Friday, June 29, 2012

Words for thought

Via Facebook posts in the past 24 hours.  .. I have saved others over the years, will post them here as I come across them in the archives.  As well any from this point forward.   Please share.  There eventually has to be a way to get through to those who don't get how precious Animal Beings are.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Happy Birthday Sukari!

Sweet Sukari turns 10 today!

Happy Birthday Sukari!

I have also made a video from her Birthday Party!

My friend Lee and I were lucky to be doing Enrichments for the Big Cats when Sukari's Birthday came around.  Sukari had come to the Zoo over six months prior but was still very shy and not seen very often.  For every Enrichment Toy day before her Birthday, she was either seen peeking out at Tunya enjoying his Toys, or she would quickly snatch it and retreat to the cave.  The first time, all we saw was her paw reach out and grab the Toy!  

For her Birthday I wanted it to be special for her and something she would enjoy.  It was time for her to be experiencing the fun of Enrichment Toy days.  We needed to use this opportunity to draw her out of her shell (and the cave).  The night before I thought about how she is always hiding in the caves, and thought by putting her Cake at the cave doorway, then when the Keeper would open the door she would at least see it before she ran.  Hoping that by seeing it she would want it!   The next day I told the Keeper about the idea I had, so she placed the Cake on the Lion House side of the cave door.

When she opened the door, there was Suki and she started to dash, then saw the cake and stopped.  She turned around and sniffed it a few times, checking it out, and then snatched it and ran!  Struggling to get it out of the cave, she pulled it through and took it to the yard!  YAY! Suki!  

By the time I ran out to the yard, her companion Tunya had already laid claim to it and was enjoying the bottom layer that was filled with Rhino scented hay :)  Sukari came round and sat there staring at him like "hey, thats mine!"  ... They were an awesome couple and share :) ... FYI we made Toys for all the Cats!  It was Suki's Ice Cream Social!  I will try to make a video of more of the fun!  You can see photos here:

After a Lion Dance, Suki snuck in and reclaimed her Cake and eventually went and retrieved the top layer and trotted off with it proudly!  YAY!  I was so proud of Sukari, for being out and taking part in her Birthday Party!   That was a major turning point in her gaining confidence and feeling comfortable. It truly was a celebrations!  She didn't hide anymore after that.  She came out each week and enjoyed Enrichment Toys :)  I'm glad that something I did helped her to feel more secure in her new surroundings.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

What to do at Bears ... Not a Question but a Suggestion

I wrote this post in part over a month ago, but after seeing this sign last week at Wishbones former home, I am finally finishing it and posting it.   It hurts my heart that the Zoo didn't respect Wishbone enough to give him a natural place to live and for that matter die, so this coming into play now is painful.  That said, in order to move forward it must be done.  Question is what is their plan?  I can guess, but I won't do it here.  What I will do is post some suggestions.

A friend recently took a photo of the Detroit Bear Grotto's.  It appears that their Bear area was built at the same time as ours.  It has the same structure design and layout, concrete depression-era WPA (Works Progress Administration) style.  The Detroit Zoo has taken an upgrade much like what our former Bear Keeper Deb Cano had accomplished with the meadow grotto shared by the Polar Bears, expanded on it and made it wonderful.  

Detroit Zoo Bear Grotto 
Photo courtesy of Valerie Abbott
View her wonderful Animal Photos 

You can see by the photo that they have knocked down a wall (from what I've been told) to create a double wide landscaped space.  They used the exisiting structure and created a natural living space for these Animals.

I have never heard that there is anything wrong with the exisiting Bear area structure, so there shouldn't be an issue working with what they have.  Whether this idea would work or not, there are options to making the Bear Grotto's better without total demolition and rebuild.  

I'm going to borrow this paragraph from my previous post as its relevant and I like each post to read as a stand alone piece.

There are Zoo purists (I've come across on specifically)  that think Zoo's (SFZoo has been among the named), should demolish all these old buildings and build new state of the art exhibits.  Sure ideally all captive animals would live in sanctuary type settings, but realistically because of financial constraints and Animal residents, that really isn't a logical approach.  In my opinion as a Visitor,  upgrading and "sprucing" things up is.  I have voiced my opinion on upgrades while on my crusade to get Wishbone Grass (that's right, I will never stop mentioning this disrespect).  For the "sprucing" up and generally making older areas look better, I think the Zoo has made a good start with what they have done with the Anteater and Bobcat exhibits, now they need to work on the bigger blocks of concrete.  

What the SFZoo has is four grotto's that need upgrading.  One has an exisiting meadow, so basically three need the like.  They should (need to) figure out a way to utilize the meadow and Pike's grotto (and during the day the Grizzly Grotto) as the two living spaces for she and Ulu,  (they may need a better (upgraded) rotating system behind the scenes to make that happen).  Then knock down Ulu's exising wall with that of Wishbone's former home and make that one big landscaped grotto.  When that is done, they should (need to) move Pike and Ulu to that area and do the same, knock down the wall between the meadow and Pike and create a second double wide landscaped area.  Having two huge landscaped ares, instead of one small one limited to the neighboring occupants and three concrete ones is hands down a better living situation for these Animals.  And is doable in their lifetimes.

OR figure out a way to give the Polars access to the Grizzly Grotto and Gulch on a rotating basis.  That Grizzly Grotto that had grass goes unused from 11a-4p everyday.  Disgusting while two Polars are on concrete.   One Keeper wanted to make it happen in the lifetime of the female Andean Bear Annie and female Polar Andy, but that didn't happen.  Now Wishbone is gone.  Is your plan to let them all die having spent most of their lives on concrete, before you make changes?

First- Rig a new system so rotating all Bears between all Grotto's is doable.
Second- Crack that concrete and landscape!

From the stand point of visitor empathy and this photo, it would seem like a doable way to bring a natural home to these Bears and make for better public appearance.  Something should not be done just for the public, but when it can enhance the life of the Animal, especcially a captive one, it should be done.  I never hear anyone complain about the Big Cat area, and that area was once barren concrete like the Bears.  It was lanscaped at least Twenty years ago.  I wrote and posted photos about this here:

Contrary to the belief of the Zoo, providing a natural living environment (grass not concrete) is not Enrichment, its humane.  Oh, and concrete does not equal "a rocky ground".  Concrete = asphalt, not a natural surface.  I guess I never looked close enough to this sign, because the whole "rocky ground" thing, that must be a joke right?   Next thing you will be putting up a sign saying its also part of your Wellness program.  Good Grief!

I'd also like to see those stupid fences taken down at Ulu and Pikes place.  They were put up after the Tatiana event to deter escaping.  Laughable since they are only on the concrete grotto's.  If they were going to escape wouldn't they do so via the meadow as well?   I'd rather see glass like at Big Cats, so there isn't a constant stream of idiots invading the Bears space, both vocally and by gesturing and sometimes dangling over the barriers.  But this might be alot to ask for, so I'd settle for signs saying not to do this, at least for now.

Currently this sign is only at the Asian Rhino exhibit.  Why?

related posts

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Old Buildings

Even before the (first?) mural that an art student did at an exhibit, I had similar thoughts.   Those thoughts first went to Goober's (Bairds Tapir) and Orkney's (Grey Seal) homes.  These two live on the East side of the Pachyderm Building and both enclosures needed a paint job.  For Orkney's my friend Lee and I envisioned a wonderful and colorful Pacific Coast under water mural with Octopus, Cod, Kelp and other native beings and plants.  Instead he got the sky with clouds?   For Goober,  we thought a mural of some nice Banana Plants or Palm Trees, with punches of color brought in by flowers, much like the purple ones already in his area.   His home remains unpainted even thought Lee offered to pay for it over two years ago and we both offered to do the painting.  With his current medical issues I don't think painting his area now would be in his best interest,  I'm just relaying some back story that goes with the theme of this post.  In fact I think it was in poor taste of the Zoo to allow the artist who did the mural outside Goober's area to use aerosol paint so close to the opening of his enclosure, adjacent to his pool.  The paint splattered and the fumes are dangerous.  So much so that the artist wore a ventilated mask.  Go figure that thought process.

I have thought the Lion House, Pachyderm Building and the Chimps, all were in need of a good paint job.  The Lion House area did get some touch-up work last year, but the volunteers did such a messy job, it actually looked worse.   

There are Zoo purists (I've come across on specifically)  that think Zoo's (SFZoo has been among the named), should demolish all these old buildings and build new state of the art exhibits.  Sure ideally all captive animals would live in sanctuary type settings, but realistically because of financial constraints and Animal residents, that really isn't a logical approach.  In my opinion as Visitor,  upgrading and "sprucing" things up is.  I have voiced my opinion on upgrades while on my crusade to get Wishbone Grass (that's right, I will never stop mentioning this disrespect).  For the "sprucing" up and generally making older areas look better, I think the Zoo has made a good start with what they have done with the Anteater and Bobcat exhibits, now they need to work on the bigger blocks of concrete.  

The Lion House and the Pachyderm Building,  old Buildings, two of which have tiled lettering identifying the structures.   I think adding the word "Historic" in tiles above would bring a Landmark vibe to them rather than people just looking at them and thinking they are old and broken down.  

Now, for the paint jobs.  They have been doing some work outside the Pachyderm Building for over a week, and now there are paint color samples on it.   Sorry, but who is choosing these colors?  shades of Red and Blue?  Awful.  Buildings, especially this big need to be more natural and neutral colors.  Khaki or Light Green.  This way, eventually they can mural in some trees or banana plants.   Same goes for the Chimp House.  Its time to get rid of that awful Giants logo, that should have been done in washable paint to begin with.

The Zoo Staffer Justin who was a Keeper in Carnivores, but now works in the Commissary I think, has done art in various places around the Zoo, they should get his opinion on this, as I've seen his work and he has a talent for this.  He may even be able to do the tree murals on the face of the buildings.
Note to Zoo- Please do not paint the Pachyderm Building one of the awful and inappropriate colors shown.

One the upside of this project, at least it will give the Chimps something to entertain themselves with.  Its a bit hard to tell, but this photo is of Cobby (male Chimp on right) watching the going's on across the path at the backside of the Pachyderm Building.  He seemed very interested :)

Apologies for the odd "highlighted" areas, not sure what's with the Blogger tonight.

UPDATE:  Looks like they have gone with yellow for the Pachyderm Building.   I like Yellow as a color, I just don't think its the right choice to make this building look its best.  A richer creamery color would have been better, but I'm not the one picking the color.  I will add this photo that I took the other day (day after I wrote this post).  An art deco building in the Marina painted both my suggested colors and with greenery in front of it, mimicking what I suggested eventually painting on the building. 

New Signs

The sign about Wishbone's (Andean Bear) passing is no longer at his old home, which I call the Killer Grotto.  Leaving him to live exclusively on concrete in my opinion, killed him.    There will be no forgiveness to those who allowed this through the last two decades.  In my opinion there will be a special place in Hell for them, after Karma gets them in this life.   That said, this is the new sign:

Before I move on, note that this type of sign should also be at Orkney's (Grey Seal) old home, as people constantly go by there and look in only to see nothing.  There was previously a sign about his passing, but since its been gone, providing the information is better than not.  Likewise with Bubsy's  (Giant Eland) old home.

I knew that in time, there would be a plan to eventually renovate this Grotto as well as the other two Grotto's that Ulu and Pike the Polar Bears live in.  Now, that time for the Killer Grotto, is of course, after it killed Wishbone.   They couldn't have given poor Wishbone the comfort of a natural surface.  Waiting to upgrade this enclosure is a sure slap in his face, but it is a given.  As soon as Wishy passed I had my theory as to what would happen and it seems like its commencing.

I have no idea what the plans are, but I have a post in draft with photos from another Zoo that a friend of mine took that I think would be an ideal way to make the Bear Grotto's optimum in regards to the current structure.  I will post that the post after next.

New signs I'd like to see include this one, which is at Gauhati the Asian Rhino's exhibit, but should also be at each Bear exhibit and the Black Rhino, if not others.  I have posted this before, but for some reason, people continually dangling their legs over and even crossing the barriers in these spots is still not enough for the Zoo to post this sign in those places.  It remains only at the Asian Rhino, a place where I have never seen anyone hop the barrier?   

Also, this sign (below).  Why is it only on the window at the Pied Tamarins?  Regardless of whether they are the shy ones, don't all the Animals deserve to have some peace?  Or are we to assume they like having people banging on the window of their home?  Would Zoo Staffers like to be sleeping near a window, only to have someone bang on the glass?  Hello is there anyone home?  < That was not meant in reference to the banging on the glass, but to the minds of those at the Zoo making decisions.

And, this sign (below).  Ok, I'm on a roll and can't find the photo, but it says 'not to throw stuff into the Sea Lion pool as it can harm them'.  Why is it that almost every enclosure is vulnerable to people throwing/dropping objects into them, yet this sign only appears at the Sea Lions?  I have reported many times, objects I've seen in enclosures AND I have recently heard that the female Snow Leopard may have ingested a foreign object.

Yes, if someone wants to maliciously throw something into an enclosure a sign is not going to stop them.  Yes, not everyone reads the signs.  Yes, not everyone speaks English.  BUT  in my opinion if you have the signage and its at every enclosure, you are at least taking steps to deter some behaviors that not having these reminders all over could have prevented.

ADDED:  And this one.  Why is it only at Sea Lions?  Things get tossed into other exhibits.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Exhibit Alterations I'd Like To See

I have a series of posts in draft form that I just haven't finalized, but on the heels of my last post I'm going to start getting them out, as a few are about exhibits.

Its been my increasing opinion that the Animals are too exposed.  Sure I love the idea of open air exhibits, but honestly, based on misbehavior I witness on every visit and documented evidence in regards to what happened to Tatiana (Tiger who was taunted into a nightmare), I truly believe that more barriers are necessary.  I have not done the research on barrier types/situations/instances/ect at other Zoo's, but I think the SFZoo needs to take into account the Tatiana event and other trespassing/breaches by humans and create better protection for the Animals from the Visitors.  It may not be ideal, it may not always be visually attractive, but I think the safety of the Animals should be a priority.

In my opinion, an ideal situation would be if barriers were designed as much to keep people out as they were to keep the animals in.

I'd like all the exhibits to be like the Big Cats, Glass with a distance between (on either side). There can't always be a moat like at Cats, but take for instance at the Snow Leopards, there can be some sort of barrier set more than an arms distance back from the glass.  The same type of glass situation also is in the corner (Grotto A) Cat exhibit.  The purpose of the glass is for the Visitor to view the Animals (as well as keep them in).   What does the glass do for the Animals?   It allows them to be taunted with people constantly knocking/banging/tapping/rapping/ect.  The view would be no less from an arms distance.  There should also (and I mean that by there should already be) sign decals on the glass at these areas saying not to do such things.

In fact, I will add that I was told that recently the female Snow Leopard became sick and upon medical review, was found to have a bowel obstruction of a foreign object, possibly due to someone tossing something into the enclosure.  .. I have seen tiny plastic toys in the Puente Al Sul, right where the Swans can reach them.  I have seen those little packets of poison (Silica) that come in with new shoes/purses, both in the Barnyard and one was found at Cats.  I've at least twice seen plastic bags in the Lemurs.

There are tons of exhibits that Visitors can lean right over into.   No exhibit should give a Visitor that kind of access to the Animals.

My previous post on Inti's (Bobcat) new home, had a photo of the enclosure upgrade.  It was an old exhibit, that may not have been used in the past two decades if even that.  Making use of these two Historic Exhibits while keeping with their original structure I think is a good thing.  I give kudo's to the team that constructed both Angelo the Anteater and Inti the Bobcat's new homes.

Below I have a photo of the two exhibits side by side.  I previously posted that I had seen people sitting/laying across the existing barrier and leaning over into the Anteater exhibit.  I still see this way too often. In my opinion, this exhibit needs an additional barrier.  It is too wide open and Angelo is too easily vulnerable.  Initially, I thought a floor to waist rail/fence barrier like in the Lion House would be applicable, but after seeing the netting at Inti's maybe that would work.  Just the front portion.  In light of the recent possible Snow Leopard incident, I think both a rail/fence barrier and netting would be best.

Last year I saw a video of captive Tapirs and their pool was wonderful looking.  I had meant to post it as an idea, but never got that far.  Now in light of Inti's area having such, ....  The pool I saw looked liked it had man made rocks around the edges which created a natural look.   These are photos of a small pool in Inti's enclosure.  I think it looks great and using this as a model for other pools would be something I'd like to see.   I don't think that existing pools should be completely enclosed with rocks as the Animals living there have established pool routines, like the Polar Bears who when swimming/playing, often lean on the edges of the pool.   

My point is (and that I tried to make when I took an interest in creating a more natural environment for Wishbone) that there are ways to bring a natural environment to the Animals living in the older exhibits, using landscaping and creations like this. THAT is what the Zoo's Master Plan should be, NOT building new playgrounds for humans and new areas for new Animals, unless for dire rescues.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

New Bobcat Home!

Inti's new home was open yesterday (Saturday).  Information given was that he moved down from the ARC on Thursday.  He was camped out in his night quarters, so I didn't get to see him.  Hopefully soon!

Here's a photo of his new home,  the team that built the landscape (which I have been told was outsourced) did a great job!  It echo's that of the recent upgrades to the adjacent Anteater (Angelo) enclosure.  Man-made trees and rocks make the landscape more natural looking.

I'm happy for Inti as his living condition would have been my next crusade, if this didn't come to fruition.  No matter how or why, I am grateful he is no longer living in a series of cages, that had been his home for almost a decade.  Although I have heard that moving him was in theme with the Zoo's Master Plan of creating a new North American area.  I can only hope this happened because it was the right thing to do and not the later.  

This will be a big change for him, I only hope not too big a change and that he adjusts okay.  I hope his Keepers from the ARC are still able to take care of him.  I think one in particular raised him since a cub.   .. Read more about Inti

Note to Zoo.  Please put a "quiet" sign up there.  Inti has lived in relative calmness with not many people around for so long, he should be allowed to continue that.  Yesterday (Saturday) was too busy and loud with screaming wild children about, its no wonder he was not even peeking out.

Can't wait to see you in your new home Inti, I hope you enjoy it!

I wish something similar could have been done for Wishbone (Andean Bear).  He would have thrived on a non-concrete surface, and would have loved a tree to climb on, maybe with a hammock :)  I miss my Wishy friend, and my heart still hurts that he was so disrespected in his living conditions.

San Francisco Zoo Docents Don't Know Jack!

Good grief, where do I begin.  

I honestly hate even writing these words because I'm pretty sensitive about "health" things and don't like to even talk about them, but the nonsense that keeps coming out of the Zoo is too much.  Will it ever stop?  Sadly, I think the answer is no, because its run by people who obviously don't know what they are doing on all different levels.   

I have recently posted about animal welfare (Rhino's dryness), dangerous construction in an animal exhibit (Snow Leopards), curious signage (Big Cats), and awful comment made by the Zoo Director (Great Horned Owl passing).  Check "recently" is the operative word.  The list is never ending. 

Zoo Docents not having the accurate information on the Animals that live there is a constant.  Its not all of them, but honestly, its the majority.  BUT Why?  My main guess is the Zoo just doesn't care, partnered with the fact that not even the Zoo's own PR Dept knows which Animal is which (Rhino Gene's passing).  Additional notable guesses include, the Zoo passing on the wrong information, Docents not caring enough to really learn anything, or Docents just not being on the smart side of the slim human spectrum.   Who is in charge of teaching these people, who I might add are representatives of the Zoo?  Is there updated information shared with them?   Are they required to learn about these Animals, by way of talking to Keepers when given the opportunity?   Honestly all I ever see is Docents wandering around in a cloud of blankness.  It is very rare that there is one who will approach and offer any information, whether right or wrong.  Often I see the same three walking together and not engaging Visitors.  I recently heard a Docent at Cats answer a Visitor who asked what the Tigers eat, "All the Animals get chow".   Are you sure about that?  This gal must have confused a Tiger with a house Cat.  FYI Tigers don't eat kibble.

So, what sparked this post.  Yesterday my heart was hurt by something I heard.  Here-say carries no real weight, but still it presents a bad vibe.   I was visiting with my friend Goober, the Bairds Tapir.   Two gals walk up and they see the sign at his exhibit that explains "he has had oral surgery recently,....".  This sign was put there over a year ago because he has medical issues with his mouth, that sometimes cause bleeding and so not to alarm the public (ME originally) its remained there.  Only regular Visitors would probably notice that.   One of the gal's said, "That signs been here for a year, someone here is dropping the ball'.   Yes, while the ball is dropped many times at the Zoo, this is not one of those times.   They were muttering to eachother, when I said, "They have that sign there because,...".   One of the gals was like, "No this is a different Tapir, the other one passed two years ago,..."  I said, "No, this is the same one and he is doing very well".  They both looked at me like I didn't know what I was talking about.  I then asked them where they had heard this.  They said, "A Docent told us".   I again told them that was not correct information.  They walked away thinking what they had been told was true. My heart broke, as Goober is doing remarkably and this kind of lie shouldn't even be in the air.  

I also heard a Staff Member from Education, telling a small child, he's old and sick.   For one, a seventeen year old Tapir isn't old.  So, not only is a Staffer spreading doom, one who is in Education doesn't even know the lifespan of a Tapir.  

Yes, I'm over sensitive when it comes to Goober, who I love and adore :)  but come on, this truly is another BIG FAIL by the Zoo.

Note to San Francisco Zoo, please send out a memo on the Animals with correct information.   You can start by updating your official Animal list which I know hasn't been done since 2009.

FYI you can view new Zoo Friend pix, photo site updated :)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Happy Birthday Goldfish!

Goldfish turned 9 today! 

Happy Birthday Goldie!

Goldfish shares her birthday with her sister Angelfish, who has since moved to another Zoo.  
Happy Birthday to Angelfish too!  I miss you!  

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Saturday June 9, 2012 - Visit

It was a great visit until we witnessed a group of Orange T-Shirt wearing volunteers terrorizing a Peacock.  People are just evil and I don't understand why those who don't respect Animals even come to the Zoo, let alone volunteer to help there.  This large group were seen chasing and trying to corner the bird in hopes of catching it!  Yes, they were vocal about trying to catch it, and said, "I wonder if it will fit in my backpack. ... I'll have to cut it up if not." !!!!   OMG!  The later I hope was jokingly, but still Who says this?  Who says this when volunteering at a Zoo?!  Evil people that's who!  Shame on all of you.  If I knew your company name I would call you out!

Well, that deceiving sign (at Cats) about this particular yard being an "Enrichment" yard,  that I blogged about is gone.  Once again after I post about something, a change is made.  This is the third one (at least that I've made public) in a week's time.  

It made no sense as you can read in my other post 

I guess they have also (at least for the moment) decided to keep the Lions in this yard, as the signage (I also posted about) was changed from Sumatran Tiger to African Lion.

Its all very brain curious as they were rotating yards for Enrichment purposes, but now they seem to now be settling into established yards?  Rotating was enriching, so I guess that is out now?    Hopefully the three Tigers still get to rotate as I think its essential for Shastyuh who seems to get restless.

Love this capture I got of a Guinea Fowl.  They are adorable little things who live in the Patas Monkey exhibit.  Earlier in the year I saw one on the Patas Lawn across from the exhibit.  I reported it and told them where it was headed.  Unfortunately it was never found?  as it was listed as missing in the report.  :(

My Precious Goober was happy to see us!
He gave many smiles and nose wiggles :)

I was once told by a Keeper that I was Enrichment for Goober!  You can see by his smile that this is TRUE!     My visiting Goob, enriches his life.  It makes me cry to be able to bring that to him.  I wish I could still visit him behind the scenes as I have been lucky to do.  I would sit there and give him tons of pats :)  ... Even though this Keeper who I was once friends with but now doesn't talk to me (I can only assume because she doesn't agree with my outspoken opinions and airing of truths), I will always cherish her words, as they are one of the best things anyone has ever said to me.

Pike was having a literal ball in the pool!  

Pretty Peccarie Ladies :)
Peony is the shy one, 
Poppy has fluffy cheeks,
Petunia is out in front :)

How cute is this little guy?  He is smiling because he is happy to be in the Toad Abode (in the Children's Zoo) and not out in the rest of the Zoo where all the Management mishaps and Visitor misbehavior happens :)

Check out my photosite for more photos from today!  (Will post them by Tuesday)

FYI my post about the Duiker Disrespect is finally done.  Its in the "hold" space, following the other post in which I mentioned the Duiker situation briefly.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Monday June 4, 2012 - Visit

Elly Has Been Oiled!  YAY!

Quick walk about, and news is, Miss Elly has been oiled!  Thank you!  

Elly had started looking chalky two weeks ago.

The last time she was oiled was the week of  April 29.  I have been posting photos of her in every visit post.  Mostly for the reason that she is pining for her passed companion  and  in recent visits, I have included mentioning the state of her skin.  I did a pretty lengthy posting on another blog (see below) about this as she had gone months without being oiled to the point she ended up with sores on her skin.  I don't want to see this happen again. 

In my last post, which was Friday June 1, I said,  "..maybe you will get oiled next week."   ... Guess I'm running the Zoo once again.   Its getting ridiculous that there are Zoo Staffers and yet there is stuff that goes either unnoticed or neglected?   Only to get done when pointed out by someone who doesn't even work there.  Maybe you need to hire someone who knows the Zoo, knows the Animals, has common sense and can point these things out, because obviously the people already working/volunteering there have no clue.  I'm still in shock about seeing that Snow Leopard training platform in that state and knowing it had been that way for a year!  

Seriously SFZOO, she needs to be oiled every four weeks.  Why is it you can't do this for her?  She has given you at least 14 babies, possibly a few more.   That means she was pregnant over 15 yrs of her life.  That seems like an excessive amount,  but she did it and she deserves to be pampered for life.  She wasn't being lazy while popping out those offspring for you, so don't be lazy with her care.  Why is it she only seems to get oiled when I blog about it or contact Animal Welfare and Control?  

My other posts:

Not much more to say.  I posted photos to my photo-site and am trying to upload some videos :)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Welcome Taymor!

Taymor is the new male Sumatran Tiger!  Today was his third day out in the yard and luckily I got to see him!  When I first saw him, I was the only one there, so I said softly, "Hi Taymor"  and he looked at me and came out further :)  He is gorgeous!  

"Hi Kim"

"You Want To See Me?"

"Here I am!"
Thank you Taymor, you are a sweet boy :)
I didn't want to leave and not meet you today :)

Taymor was transfered to SFZoo from Jackson Zoo in Mississippi on a breeding recommendation with Leanne (given name Skylar).  He was born at the Sacramento Zoo November of 2006 but moved to the Jackson Zoo in 2008 along with his brothers, Emerson and Kipling.  At five years old they are of breeding age and are now all paired up with girlfriends.  Although, I have mixed feelings about the Zoo being allowed to breed any animals (especially in the Carnivore Department), I am very happy to finally meet Taymor.  He is going to be a wonderful Cat to know :)

Unfortunately rumor has it they have already disrespected poor Taymor and changed his name to Larry.   So, if you go looking for Taymor you will surely be told his name is Larry :(  and they are most likely forcing him to respond by a name other than the one he's had his whole life.  :(

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Friday June 1, 2012 - Visit

Quick, but interesting Visit.

 Sky says Hi :)  
(Skylar aka Leanne)

 Poor Elly still Dry and looking for Gene :(
Maybe you will get Oiled next week Elly.

 Lion Ladies doin' the Tunya!
(The Tunya is footies in the air!
Male Lion Tunya started the craze :)
Hadn't seen Lions in this yard for months.

Snow Leopard training platform FIXED!
Thank you!

WOW!  that was quick! I blogged about it a week ago (see post from last Saturday May 26, 2012 - Visit) and its already fixed BRAVO!    Good grief one would have to wonder, Who is actually running the Zoo?  That would be me!  Seriously, maybe someone on your own team can note these issues next time.

There are many people in Animal Care, from the Curators to the Keepers.  There are Maintenance Workers, Docents, Volunteers, yet it seems I am the only one who ever see's stuff, whether it be issues with enclosures, visitors behaving badly, Animal behavior notices, whatever it is, my eyes are all over the place there looking to make sure everything is good.  Where are the eyes of the Staff?

This was a dangerous situation, that has been like this for probably a year.   This platform should have never been made this way.  Just plain lazy and irresponsible AND the whole thing should have been fixed like this when I first said something.  Not just band-aiding it with rocks, like the hazzard cone to keep Padang away from whatever was rubbing against her leg.  I had no idea there was a second L bracket exposed.  Good grief.  Seriously, who is making sure the Animals are safe?  Was it not enough that Padang allegedly scraped her legs raw on something to the point that it contributed to her death?  

Changing this subject because it makes me so upset.  I was happy to see the Chimps with Icee treats!  I hadn't seen this in a very long time.  Simple thing that brought them so much joy.  Should be a regular thing, like a couple times a week at least.  Chimps with minds close to humans, in my opinion can never have enough Enrichment.  These four are bored too often.   Living there over 40 years they deserve to get treats all day, everyday!  Look at their faces, who wouldn't want to see that all the time?

I have never seen this face on Cobby :)

Maggie teasing Tallulah lol!
Tallulah (who I think finished hers inside) 
gave Maggie the gimme hand motion just a second before this

Minne really enjoyed hers!
I got a bunch of great snaps of her :)

RIP Margie and Sally - Llama and Ostrich Pass

Sadly during the past two weeks we lost two more Zoo Friends.  

 Forever Loved 
Forever Missed 

RIP Sweet Margie  XO!

RIP Lovely Sally  XO!

Admittedly there are certain Zoo friends that I don't know as well as others, the Ostriches are one.  I was lucky to meet these three ladies recently and according to my information this is a photo of Sally.  If for some reason I am mistaken I apologize to those who knew her.

Disrespected Duikers Plus!

I will try and not repeat too much that has already been posted, but I do want each blog post to stand alone.

In early 2010 the Zoo made several path closures, giving several reasons for them.   Par for the course as they make stuff up all the time to suit their own needs and often (by experience) to cover their bums.  Anyway, one such path I called Hoofstock Alley as the path was a walk through to the homes of three Hoofstock Animals, Duikers, Blackbuck and Muntjacs.  It ran from the Hippo to the old Black Rhino exhibit.  ... In the past two years, the Muntjacs have been shipped out and one senior female Blackbuck passed away.  

I loved Hoofstock Alley and visiting the peaceful Duikers and fun little Pokemon the Blackbuck.  I really missed not getting to see them once it was closed.  I was fortunate that on a couple occasions  Docents that I know brought me back there as they were allowed access with Visitors.  

I had been friendly with Pokemon for sometime and my heart broke for him once the closure happened.  He is imprinted on humans to the point that he can not be housed with other Animals.  That said, he is very social and likes the interaction with humans, in fact he needs the interaction.  In my opinion it is cruel that he is all alone with no interactions, human or animal (one of the Munjacs lived mesh to mesh with him).  In fact I've had Keeper's agree with me.  The only time he see's anyone is when Keeper's come to feed him.  Very sad. 

The last time i was lucky enough to visit him, he ran down from his shed when I said,  "Hi Pokemon!"  I stood there and visited with him for about 20 minutes, until the Docent wanted to leave.  He would have stood there all day enjoying the company.  My heart was breaking.  I love little Pokemon and wish I could visit with him again.

Sweet Precious Pokemon :)  
Love you cutie!

The Duiker situation happened after this last visit I had with Pokemon.  In my opinion, its just disrespectful to treat Animals with no empathy.  They have no regard for Pokemon's mental needs or for the Duikers emotional needs.  Yes, the Zoo will argue as some Animal professionals do that Animals don't feel the same way we do.  Baloney.  Anyone who has animals know they do.  They may not process it the same way, but that doesn't mean they don't feel.  That said, what happened with Lily the Duiker is all adjectives of horrible.

Such is the timeline:

Early 2010-  Several Zoo paths closed.

Mid 2010 -  Duiker Family welcomes second Son, Houdini.  ...  Zoo Director Tanya Peterson announces the birth to the Park and Recreation Commission at the monthly meeting.  Noting that she "hopes the babie is  visible soon."  Visible to whom?  The path is closed.  Just another untruth spewed.

Nov/Dec 2010- With her latest little one not even a year old, Mama, Lily is moved to the Savannah.  ALONE!

August 2011-  Papa, Erik and Son, Houdini (Son Java had already been shipped out) are moved to the former Warthog exhibit after the passing of Tibbits (Male Warthog).  

February 2012- Erik and Houdini are moved (AGAIN!).  Erik to the Savannah and Houdini to an off exhibit area behind the Giant Eland enclosure.

This is the situation as I see it.  The Duiker Family is doing fine as is, but since the Zoo had no plans to further breed Lily, they ripped her from her long time mate and son's, one not even a year old and stuck her out on the Savannah.  She was darted and woke up alone, to unfamiliar surroundings and unfamiliar animals. She spends the next year and a half alone and in hiding most of the day.  With the Warthog exhibit empty the Zoo decides to move Erik and Houdini there until the new Peccaries come.  Less than six months later they are darted again and moved.  Erik is moved to the Savannah and reunited with Lily.  So, Lily spent all that time scared and alone just because the Zoo is not empathetic to the animals.  AWFUL!  

I questioned in another blog post, why Lily couldn't be put on birth control implant and then be able to stay with her family.   Well, now that I hear she is possibly already pregnant, its obvious.  Her only value to them is offspring.  They certainly do not value her in any other way.  If they didn't want to put her on birth control because of breeding, they could have moved her to an area where she at least had mesh to mesh contact with her family, some other solution.  In my opinion the Zoo thought, hey, let's stick her on the Savannah and have a Duiker represented there.

My BIG concern/question now is, if/when she gives birth again, what's the plan?  Is the Zoo going to separate this pair yet again?  That would be AWFUL!  Sadly I can see them doing this.

Also, with the current state of the living situation, that had the Duikers huddled in a small "creep" space (I think that's what they call it) in the Savannah, what is the plan when there is a little one?    This is not an appropriate place for the Duikers to live.  They should not have to huddle in a small space, hiding from the larger Animals in the exhibit.  To quote from a recent post,

"According to the sign, they "dive for cover under brush when startled" maybe this the Zoo's idea of Enrichment. Why can't they have their own enclosure?"

Is a Family of three supposed to huddle in this little space?  I know they don't have to, but they choose to, as they obviously don't feel comfortable on the Savannah.  Wonder if the babie decides to stretch its new legs and leaves the "creep" space?  Will it be in danger of the larger Animals?  It would certainly force Lily and Erik out to the Savannah, where they don't want to be.  Its just not good.  AND unfortunately if she is already pregnant the situation is what it is, because you can't (at least I would hope they wouldn't), dart a pregnant animal.  

Regarding Pokemon:  

He was recently moved to an off exhibit area connected to the Savannah.  A tree fell into the yard at his former home, so he was moved from the entire area.  It makes sense as there might be other tree danger and he was the only one left in that area.  The area is where the Zoo plans to build their new North American area (that's an whole other hot point with me).   

It would be nice if the area where Pokemon is currently living had a mesh fencing, instead of a solid wood wall.  His other area was open air fencing on all sides.  He is social and seeing people (even at a distance) or other animals, would be "Enriching" for him.