Once again the San Francisco Zoo Management Team has made an Animal decision that is in their best interest, NOT that of the Animal. This time the Animals being disrespected are the female Navajo Churro Sheep. Sadly, this is not a surprise as they have disrespected many of the Animal Residents before, in many ways. To name a few: They let Wishbone the Andean Bear pound his bones to a literal death living on concrete. They let Elly the Black Rhino get a literal hole in her skin because it wasn't "feasible" for them to oil her. They shuffled other Hoofstock around like they are playing pieces in a game:
SFZOO, do right by these girls and
like Wakoda says,
"Bring the Churro girls home!"
There are two issues to this situation. The first is WHY and the other is LIE.
WHY move these girls?
The Navajo Churro Sheep live at the Family Farm in the Children's Zoo. These five females have lived as a group there, with all their other Barnyard friends, for over four years. Their daily routine consists of socializing with the other Sheep and Goats, as well as the Visitors, many of whom are regular visitors and fans of many individual Animals that live there, including the Churro girls. Their social interactions are not only part of what they know, its part of their Enrichment.
Moving them to another area in the Zoo was an awful idea anyway you look at it. They are not "exhibit" Animals, they are social Animals. Their routine now exists of being penned up behind bars, not having social contact with their Animal or Human friends. Not getting the exercise that panhandling for Petting Zoo Treats in the yard provides them. Basically leading a boring existence unless one of the Keepers comes up to tend to them.
There aren't many people who visit them here. The Zoo hasn't put up a sign at the area entrance that says what's back there (not everyone reads the map) So they are without social stimulation most of the time. This is one of many photos I've taken of them with their heads slumped on the ground. They are bored!
Thankfully they know me and
will get up and come over to greet me.
I can provide them a break in their boredom.
Heartbreaking, as they seem
like they are saying "Free Us!"
In addition to it not being the life they have been used to, it may also being leading to a health detriment. I visit them often and have noticed a difference in their mobility. First I thought a couple of them were limping, which could be due to the different type of ground they are walking on. A grassy "field" is much different that the Farm yard. The uneven landscape is not what their used to. The argument could be made that Sheep in general live on such ground, but these girls have not. Also, being in a penned in area, where they aren't free roaming for treats, they are laying down most of the time. When they get up, they are always hobbling a bit. I believe the stagnant sit is causing them stiffness.
Moving these girls was wrong. Leaving them there beyond the two months that was initially (supposedly) planned is just cruel. What is Wrong With You San Francisco Zoo Management? Why do you continue to make decisions for Animals without Empathy? Please let the Churro girls go back to the Farm NOW!
There has also been a change in the other Sheep,
who wonder what happened to the Churro girls.
Now for the second part of WHY and LIE.
The whole move was suspicious from the beginning. Whoever made this decision above the Family Farm (Childrens Zoo) Department, did so apparently (allegedly, whatever you want to call it) masked with untruths. As I was told by several sources this move was supposed to be temporary, for only a couple months. They wanted to have something in the area where the Reindeer had been over the holidays. Now, word has it, they will be staying there until the new playground is finished. AKA indefinitely. There was also something about them being part of the new North American area. Going by that, they may never get home, as who knows when the North American area will get done. Frankly, a North American area shouldn't be done until other Animal needs Zoo-wide are taken care of, but hey, we are getting a new playground before that, so that there shows where priority lies at the SFZoo. BUT I digress.
A note about the alleged "playground" reasoning. The Zoo has created some natural play structures in this area as well. There aren't many people who trek back to this area, but those who do and who have kids, the kids are more interested in playing on these structures, including taking sticks from the piles and beating the ground and tress, as well as taking these sticks into other areas of the Zoo and beating things.
Let's talk about this new map. Regardless of the fact that the Zoo has spend money yet again on new maps (when I'm told there are boxes of unused ones in storage), here you can see that these maps have the Churro's as a listed exhibit. In my opinion this shows that the Zoo Management knew very well the whole time that their plan was to keep the Churro's there past the time frame they originally presented.
Oh, AND if they are going to make the area inviting to people by having picnic tables and such, they need to put a garbage can up there, there is trash on the ground and most of it plastic bags all over the place. I counted 7 pieces alone, the day I took this photo.
I saw Maintenance building more seating into this structure, so they continue to have plans that include having Animals on exhibit here indefinitely. This appears to not be the temporary situation they presented.
San Francisco Zoo, STOP doing things to suit your own needs and whims. Do what's right for the Animals. You seem to forget this is an Animal Facility. It is because of these Animals that there is a Zoo, which also translates into the reason you all have jobs. You talk about Wellness, take care of their Wellness and let them go home to the Farm.
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