Tuesday, November 13, 2012

San Francisco Zoo Management = Humans Priority over Animals

I wrote a blog post on this issue (again) that has sat in draft form for quite some time.  You can find it below the dotted line.

Today the issue is as such.   The San Francisco Recreation and Park Commission will vote this Thursday, whether to grant the Zoo the go-ahead for this project.   This information comes today as part of an Examiner article you can view here:   

It is my opinion that this plan is a slap in the face to the Animals that live at the Zoo and once again shows that the SFZoo does not put the Animals first.   So much for their new "Wellness Initiative"  which claims to put the Animals first.  

I do not have time to write in detail all the reasons this is wrong, but I have blogged about it before, I will next include in part my letter emailed to the Commission this morning (that includes the points I think in short are  most valid), as well below are photos and text that made up my post in draft.

If you value the Zoo as the Animal Park it is supposed to be, and visit because you love Animals, I have to assume you to share my feelings on this.  I try to present information in my blog that is of my opinion and such the readers can form their own based on that, but I have to say, if you think that a new playground for Humans is more important than providing optimum living spaces for the Animals, that is sad.

If you are moved to do so, please email the Commission at:    recpark.commission@sfgov.org

My letter:

Dear San Francico Recreation And Park Commissioners, Mark Buell, Tom Harrison, Paige Arata, Gloria Bonilla, Meagan Levitan, Larry Martin, and Commissioner Low,

I understand that this Thursday there will be a vote regarding the proposed new Playground at the San Francisco Zoo.  

The Zoo is a place where Animals live.  If you care about the well being of any Animal, I urge you to vote against this.

As a lifetime Visitor and current Member of the San Francisco Zoo, I visit the Zoo at least twice a week.  Admittedly I have alot of issues with the decisions current Management makes adn this is a very big one.

My heart and passion is for Animals.  I have strong attachments to the ones that live at the Zoo.  

As you know, the Zoo is over 80 years old and many areas are in need of upgrades, primarily many of the Animal enclosures.  These are enclosures to us, but homes to them.  

It hurts my heart when the Zoo proposes "New", when "Old" isn't helped.  

Earlier this year our beloved Andean Bear Wishbone died from injuries related to living his life on concrete.  The Management may tell you different, but that would not be the truth.

The Polar Bears continue to live 50% of their life on concrete.  The Chimps have a third living space that was closed down for maintenance issues over two years ago and never worked on.  These are just two examples of dire needs for these Animals.  

In addition to the new Playground the Zoo has a whole new region in the plan, while the Bears, Chimps and other Animals languish in their old homes that need serious upgrading.  These two Animals I have mentioned are Senior Residents, so complete new areas for them would not be advisable, for upset and displacement reasons, but that doesn't mean there isn't upgrades that can be made to improve their lives.  Frankly the Zoo Management team appears to be just waiting out their lives before they plan on anything for them, and that is not right.   The Andean Bear had known leg, bone, joint issues for many years and was put down while still having all it all mentally, but just never recovered from the last in a long list of injuries to his mobility issues from living on concrete.

Are Animals living in these conditions less important than Humans having a new play area?

Please remember when you vote that the Zoo is a place where Animals live.  They give their lives so Humans can view them and learn about them.  This is a place the should support the Animals first.  It is not an Amusement Park.

The Zoo has recently rolled out their new slogan of "Wellness" for the Animals.  Claiming that the Animals will finally become a priority.  Building a new area for Humans is not putting the Animals first.  Kids should come there knowing they are there to see Animals, playing is secondary.  There is no need for a new Playground.  If they want to do something, there are many ways to bring new things to the current Playground, that are not of such a cost both monetary and at the slight fo the Animals.   

I understand that these funds were raised or donated for this use, but with that I will also add that is because the Zoo team only seeks funds for "New", never proposing to donors the serious needs.

If this project gets the go ahead, your message will be that Humans having a better play space is more important than the Animals having  better living conditions.  Building a "naturalistic" playground while Bears walk on concrete is unacceptable and disgusting.

Thank You
Kim ...
San Francisco


Does the San Francisco Zoo really need new 
AND elaborate playgrounds?

The following "models" were on display near the Carousel for the recent ZooFest. 

 It appears that soon Humans will have 
better play areas than 
the Animals have living spaces.

 In addition to four, count 'em 4 new playgrounds in the Playfield area,
there is a "playground" in the plans for the new Squirrel Monkey enclosure.

In addition to these play areas, the Zoo also has multiple Statues which Kids play on more than they do the actual Playground.  As well there is a huge grass area (while some Animals have no grass or soft surface at all in their homes) for playing.  People can bring their own play gear, or the Zoo can rent a bouncy house or other such rotating kid entertainment items.  There is no need to spend money while Animals live on concrete and have little other Enrichment in their lives.

Taken of current playground area during 
the Zoo's Hawaiian Hertitage Event.

Note the abundance of children making use of the playground.  AND this is during an Event.  I again ask, why is the Zoo spending money on building playgrounds for humans when the Animals who live there need upgraded homes and other Enrichments?

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