As usual I'm behind on my posts, but no matter when I post my experience's and thought's, they will always be necessary, since my mission is always that of being the voice of the Animals. There is no other reason I do this.
So, last Monday. Until I walked up to the gate and saw the line for ticket sales into the parking lot, I didn't realize it was a Holiday. I usually spend part of the Winter Holidays with the Zoo friends, but sometimes I try to avoid other Holidays and Free Day because it seems to bring out the worst kinds of Visitors and an abundance of them. This Veteran's Day was no different.
That said, the Zoo continues to not hire extra Security on these high traffic days and there is no Staff presence. If they think that a handful of Docents is going to be their eyes and ears on the property they are mistaken. I saw Docents, but I didn't (and rarely do) see any interact with any Visitors and def not the ones who misbehave.
If you start out Visiting the Barnyard Friends, usually not much can dampen your day. How could it when you have faces like Paddy's greeting you?!! ... Unless you see a grown woman try to sit on a Dwarf Goat :(
Paddy says, "Good Morning!"
Moving on, as we went through the Primate Center to see little Romo (Langur babie), on our way to check on Lily (Duiker) babie watch, we ran into Keeper Percy (?). As I have often done recently, I asked her if Lily had her babie and she said, "I don't know, I'm not working over there today". Plausible but unlikely as word of a birth would have spread. Completely unlikely since she was walking ahead of us on our way to the Giraffe Barn (where Lily has been corralled) and went into the Barn, not a foot from Lily! Would have been better for her to ignore my question rather than lie about it, but hey, nothing up in that place should surprise me at this point lol!
Moving on we arrived at the Black Rhinos. There is a sign there with the universal "shoosh" as well some words about being quiet. I have posted similar photos, and again this is just to say, Why can't these type of signs be at every exhibit? There is too much excessive human noise around the Animals. This is their home, it should be a place of peace, people need to observe them in quiet.
In light of the tragedy at the Pittsburgh Zoo earlier that week, I decided to take photos of some of our exhibits breach-able barriers. Below is the barrier to the Black Rhinos. These Animals can come right to the barrier almost, making them very vulnerable to people's misbehavior.
In my post about the PZoo incident, I noted our Anteater's exhibit. I know the Zoo peeps read my blog, one would think they would pay special attention to these breach-able areas, and not only prepare to upgrade them so the Animals aren't vulnerable, but post signs not to breach the barriers in anyway. But alas, as usual the Zoo does not make the Animals safety and Well Being a priority.
Not only did I see at least a handful of people physically breaching the barrier at the Anteater, but people also use this barrier to lay all their crap on, purses, maps, food, drinks, whatever. It would be very easy for something to fall into the exhibit and for Angelo (Anteater) to get it.
Guy leaning over barrier INTO the exhibit. Is this photo going to be that much closer because of this? The real question is, why would someone think this is acceptable behavior? Is the photo more important than the Animals security level? Would this guy want someone leaning into his window to take a photo?
And finally, I guess this parent didn't hear the news this past week. The kid who fell into the exhibit at the Pittsburgh Zoo was being held this exact way. Granted I don't think an Anteater would cause the same harm as the Wild Dogs, but regardless, this is unacceptable behavior.
While at the Big Cats, ironically specific the Siberian Tiger exhibit (shown below) I saw a kid standing at the fencing area, then walk over to the landscaped area and pick out specific items, sticks and large rock sized bark, and walk back over the barrier to the fencing. I knew exactly what was going to happen next. I said, "Don't you throw that stuff at the Tiger!" Without facing me he dropped the items and then turned and walked away. WHAT is wrong with people? I don't care if this was a kid, kids should be taught that this behavior is not acceptable. Good grief, how hard is it for people (since the Zoo isn't going to educate people who enter) to tell their kids to Respect the Animals before they come in. Oh yeah, its usually the Adults who are worse.
When will the San Francisco Zoo start protecting its Animals and become a Zero Tolerance Facility? They need to make barriers not vulnerable and start educating people as they enter and have tons of signs everywhere reminding people what not to do.
I'd like to see people throw stuff at the Tigers again without a barrier. See how brave they are then. This behavior boils down to Bullying. Karma is a Bitch as they say and in this type of instance, that kid just might get bullied at school and have sticks and rocks thrown at him.
Tiger/Big Cats barrier upgrade after the Tiger attack in 2007. One would think this was enough to keep people from harassing the Animals, but its not. Unfortunately I think all Zoo's need to have complete glass barriers between the Humans and the Animals, in order for the Animals to stay safe.
On the subject of Bullying. Why is it Humans take pleasure in verbally assaulting the Animals with insults? I hear this all the time. I heard it today at the Anteater and although what people say has no barring on my life, it hurts my heart to hear such things about innocent Animals. Its disgusting and again, Humans sure don't like it when their behavior is turned on them. Even when its a verbal insult. I hear it and comment on it often.
I'm sorry but i just don't understand how society got littered with so much Human Trash.
Thankfully the Animals always make me smile. As we headed out, we saw precious Tallulah daydreaming. She is also lounging on a blanket that my friend Lee had given to Padang (passed Tiger) on her 21st Birthday. I'm glad Miss T is getting use and comfort from it.
Another heart warming moment as I left the Zoo, there was a family at the sign on Sloat. The Father was taking a photo of his two kids posing with stuffed animals they bought in the gift shop. One was an Anteater, the other a Tiger.