Friday, December 28, 2012

Yet Another Lame Written News Article (KTVU) - Tiger Attack 2007

News article via Google News Alert for San Francisco Zoo.
I'm alittle tardy on posting this, but I wrote the majority of this post immeadiately after reading this article, which was the day after Christmas.  I wil also note that while most of my posts I try to write with some organization to how I present my thoughts and observations, I batted this one out from all that swirled in my mind at the time.  I no longer have time to edit and organize as much as I might like, but my point will always be made.
I apologize posting yet another article on the subject of the Christmas Day 2007 tragedy.  I would like not to dredge it up, but it seems like both the News Media and the San Francisco Zoo like to repeat broken details around this event for the sake of grabbing attention.  I say broken details because each time I read something about this event I get really worked up.  Getting worked up about things involving the Zoo is common for me since I care about the Animals and I despise bullshit.   It happened in the immeadiate aftermath, as I read every article I could printed about what happen, both crying for the soul of Tatiana and because she died for no reason.  It happened as I followed the case.  Reading nonsense from the general public blaming the Zoo for not containing her properly, when it was obvious a high energy provoking was the catalyst.  It happened when the Rec and Park allegedly forced the Director Manuel Molinendo to resign, shining the blame on him, therefore using him as the scapegoat to appease public naysayers.  It happen as I heard the Zoo accept reponcibility for something that was obviously not their fault.  And by accepting this responcibility, buckling to the Jones of society under the guise of being on the side of Humans regardless of their actions.  They let the boys responcible for this tragedy get a payout, money that was probably used to pay lawyers for their subsequent crime sprees.  It happens everytime one of these articles appears, written by journalists who apparently grab from previous information rather than doing a bit of investigating, instead of seeking actual new information as well as logical.  Good grief I write better (read more accurate) copy that those employed by News Media and the Zoo itself.   As well, Journalists, Reporters, the Recreation and Park Commission, and even the Members of the San Francisco Zoological Society, do not even care to educate themselves on what really goes on at the Zoo.  By simply doing an Internet search, they would come across a bounty of information within my blogs only.  Sadly for everyone, the Animals foremost, none of the so called News Media or Authority figures at the Zoo care enough to take any hard stance and see that changes for the better are done.   
This article's headline states the Zoo has made "crucial changes".  By upgrading the enclosure at the Big Cats, that is considered a crucial upgrade?  This really upsets me.  For one, the above referenced "nonsense" I read, a majority kept and still does reference the height of the wall at the Tiger enclosure.   Just like in this article.  The height I will note was a height that was accredited by the AZA.  A height that had a "reccommed" measurement, not a "required" measurement.  A use of terms I have ever seen accuratly discussed in any News Article or in Public Comment. 

The Big Cat enclosure upgrade noted was the only enclosure alteration in relation to the Tiger Event.  Only a few other upgrades were made afterward.  Prior to the Christmas event, there were alerations made within the Lion House. The feeding access caging was altered and the Visitor barrier moved back.  The "after" upgrade came just over two weeks later, when an alleged near escape of a Snow Leopard and a Polar Bear, shined more light on Zoo safety and prompted two of the Polar enclosures to gain added fencing.  From what I was told, both incidents were not as projected in the Media.
 As well if the Polar incident was indeed as detailed and an actual fear of escape was real, why was there never a fenced barrier of the like installed at the meadow grotto which both Polars share (located between the two enclosures) that did get the added barrier? 

The Zoo may have made little changes here and there in the past couple years (some coincidentially on the heels of stuff I've blogged about) but in no way have they made any major changes to deter misbehavior.  Up until about two years ago, their Emergency protocol was still a mess. That protocol was in part to blame for why Tatiana lost her life. 

In the past five years there have been two newsworthy instances involving the Grizzly Bears and the Black Rhinos.  On a daily basis, Visitors can be seen harrassing the Animals and/or breaching barriers.  I have seen this.  My friends have seen this.  Other Visitors have told me they've seen this.  I write about it and I know members of the Zoo Staff read my blogs.  Part of why they can't blame ignorance to these issues is why I post about it.  Read thru the archives from the past couple months, there are several posts about enclosure intrusion. 

So, that all said the Zoo has made little effort to deter this behavior, both in t he way of enclosure upgrades or with additional Security.  Once I became a more regular Visitor, I tried to provide this insight to the Director on many occasions.  That flow of information stopped when Director Peterson made the descision to use my friend Lee and I as scapegoats to cover-up the Zoo's faulty Security (take and) Dispatch of Emergency Calls.  She blamed us for calling in a prank call reporting someone over the barrier at Bears and then revoked our Memberships for almost a year.  Curiously this action coincided with the Zoo's upcoming AZA accreditation for Security practices. 
There continues to not be enough eyes and ears on the grounds who are sensitive to spotting misbehavior to curb these offences.  Yesterday (Thursday Dec. 27) was the first day after Christmas that it didn't rain.  The sun was out and the Zoo was packed.  There were two Security Guards working for the first half of the day.  I saw one in the Lion House and none monitoring the grounds. 

While at the Family Farm I saw a grown woman giving one of the Goats a lolipop and laughing.  If I hadn't said something, this could have gone very wrong and that Animal could have lost its life because of a stupid Human.  Maybe not as violent a death as Tatiana, but the end result the same, and the cause the same. 

This type of incident is not isolated.  I have found Silica pouches in two areas within the Zoo, near Animal enclosures.  I have heard that both the female Snow Leopard and one of the Sea Lions both ingested foreign objects that may or may not have been tossed into their enclosures by Visitors. 

These instances noted, sadly the Zoo chooses to spend money to build a new Playground for Humans instead of raising funds to make sure the Animals who live there are safe (not to mention living on natural surfaces RIP Wishbone). 

As well, THIS type of information I have put forth, is the kind of copy that should be taken on by real reporters.  They should be writing stories that ask the AZA (Association of Zoo's and Aquariums),  why Zoo's are allowed to continually build new exhibits before upgrading old ones, whether for safety or habitat issues, providing Animals with both a safe environment and a healthy one.  As well the same of the San Francisco Recreation and Park, and the San Francisco Zoological Soceity, in regards to our Zoo.

I will close with a couple other out of order comments.

I don't know how much the Zoo PR has to do with articles like this, but I do know they have in the past provided information to grab attention.  One specifically that I found in bad taste was their announcement of the arrival of the new female Siberian, Shastyuh.  As I wrote in my post, the Zoo picks and chooses which Animals to "promote", based on how much Media attention it can garner.  Because of the attention Tatiana got, Shastyuh should have been allowed to settle into the Zoo without hoopla AND without stupid comments from "Zoo officials,... the staff was ready and the grounds secured."  Sensationalized and Ridiculous.

Oh and once again, the statue in Entry Village is not of Tatiana.  That is a Mountain Lion and was there before the Tiger Attack.  As part of the small group who donated to Tatiana's Memorial Bench, I was told that the Zoo had not planned to have a Memorial for her for some politically correct reason that to me was an act of cowardice.

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