Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Another News Piece on the Young Patas Monkey

I wasn't prepared for what came through on my News Alert today.  I'm sick to my stomach by the photos shared by Jesse-Patrick's Keeper Dayna.   I feel like crying.  It sounded awful when described in the first article 4.23.17, but these photos are shocking and heartbreaking.  I visit that Patas Monkey's near every visit, and I'm not sure how I missed this.  It has been raining, and I remember several times looking into the exhibit and not seeing them out.  Somehow these few weeks went by and I've felt guilty for not knowing, since I first heard about this.   Now,  I feel it would have broke my heart to witness this

You can read the article and view the video containing photos, and Keeper interview here:

I'm going to post my personal Memorial photo of Jesse-Patrick and one of his Family.  After seeing those heartbreaking photos in the news story, you must see him in happier times.

                                          Jesse-Patrick at six months old

                               In December at one year old with his Mama Winnie and Sister Freida.                        

I sit here trying to organize my thoughts through sadness for this poor little Soul and his Family.  I feel awful for Dayna to have to watch this develop and hope for an end to Jesse-Patrick's suffering.   

When I wrote my first post about this tragedy, I was heartbroken, I still am that this little life was cut short.  As I often do, I write posts with peripheral information.  Reading it back now, I realize there was so much of that (because there's a lot of wrong at the Zoo), and wasn't enough about the specifics of Jesse-Patrick's situation.  Maybe, I feel that way in hindsight because of how powerful what Dayna has now shared is.  

I also call attention to the follow-up post that I wrote, right after the first one.  I hesitated to post it and then didn't get back to it.  I posted it before writing this one, in light of today's News story.  I want to reiterate something that I wrote in that post.  ... The Keepers at the Zoo work in fear of losing their jobs if they say anything about what goes on there.  That said, a lot that goes on, stays secret.  If this story is being made public,  all details, information, accusations, everything, are true.  Sadly.  

That said, I trust Dayna's observations, compassion and that she knows these Animals.  She would not make a claim to end an Animals life, if it wasn't the best thing for him.  Unfortunately as I've noted before,  Management does not value the knowledge that the Keepers have in regard to the Animals in their care.  Keepers are the core of Animal Care, yet at the Zoo, a facility that supposedly cares for Animals, they (Keepers) are pretty low on the totem pole.  Its not right.

In my previous post I wrote about the Director, the Zoological Society and the SF Recreation and Park and how that all plays to the highest levels of Management.  Let's also take a look at a couple of the "players" in Animal Care, Management.  I'll note here that these are upper level positions and allegedly will always side with the Director over the Keepers. ...  I'll start with Jason Watters who was interviewed in this news piece and sided with Director Peterson.  I'll start by saying, I have never met this guy, I've seen him maybe three times, and I've heard nothing good about him.  So, who is he? He's the head of the Wellness Dept.  Let me say something about the Wellness Dept.  While I don't know everything they do, I've had a problem with the word "wellness" since I first heard it used at the Zoo in 2012.  To me, Wellness is a given.  I assume its part of the Animals expected health care. I feel like they pulled out this word to pat themselves on the back, and then developed a whole Dept. Anyway, I rarely see this guy, so what's he doing all day, since he's full-time?  I have seen the Wellness Interns observing the Animals.  I think that's a good thing.  Anyone else in that Dept, not sure what they do.  David Bocian, haven't seen this guy around in months, but I know he's still there and I think still the head of Animal Care.  Personally,  the conversations I've had with him, I haven't learned anything, if you get my drift.  So, in this particular situation, the Animal Care Management team seemed to be Watters and Bocian, who then conferred with Director Peterson.  If they wanted to keep their jobs, they did what she told them to do, because that's how the Zoo is run.  ... In my opinion, the Animal Management Team needs to value and support what their full-time Keepers tell them about the Animals in their care.

Two more things that are very bothersome about Jesse-Patrick's heath situation.

The USDA came out and found that there was "no non-compliant" issue.   ... I assume that means they felt all decisions being made by Management were in accordance?  ... I contacted the USDA on a previous serious issue and never got a response.  So, my faith in them is not the highest.

The AZA said that it requires Director's to make final decisions on Animal's lives.  ... What happens when the Zoo has a Director with no Animal knowledge?  and a fear of looking bad to anyone outside the walls?  Because she doesn't care how she looks to her own Staff.  Not well liked, yet she stays. ... Again I have contacted the AZA on a couple serious issues.  They don't follow-up with you, but since nothing changed in those situations, I assume they didn't care.  My opinion of the AZA is that they will do minimal to "push" a Zoo to do right things, because that could influence their monetary intake in a way that doesn't line their pockets.

Lastly, I 100% believe Dayna when she says Jesse-Patrick's life was held hostage based on what Director Peterson thought would be public perception. .

I know there are other Animal Welfare situations that are not tended to for the same reason.

I'm Sorry Precious Little Jesse-Patrick.

Monday, May 1, 2017

What Needs to Happen, To Replace Director Peterson?

I second guessed myself in posting this, originally written April 23, 2017 as a follow-up to my last post regarding the passing of the young Patas Monkey Jesse-Patrick.  In light of today's news article regarding JP (and the post I will write about that), I feel like putting forth all my thoughts.  What I know, gives a better picture of what goes on at the Zoo.  I am the only one outside the walls who seems to know anything and/or cares enough to make it public.


I feel like crying about this whole situation with the Patas Monkey death.  I am beyond frustrated with things that go on at the Zoo.  And then there are things like this, that are just heartbreaking.

How many troubling incidents involving Animal Welfare, have to happen, before we can get rid of Director Peterson and get a Director who actually cares about the Zoo?

I know it sounds odd as I write "we", since I don't work there, but I'm very involved emotionally with the Zoo Animals and therefore the Zoo.  The Zoo is City owned and therefore is owned in a sense by all San Francisco Residents.

Anytime there is a news article, I can't help but read the comments.  Even though I start by telling myself I'm not going to.  I'm compelled and then I just get upset.  I'm defensive because I care about the Animals, and I care what happens to their home.  I care that a place I've gone to my whole life, continues to thrive for the future.  I have grown to think of alternative ways Zoos should exist, but keeping the Zoo healthy in all aspects benefits the Animals, current and future.

It started with the Tiger event in 2007.  Then I didn't know anything about the inner working of the Zoo, all I knew is that I was there that day and Tatiana was not agitated or underfed as many said.  I know that I stood in front of that enclosure my whole life and never felt unsafe, and would have done it again the day after the attack.  I knew the difference between a recommended and required wall height.  I felt I had to defend the Zoo, often spending hours responding to comments and trying to educate people.  I continued to do so for the next two years.  As I learned more about the Animals, I continued to try and endear people to the Animals, hoping to clear the dark cloud from the Tiger event.

There are not many people outside the walls that know what really goes on at the Zoo.  Yet I hear and read comments based on I don't know what.  It makes me mad.  I don't claim to know everything, but I do know alot and contrary to what some think, I only write about things I know about.  I'm also the only one I know of outside the walls that is a voice for these Animals.  In the case of Director Peterson trying to kick out the Chimps, I'm the only one, who cared enough to help them stay in their home, a place they have lived for over forty years.  Not one person who even works there did anything.  They could have called attention to this move, and done what I did, but no one did. 

The comments I read on today's article, had many defending Director Peterson's caution for delaying to end the Patas Monkey's life.   The reason I do not believe this to be true is I have myself questioned decisions that I thought may have ended lives too soon.  So I suspect that may be something that happens.  What I do know, is that Staff is very apprehensive in letting anything outside the walls for fear of losing their jobs.  So, if they went this far, to make this public, I believe there is truth to their claims.

So, this brings me back to the question, how long before we can get rid of Director Peterson?  Here's the problem.  The City relinquished managing to the Zoological Society.  The Zoological Society is made up of rich society folk, who have no interest in the Zoo past writing checks and throwing cocktail parties.  The City appointed the SF Recreation and Park to oversee the Zoological Society.  The Rec and Park, have no interest in doing that beyond the monthly meetings, where they push papers, pat each other on the back and take Peterson's word on everything.  So she would have to be removed by one of these groups, the City, the Rec and Park, or her cocktail buddies at the Zoological Society.  In a 2011 letter to the Zoological Board Chairman (at the time) David Stanton, I stressed there were no checks and balances, no interest from the Society, and unrest between Staff and Management.  Nothing has changed, its only gotten worse.   So, who exactly will fire her?   

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Terminal Patas Monkey Allowed to Suffer (Allegedly)

Juvenile Male Patas Monkey "Bernardo" (originally named Jesse-Patrick) has passed away.  His recent death is the subject of a today's news article.  

I haven't been posting consistently to my blogs, for various reasons, mostly because its emotionally draining.   I just read the above article and I'm sick to my stomach. Heartbroken about this loss, and a bit shaky from rage, because I know too many things, and sadly poor Jesse-Patrick is not the last victim of disrespect at the Zoo.  

Hopefully Zoo Staff along with their Union representative will finally band together and make sure every little thing that is wrong at the Zoo, is reported to proper authorities and made public.  Too many things, for too long have been kept inside the walls.  I know if Director Peterson hears about them talking,  they lose their jobs.  I know she has allegedly "made life miserable" and "threatened" Staff who go against her.  I'm sorry these things happen, but these are lives of Animals who depend on Humans there, this stuff can't continue to go on.  

For anyone who has followed my efforts on behalf of the San Francisco Zoo Animals, you know that I started out posting on every little thing I find questionable.   My main points of issue are Animal Welfare, Barrier Abuse, Animal Disrespect, and lack of Enrichment.  Every time I visit the Zoo, I encounter the later three. I take photos, make notes and rarely get to posting.  

The Barrier Abuse issue is out of control.  I have posted for over six years about this.  I've called to action via a Petition for the Zoo to take this Animal Endangerment issue seriously.   People constantly hanging their kids over Barriers into Animal Enclosures, including those of Code Red Animals.  I tweet photos of offenders to the Zoo and AZA every time I'm there.  Nothing changes. Security is rarely around to handle the incidents, Management lets people off get away with this behavior, and does nothing to deter it.  I have a longer blog post about this in the works, so so now I will leave this subject, and let you search this blog for more if you're interested.  Use search word "barrier".

I have also been documenting issues with how San Francisco Zoo Director Tanya Peterson manages the Zoo. You can also do a search using her name on my blogs. 

When I first became aware of things that weren't right at the Zoo, I addressed them with Driector Peterson.  I formed at open and valued (at least I thought at the time) correspondence with her.  I expressed my concerns and submitted suggestions to help the Zoo, as seen from a Visitor's perspective.   At the time I was told by many Zoo Staff that she allegedly didn't like "people with opinions" and that wasn't going to work in my favor there.  I am not one to keep things to myself or shy away from difficult conversations.  I continued to put forth my thoughts.   It turned out, what I was told was accurate and I eventually had a major situation at the hands of Director Peterson, who slandered me and tried to keep me away from the Zoo because she allegedly didn't like that I knew too much.

Under Director Peterson, the Zoo has had many problems.  Mostly kept internal issues, some that have gone public.  You can do a News search using her name for more.  The internal issues stem from Management being a dictatorship. Director Peterson is both Director and President.  There is no checks and balances.  What she says goes.  The Zoological Society, plays no real role in the Management of the Zoo, although they are listed as the Managing group. The San Francisco Recreation and Park, while who the Zoo is responsible to, plays no real role in Management.  In fact it appears they and the City just don't care.  Once a month, Members of the Rec and Park and Board of Society meet for the Joint Zoo Committee Meeting and basically listen to what Director Peterson says and takes that as word. Within the Zoo Staff, whoever says anything against her rule, gets fired, or has their time there made so uncomfortable that they quit.    Over the past couple years the Zoo has seen too many long time and good Employees leave, because of one of these reasons.

In a facility that is based on the lives of Animal Residents, one would assume that those working in Animal Care, the Keepers, would be one of the highest regarded positions, expert to the primary part of the Zoo, the Animals.  If you assumed that, you are wrong in relation to the San Francisco Zoo. Management under the reign of Peterson, does not value the knowledge, observations or opinions of the Keepers.  As a result, there have been too many Animal Welfare related issues.  Some public, most not.  The Chimps were vulnerable to losing their lives because of her.  Kabibe the Gorilla did. While I also blame several on the Animals Care Staff, Peterson was allegedly well aware of the issues with doors and shifting staff.

I noted that there is no checks and balances with the Managing groups.  I want to also note that often National Organizations like the AZA and USDA have ignored concerns.  I have contacted them in regard to a few issues in the past, only to still see these things an issue point. The article I posted in regard to the recent death of the Patas Monkey, notes that both the AZA and USDA have become involved.  Maybe they will take notice and start listening.  

Zoo Management needs an overhaul.   For one, Director Peterson needs to be demoted to Fundraising if anything at all.  She has no Animal background, lucked into this position because of Social connections.  She is Not an Animal person.  She has No Regard or Empathy for the Animals that live there, their position, or their history. That is growing in evidence for years, culminating with her decision to kick out the Chimps.  She should not be making any decisions on when to end an Animals life, yet she has final say.  As noted in today's article, that was not in the best interest of this Patas Monkey.

Additionally, there needs to be a Director and President.  Otherwise we have the Dictatorship that we do.  As well, any Zoological Society Board Members need to be active with the Zoo and knowledgeable about what goes on.  There also needs to be Recreation and Park officials who do the same. There is serious problems at the Zoo and no one has paid any attention to what really goes on there for years.  

As the article also mentions, the lack of Animal Care Staff.  This is one Department that needs full staffing, yet has been the Department most slighted.  I have known for sometime that they lost members of the Vet Staff.  That is just unacceptable.  The Keepers are stretched thin.  This is a facility that is home to living Beings who depend on the best care possible. I'm not saying they aren't getting good care, I'm saying that the department is run on the most limited Staff, yet has Staff in Animal Care Management employed full-time that does hardly anything to contribute to actual daily care.  If you are going to commit to having Animals, you must commit to providing care for them.  

I understand that Zoos are businesses, but they are foremost homes to living Beings who need attention, compassion and respect.  If you can't provide that to the Animals, then you should not be running this as a business.  The current Management is failing to put the Animals well-being before the dollar.  It has been apparent in so many things.  From the lack of improvement of Animal enclosures (homes of the Chimps, Komodo Dragon, ...) Barrier upgrades Zoo-wide, Signage to deter misbehavior towards Animals, Security to recognize misbehavior, Management to enforce repercussion of misbehavior, the building of areas for Humans before Animals, Bringing in New Animals before taking care of Current Animals, all these things and more, are big issue points in Management fail, and contribute to the Well-Being of the Animals.

I often say, when I win the lotto, I'm going to buy my way in and fix the Zoo.  Some may think that's comical, but frankly I think I can do a better job at running the place than most of the Management Staff. At the very least I can identify issues on a daily basis, I have empathy for the Animals, and I can listen to those with  expertise in their departments.  Too much stuff that goes on there is a joke and sadly, many Animals have lost their lives because of it. 

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 

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.

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.


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If you are inclined to,  
you can reach San Francisco Zoo Director Tanya Peterson at