Saturday, June 2, 2012

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.  


  1. i couldnt agree with you more on the subject of precious Pokemon and the Duikers. I miss Pokemon a lot. Another concern I have about the creep Erik and Lily are in is that its right next to that damn cave and they are stuck having to listen to people hooting and hollering all day. Erik was awakened and disturbed by that noise and perhaps thats why Lily leaves at times. There is a better creep space across from them a little further down that would even give them a little pond.

  2. @Lee- Thank you for your comment! Yes you are right, all the screeching that comes out of that tunnel is awful. It must be upsetting to them. They are shy and peaceful animals, they don't need to be constantly startled every time some loud kid comes thru there.


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