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 :)