those two enclosures could be used as a site to build a new home for the Cubs.  It would sit side by side with the Grizzlies and there is plenty of room, almost mimicking that natural "valley" appearance of the Oakland Zoo's Sun Bear enclosure.  ... Creating a new future home for these Cubs would Enrich their lives, mentally and physically.  It would also allow for an eventual extension of the Wolves home, if the plan to breed future Wolves comes to fruition. 

In 2010 (I think) the Zoo closed off many paths to public access.  Most have reopened over the years since.  One that hasn't is South Gate, which has several enclosures that have previously housed three species small Hoofstock. This path runs from Hippo to Grizzlies.  Also available to provide an extended area for current Residents in need of a better home.

Looking forward to seeing our new adorable Bear Cubs, who I've dubbed Dezi and June (as they were found in Valdez and Juneau).  They are quarantining on exhibit and are supposed to be on view next week.  

Thank you to the Zoo for giving these Cubs a home and please don't allow someone to name them after Ballplayers.  Something meaningful or native like the Grizzly Girls, would be both appropriate and respectful.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

No News Update

It may seem like I have dropped the ball on updating about my Membership Crime, I haven't, there is just no news to report.   I still have no Membership in my name and I still continue to visit the Zoo regularly.

I never recieved a responce to my request to have my Membership fees returned via mail along with a detailed letter of reasoning.  One might think, there is no letter because there is no valid (or truthful) reasoning.

Aside from the two weeks following the "denied membership" news, I have visited the Zoo at least a couple times a week.  I had other life stuff to take care of, so took that opportunity those two weeks to do so and avoid any possible drama.  Aside from no Membership, nothing has changed for me.  I'm not conducting myself in any different manner. I haven't done anything wrong. I go there for the Animals.  Visiting them feeds my soul.  When I'm there, I keep an eye on things and if I see something that's not right, I'm gonna speak out about it.  There is nothing wrong with that and anyone who thinks there is, doesn't care about the lives of the Animals that are in the Zoo's care.

I do want to note a few things about behavior, not mine but that of some Staff.  This of course has nothing to do with any Staffer that I know and talk to (they know who they are), but about the Cowards who flip back and forth with their behavior towards me.  When Director Peterson revoked the memberships of myself and my friend Lee in 2011, a very small percentage of Staff still spoke to us afterward.  Most of those who did, I still speak to today and I've always appreciated their support and ability to keep their eyes open despite the adversity they deal with there.   The others treated us like criminals and we were followed while there.  These were people who believe lies, and/or were threatened with termination.  It was interesting, rather disgusting, that once we got our memberships back, there was a complete turn around in behavior towards us.  Its been six years, one would think the added years and my dedication to the Animals would make a difference, it doesn't.  I have again felt the chill by some.
  
I understand if someone doesn't want to become Tanya's target by associating themselves with the apparent controversy that is Me, but I have a real problem with anyone who works in Animal Care that doesn't put themselves on the line for the Animals in their care.  I am sorta digressing here, but I have heard things that have been upsetting.  I know there are Keepers of strong character, who will stand up for the Animals.  Most recent Dayna, who made the plight of Jesse-Patrick, the young Patas Monkey in her care public.  I will always admire her for that, because I know she made herself vulnerable by doing so.  I know there are Keepers there who did not support her and because of that, I know they would not do the same, and that disturbs me.  That there are Keepers, so afraid to say anything that goes against what management says, that even an Animal's health would be in jeopardy, is a real problem for me.  I find it disturbing and unethical.

I mention the above, because I care about the Animals. That is why I will continue to be a voice for them.  That said, I guess I will continue to be a thorn in Director Peterson's side, because I Advocate for the Animals. Caring shouldn't be a bad thing, but apparently in San Francisco Zoo Management circles it is.  That is the only thing they can pin on me.




Monday, June 12, 2017

SFZoo - Who's The Real Worst

Since I don't know what Zoo Management will come up with as a reason for denying my Membership, I gotta say a few things about my conduct at the Zoo and things that I've done to help the Animals.

When my Membership was revoked in 2011, it was purely based on Zoo Director Tanya Peterson trying to silence me. She didn't like me knowing anything that was going on there, and therefore being able to stand up for the Animals.  By taking away my membership and forcing me to pay each time I visited, her goal was to limit the amount of time I spent there, therefore limiting the amount of information I would gather. I didn't work there, so she couldn't fire me for being a Voice for the Animals, keeping me out was the only way.  

Someone told me they read Director Peterson's words after the Presidential Inauguration, welcoming President Trump and hoping he will take care of our wild things!  ... Is she kidding?  Did/does she support Trump?  How could anyone think that man and his murderous spawn would care about anything wild?  ... I relay this because I was outraged when I heard this.  I have never thought Director Peterson was someone who cared about the Zoo or the Animals.  She has proven that in many of her decisions in the near ten years she has been Director.  Now that we have lived through several months of this Presidential Administration, I see parallels in the was people are treated. She has run the Zoo as a Dictatorship.  Banning press.  Trying to silence those who speak up.  And firing those who don't play the game her way.

I feel like taking my membership is equal to firing me, because that's the only way she can control me.


So, let's list a few things I've done at the Zoo in the past nine.half  years.

I've shared my knowledge about the Animals with other Visitors, Volunteers and Staff.

I've made Enrichment Toys for the Big Cats and on occasion Bears, when Staff being paid to provide these items did not.  In fact two Bear Keepers called me a day before the Teddy Bear Festival and said no one made Enrichment Items for the event could we.  So after spending 25+ hrs each on Big Cat Toys for that week, both Lee and I made Bear Toys as well. For a Zoo sponsored event.

I've identified numerous Animal Health issues and report to Staff.  Including witnessing a Bear have a seizure, to which the Zoo allegedly tried to cover it up even to the Bear's primary Keeper.  ...One time I called in about an Animal bleeding, and after the Keeper came round, Director Peterson showed up in the area with a group of people, put both her hands on my arms and shook me, incoherently yelling, "He's going to bleed".  I felt assaulted.  I was later told by a Security Guard that she retold this story and said I ran up to her and grabbed her radio off her hip to call for help about the Animal. If that were true I would have had my membership taken away at that time, which was a year before in 2010.  She also told Staff I was Unstable and to keep me away from media at events.

I've identified numerous Animal Welfare issues and reported them to Staff.  Including people sitting over and standing on barriers, throwing objects at the Animals, feeding the Animals non-diet food, actually sitting on small Goats at the Farm (often while certain Staff have stood by and watched). This action could end those Dwarf Goats life.  ... If these were direct threats to Animal Safety, I of course asked the offender not to do whatever it was they were doing.  On several occasions within the last year I have been sworn at by Visitors, and when Security finally showed up, between them and Management, nothing was done.  Those offenders were allowed to stay. They were not asked if they had memberships to which could be in jeopardy.  One set of rules for me, another for everyone else.

I've posted many ideas via my blog, hoping the Zoo would use them, as they failed to think of things on their own many times. ... Many things were implemented, to name one, the Polar Bear expansion was an idea posted in my blog. They also fixed a dangerous build in the Snow Leopard training platform that I noticed. Whoever built that should have known better, as should the Animal Staff who put it there and use it.

I've documented via blog, many issue points that were not being attended to by Management.  

These are only things that I can think of off top of my head.  There have been countless things I've done and reported to help the Animals.  But to some, I'm the enemy.  And to Management, the Worst Member in History.  Unbelievable.  Yet, not really when we have a Management Team there that constantly makes decisions that are not in the best interest of the Animals, covers things up and gets rid of anyone who speaks up against the wrongs.  

In the past nine.half years there have been too many things that have been questionable, curious, concerning and just plain wrong at the Zoo.  All that come to mind have been Management decisions and these decision came down from protocol put forward by Director Peterson.  Director Peterson herself  has been in the News too many times regarding some bad press issues. 

One of the first things I will take issue with, goes hand in hand with an issue still happening uncountable times a day at the Zoo.  In 2009, two years after the Tiger event, a visitor made their way into the Grizzly Bear enclosure.  You can read the specifics online, but the issue points are such that this should never have happened.  Two things.  After the Tiger event, all Code Red Animal Exhibit Barriers should have been upgraded to prevent breaching by Human or Animal.  And my first question after hearing this, Why, is the Zoo open til 5p when the time changes?  I immediately sent an email to Director Peterson, saying the Hours need to be changed when it starts getting dark early and asked if she was waiting for another Tiger Tragedy?  She adopted it as her own and requested the Joint Zoo Panel agree to the change.  Second, the forever issue of Barrier Breaching.

After that it has been a long string of building new areas to entertain Humans, and bringing in new Animals, building them new enclosures, while Animals who have lived there for years live in outdated enclosures.  ... Many times her new and shiny toys, didn't even get the homes they were promised, as allegedly funding was never in place for it to begin with.  She just moved onto the next thing. Case and Point, the Komodo Dragon.  This poor Animal was promised a new enclosure within a year.half after arriving.  Three years later he was still living in the Terrarium he had outgrown. He developed spinal issues the Zoo alleges are genetic, but many think is because he has not had the room to properly grow. ... It is no secret to readers here what happened with the Chimps.  You can search my blog, as I was the one to feed this story to the media.  In short, allegedly Director Peterson didn't like the Chimps, and wanted to ship them out without attention, in favor of bringing in Orangutans.  Things have changed but WOW to have a Director who cares so little about the Well Being of Chimps who have lived near 50 years at the Zoo, is really disgusting.  

While on the subject of Apes, another tragedy that got media attention was the situation that led to the infant Gorilla Kabibe losing her life.  Many to blame in this, and of course Director Peterson allegedly in the mix.  ... Another Primate story, recently in the News, about the young Patas Monkey and his terminal illness which it was allegedly Director Peterson's word that prolonged his suffering.  This all happened during a time when the Zoo didn't even have a full-time Vet on Staff (for almost two months), because we have a Director who allegedly cares more about getting rid of people (both Vets) who disagree with her, than having Medical Staff for the Animals. 

There's been a long string of Animal deaths that have been questionable.  One that I think of every time I see the Black Swan at the Puente.  This poor Lady had a Sister.  They were moved all around the Zoo because no geographically suitable place could be found.  They landed at the Puente.  Why couldn't they just stay there?  Oh no can't have that.  They were moved to the part of the lake where the White Pelicans used to live.  Allegedly this was a place where bacteria in the water was known that could be harmful to them.  Well it was, and one died.  Now the lone Lady is back at the Puente.  

The Zoo is old.  Many of the buildings have lead paint.  There is a protocol for removing lead paint. Do we think the Zoo follows that? No!  Allegedly the paint sanded at the male Anteaters home was not properly handled and there were sanding chips all over the ground.  Note that this Animal was moved from Puente because he was eating the dirt.  So here he is now, possibly eating lead paint chips mixed into his ground covering.  I pray for him and to never find out he had lead poisoning. ... Paint has been chipping from the Chimp House for near twenty years.  You think they could paint it? Seal it?  Something?  Even the AZA did not cite them for this?!  I have seen the Chimps sticking their fingers in the chipped part and then putting it in their mouth.  

Let's go on barriers now.  First, the lack of signage about this is insane.  ... Will mention the Anteater since I just talked about him.  Even though this is not a Code Red Animal, no Animals home should be breachable to the point where someone could hang over, sit on, stand on or cross the barriers with ease.  I have written about so many of these offenses its ridiculous that nothing has changed there. Even a Docent I know wrote Director Peterson about people laying across this poor Animals barrier.  Only when the Zoo had their AZA Accreditation inspection was a barrier deterrent put up.   That said, nothing has been done to deter at the hot spots, Black Rhinos and Hippo.  Polar Bear was included in this but with the recent loss of Ulu, this is not an issue now.  The Black Rhino and Hippo have people constantly hanging over into their enclosure.  One slip and these Animals are shot dead.   No one cares.  I've talked about it for years.  

Visitors run wild through the Zoo and do all kinds of behaviors that disturb and harass the Animals and the Zoo lets them.  Breaching Barriers, yelling at the Animals, pounding their chests at the Apes, Howling at the Wolves, banging and kicking windows, throwing things at the Animals and into enclosures (several Animals have had to have surgery because of this), feeding them non-diet food (one Animal was recently really sick, even losing his sight and hearing because of this),  there have even been people assaulting Birds in the Aviary because no one cares to watch the free roaming Animals in there.  Its all happening at the Zoo and no one cares.  Management allows this.  They say they don't , but there is very little to caution not to, and when you report it, either no one comes or when they do they let people continue on their way.  Last year someone threw rocks at the Tiger to get it to move for them, and they were allowed to stay!  Outrageous!  That is a physical assault on an Animal and nothing.  Same thing when I reported people throwing stuff at a Flamingo while it sat on its nest, on its egg!  Offenses all over the place and that's okay there.  Going back to 2007, You know if the person who saw the Dhaliwal's tormenting the Lions before getting to the Tigers, had reported it and they had been ejected, Tatiana would still be alive.  Oh and I'll end this by noting that I'm sure if the Dhaliwals wanted to get a Membership , they could!

Is your head spinning yet?  Mine is and its dinner time.  This list could never be complete, but I think I've put forth enough to illustrate my point.

All these Animal issues, together with the long list of Director tyranny against Staff, and I'm branded the worst thing to happen to the Zoo?   The whole thing makes me sick.  We need a Zoo leader who has the Animals best interest in mind.  Can work together and respect Staff who have experience and care. For that matter, respect anyone who cares, because its those who care who are going to keep the Zoo thriving for the future.