Saturday, February 16, 2013

Chinese New Year - 2013 Year of the Snake :)

I apologize to those who follow my blog, that I have slacked in recent weeks on posting.  In addition to some computer issues, I haven't had much time.  I have been working on building the Floats for the San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade that will take place next Sunday.  Its a very crafty gig which I love and working on large art projects like the Float items, reminded me of the Enrichment Toys I made for the Zoo Friends in the past.  I recently made some Paper Mache balls for a group of Sanctuary Chimps (they had them for a Birthday celebration and loved them!), but other than that and my own crafts, I haven't done large projects and miss it.  If I was in charge of Enrichments for the Zoo Friends, they would have wonderful Toys for all the holidays (at the very least!).  The San Francisco Zoo continues to miss these wonderful opportunities to bring joy not only to the Animals, but to the Visitors who appreciate seeing the Animals have fun.

I've been trying to get to posts (I have a growing list) for some time now and here we are the night before the Zoo's Lunar New Year event, which I wanted to post about, and I am doing so in the "eleventh hour" as they say.  I guess since this is more an informative rant than something I think the Zoo Management Team would do anything about, I guess the timing doesn't matter.

I love this holiday because its festive, its colorful, it celebrates Animals as symbols, ...  I used to love this event, but as you will read, it became an issue for me and since the Zoo could care less about the Animals, I didn't go last year and will not again this year.  I can't enjoy it, knowing that there are aspects of it that are upsetting to the Animals.

From a post I made dated January 14, 2012

>As I was leaving I noticed the Zoo now has up their banner for the annual Lunar (Chinese New Year) event.    As a San Francisco native I love the Lunar events.  As well I used to love the one at the Zoo.  A few years ago I was in the Children's Zoo, which runs along the side of the Playfield path where the Lunar event activities take place.  I was standing at Prairie Dogs when the Lion Dance started and the drum banging sound level was insane.  All the Dogs (Prairie) and Kats (Meerkat) were going nuts and running for underground cover.  I asked the keeper about it and he said that he had told Management and they didn't care.  The next year, I wrote to the Zoo and noted this story, requesting they rethink having the Lion Dance, which really is unnecessary as so many places in the City have it and it has no place at the Zoo because of how loud it is.  The Zoo is supposed to be a quiet environment for the Animals who live there.  Anyway I got no reply and was there at Chimps right before the first Lion Dance show was scheduled.  A Keeper was there and I had told her about the previous year, as well my email.  She said she asked to be told when it would start so she could call the Chimps in.  It started out of the blue and the Chimps went insane.  Needless to say, last year which was the following year, nothing had changed and the animals just had to suffer through the noise. <

Well, the Zoo still has the Lion Dance as part of their program, so considering the unavoidable level of noise, nothing could likely have changed.  The Chimps are now three years older than before, with one recently passing from heart complications post-op.  Yet, there is not only continued acceptance of loud noise and voices on a daily basis around their home and through-out the Zoo, but with the knowing scheduling of such disturbance.  There are ways to have a successful event without the Lion Dance (and other loud performances for any event), but someone would have to care, and apparently no one does.

I'm not a "rain on the parade" person, I just think the Zoo is the home to Animals and empathy for them should come first and there are so many instances that stem from Management where the Animals are not a priority.  For the instance of living in peace, the whole Zoo should be a quiet zone for the sake of the Animals.  Its not too much to ask, but like other instances, it seems the Zoo doesn't want to offend anyone.  I say it would only offend the type of people you don't want visiting anyway.  The Oakland Zoo has multi-lingual sandwich board type signs all over the pathways requesting that Visitors keep the areas around the Animal exhibits "quiet zones."  

Everyday, Visitors of all ages run amuck and act the fool all over the San Francisco Zoo.

I recently saw a sign on a business that said (paraphrasing) "Out of respect for our neighbors, please keep your voices down."   The Zoo needs similar signs, out of respect for their Animals.  

Happy New Year!

Sweet Lemon Drop lives at
the California Academy of Science :)

As with all posts,
please expand comments
for additional insight and information.
Check back as I reply to all comments.
Contact the San Francisco Zoo Director Tanya Peterson
if you want your voice heard.
Thank You for taking the time to read
about things that matter to me.



  1. Lemondrop is awesome and very respected at the Academy. I will start out by saying that I very much appreciate cultures and parades, etc.... but loud ones that disturb the zoo animals is cruelty. The zoo would be better off having a float in the parade. They need to stop upsetting the animals to make a buck.

    1. @Andie (Lee) - Thank you for your comment. Glad you liked the LemonDrop pic, I knew you would! The Zoo is loud to me on a daily basis, but when its avoidable by way of better event planning, its even more inexcusable. I have been told that the Mandrills were very upset!

  2. Wow, is this ever obvious. Our cats and dogs in our homes freak out over strange and sudden noises. Even more so the precious zoo animals. We protest "using animals in entertainment" in circuses, yet abusing zoo animals' sensitivities for the sake of entertaining humans is OK.

    1. @Anonymous- Thank you for your comment. YES one would think that its obvious, yet I have blogged about it a few times and years later the same old disrespect for the Animals continues. Great example in your last sentence.

  3. I agree with Andie and Anonymous - the zoo needs to figure out ways to make money that aren't stressful to the animals - they need to treat every animal with respect and dignity!

    1. @hazel- Thank you for your comment. Your comment sums it up perfect. I'm going to add the Directors email address to this post in case anyone wants to voice their opinion.


*Thank you for your comment. All comments are appreciated and I try my best to reply back in a timely manner. Sometimes "timely" isn't possible, but I will reply to all comments at some point. Please check back.
*As with all posts, please expand comments for additional insight and information.
*If you have a problem commenting, please contact me via the link on the sidebar.
*Contact the San Francisco Zoo Director Tanya Peterson if you want your voice heard within the walls
*Thank You for taking the time to read about things that matter to me.