Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Recent Visit

I had this post in que as an example of what this blog would be.  A bit of pro's and a bit of con's.  Detailing my visits as is.  I now wonder if I should even post it as it happened a few weeks ago still back in 2011 and since I'm trying to move out of judgmental blogging I'm apprehensive to include it here.  The reason I am moving forward and do so is I think this visit illustrates exactly how my visits to the San Francisco Zoo often go.

Since I am such a fan of animals and not so much that of humans, visiting the Zoo (or Park) can be emotionally challenging.  To be able to be in the presence of animals to me is a great gift.  It hurts me when I witness misbehavior towards them in any degree.  I just don't understand the human thought process and lack of empathy towards innocent living beings.  I just don't understand.

As a daily visitor to either or both the Zoo and the Park, I am a constant witness.  My visit on this day was pretty typical unfortunately.  It brought great joy of being able to see the friends (animals), great aggravation at human behavior, and great frustration on how the Zoo handles it.

It was Snow Day for the Polar Bears!  I went straight to Bears.  I knew both Bears would be in the Meadow at different times, getting a chance to enjoy the snow, so I wanted to be there at a time frame when I knew I would see each of them.  I timed it perfect :)   ... Ulu was in there still checking out all her Enrichment items of wrapped boxes with food and flavored icees!   

Once Ulu decided she was done and went back to her grotto, I went over to Cats.  As I normally do, I circled around the grotto's and through the Lion House and back.   I came up to grotto B and Tunya and Sukari (Lions) were in front parallel to the fencing, so I stopped to take photos.   I heard a group of loud individuals, I looked up to see four headed my way.  I moved to avoid having to be in the same space as them.  I stepped back and the loudness continued.  They pressed their faces into the fencing, yelling and roaring at the Lions trying to get their attention.  Disgusting.  I absolutely hate this.  This is not a circus, the animals are  not there to perform.  Sure we all want to see their faces, but it is what it is.  Having the opportunity to view these amazing animals IS what it IS!   You don't yell to them, imitate them, or vocalize loudly toward them in any way.  You don't clap, tap or bang on the glass surrounding their home,  you don't throw things at them, basically you don't do anything but look, enjoy and respect.  What is wrong with people?

Since the Zoo blamed my friend and I when we reported misbehavior (see blog san francisco zoo crime) I have deleted their "tip" line number from my phone and have tried to not bother with misbehavior, with the exception of when it directly involves an animal, their health or direct assault.  This I considered direct verbal assault as it was excessive, continual, through mesh and in the animals direct view.  I had just been in the Lion House and there were two (unusual, but lately curiously the norm) Security guards in there.  I went back and when I approached the two standing there, they looked at me and I told them what I had witnessed and asked if one of them could go out there.  The gal said she would.

She left and went around via grotto A, so I went the opposite way so it wasn't obvious I had alerted Security.  As I approached grotto B where this had taken place, she was not there and the offenders were still harassing the Lions.  I was pretty bothered by this and it just escalated as the offenders then split into pairs and two went to harass the Tiger in grotto C and the other pair went to harass the Hippo.

I went back into the Lion House and asked the gal guard if she had seen the offenders I described.  She said she had and that she talked to them.  I said, "Well you didn't stay there very long as when I got there they were still... and then moved on to...   There are two of you in here, couldn't you stay and watch that they at least stopped and keep an eye on them?"  She was very rude and said she didn't appreciate me telling her what to do, she appreciated that I told her, but not that I was telling her what to do.   That's fine and I can understand that, but the fact still remains, the duty of her job was not fulfilled.  Unfortunately this is par for the course within how Security handles those who harass the Animals.  It continually sends the wrong message and so people just keep on, keeping on with harassing the Animals and its wrong. 

I left the Lion House disgusted and went back to Bears.  The Keeper was putting out new goodies for Pike who was about to be let into the Meadow for her fun time with the Snow!   The next two hours were nothing but the joy of watching Pike's joy.   That, is the only emotion that should be evoked on a Zoo visit.

Thank you to Ulu and Pike for saving the day! XO!

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