Thursday, May 30, 2013

New Giraffe Girls Are Here, but Where Are The Dukier Girls?

Yesterday the Zoo finally released news that there was a Giraffe Birth.  I knew Carolina (Kristen) was pregnant and had given birth last week, so it was great to finally see photos of the new calf :)   I have suspected the other female Bititi to also be pregnant, but there is no confirmation, because unlike other Zoo's the SFZoo doesn't like to confirm pregnancies, which I find curious.  ... Look forward to seeing the new babie!  Congratulations Carolina!

 Tuesday I spied Carolina looking out of the Giraffe Barn :)  
Bititi had come by to say hi
but I missed the capture of the ladies having a visit.

Welcome Amani! 
This is the new addition, who recently came from 
Albuquerque Bio Park Zoo 
 At two years old, she is a bit smaller now
but once she grows she
will be identifiable by the little marking on her neck 
that to me most looks like a bird :)

You can see photos of Carolina's calf in this news article, but I wouldn't pay much attention to the text as reporter Raji didn't take the time to actually fact check and when mentioning the Tiger Cub refered to it as male.  UG.

SO the BIG question is, since Amani is in the Coral and Carolina is in the Barn, where is Lily (Duiker) and her babie girl?  They had been penned up and separated from Erik the father (another curiosity)  in the corral since the birth, so where have they shuffled them off to now?   ... There was no one around to ask, and even if there was who knows if I'd get a straight answer.  There seems to be a big hush these days where I'm concerned.  Curious since I only write about stuff I see or hear first hand and my own opinions.  It is my opinion, that this shouldn't be an issue if everything is on the up and up.  So, that does beg the ? why is everyone so afraid of sharing information, if its the truth?  If they'd stop being so preoccupied with being so secretive, there would A: there would be signs explaining what is going on and B: be someone to ask,   so that, A: people are informed  and B: assumptions would not have to be made.  The assumptions in this case are that the poor Disrespected Duikers have once again been moved and or separated to other places in the Zoo where they aren't on view.  Like their son Houdini who lives in seclusion alone behind the old Eland exhibit and poor Pokemon (Blackbuck)who we will probably never see again, despite him loving the company of visitors, yet is being housed in an area off the Savannah that is boarded up so his view is of wood instead of other beings.  OK i've digressed a bit, yet its related.

If you're interested you can read more here:

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please expand comments
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Check back as I reply to all comments.
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Tiger Cub Naming Finale - Because I Just Can't Help Myself

Yes I have more thoughts on this.

I wasn't going to write another post about the Tiger Cub Naming but there were things I read that I thought were worth posting about as well as commentating about.

Right after the Name was announced there were many news articles written.  The one I read was on  I immediately wrote my blog post about it:

As curious as the Zoo starting to insert the history behind the (RE)names of the Cubs parents in press releases after I posted about my issue with how Animals get their Names, another article surfaced on sfappeal, noting a conversation with the high bidder in the Tiger Cub naming rights auction, in a (seeming?) defence of her choice to use her own name.  

"In a Facebook message sent to the Appeal (presumably in response to our earlier report on her purchase), Atherton resident Manus said “My children named the Baby Tiger Jillian so one day they could take their kids to see ‘Grandma’s Tiger.’”

Before I write anything further, I want to note that its not my intention to "hate" on this lady personally.   She is obviously decent enough to have donated $47k  to not only name her but (I) assume that the money will go towards her care.  

That said, starting with the quote.  Part of my issue with how the Animals get their names and re-names, is that I feel there is no thought that goes into it.  Names are given on a whim and without the person even seeing the Animal first.  As well I believe that most of the people that are Zoo supporters with their check books have no clue what the Zoo or any Zoo is about, and are certainly not regular Visitors.  Don't get me wrong, their money is needed, but I wish they were more involved because money plus knowledge would make the Zoo move into the direction of being all it can be.  

So, in this case, with Jillian Manus noting that her children want to bring their Kids to see Grandma's Tiger, just proves my thoughts right.  Many monetary supporters of the Zoo have no clue.  This Tiger Cub is not going to live at the San Francisco Zoo its whole life.  We will be lucky to see her turn one year old before she's shipped off to another Zoo for breeding purposes.  So, giving her a name that will go on record in the Studbook and she will carry for life, should be something well thought out and fitting, aka about the Animal not the Donor. Jillian is a fine name, but much like Martha and Larry, in my opinion, it is not a name that fits a Tiger.  Thankfully Martha and Larry have other names on record.   

It could be worse, she could be carrying the name Bicka.

“I wanted to name her Bicka after my four children,” Manus said. But her children didn’t think Bicka – a mashup of Brock, Nick, Blake and Amanda – was quite right.
“We all looked at each other and went, ‘There has to be a better idea,’ ” said Nick Salzman, Manus’ 18-year-old son.
Thank you Nick Salzman.   Seriously, Bicka?  Would she even name her kid that?  
And still worse, allegedly the Keepers were calling her LT short for Little Tanya after the Zoo Director Tanya Peterson.  Even more thankful that the Director didn't bid herself.   ... I will continue to call this sweet little girl LP (Little Padang)  as I have from the moment I heard she was born.
This all said, at least this precious Cubbie now has a name and its not after the Director or a Ballplayer.  I hope that Jillian Manus and her family visit the Cub often and did not just come out for the Media Event.  It would be wonderful for her and her Kids to start their own blog or Facebook Page for Little Jillian and post photos from their Visits to see her as she grows up.
Some reading this post might not agree with my opinions and that is fine.   I was inspired to write this post by comments on another post.    I don't think many go back and read the comments, which is unfortunate because there is always good information and well thought out words, by others who care about the Zoo and the Animals who live there.
*hazelMay 16, 2013 at 4:55 PM
it's a shame that ms manus has decided to be a narcissist and name the tiger cub after herself. she could have stepped up and given the cub a name it deserves - something descriptive from its native country would have been appropriate and educational - and she would have set a wonderful example to her children and the rest of san francisco. and shame on the zoo for not giving her some names to choose from and using this tiny cub in this way. ... the good news is the cub still has a chance at a better name - once it grows up and moves to another zoo i'm sure they'll have a naming contest as well. the name jillian will long be forgotten. as for the 47k, it will probably be used to benefit children instead of animals. i hope the zoo surprises everyone and uses it to improve animal exhibits!
*AnonymousMay 16, 2013 at 8:59 PM
I'm delighted the Zoo got $47,000. I hope they use it to benefit the animals. As for Jillian, I think it is hilarious someone has that much ego. If I didn't know where it came from I would think it was a cute name. Oh well, I never adjusted to Barney for Ike Ozo the (then) little gorills either.
*lee (a tigers best friend)May 18, 2013 at 4:50 PM
I think that these donors should choose names of the countries these animals come from. I have always loved that the lions had African names. Yes, when she is sent to yet another zoo after being taken too soon from Leanne like her boys were, she will again have a name change. And I might add that I tire of the name changes too. The animals get used to one name and then have to respond to another name. My idea is let the donor give a name befitting and then just let the zoo put a plaque up. 

I will add in (part) my own reply to the last comment from Lee:
I too love the names of origin. Some are lucky to have gotten those kind of names. But, there are some names that are considered common that I do think are fine, if they fit. Look at our precious Tony, it fit him. Although I do think he also had another name that I can't remember now or if it was his birth name or a rename. Elly is another one, who I think has a fitting name. 

The first blog I did was Zoo related.    It was because I had come into a position in my life where I was able to learn about the Animals on an individual basis.  I became overwhelmingly endeared to them, that I wanted to share what I had learned.  My efforts were fueled my the wake of the Tatiana tragedy and the bad view people had of the Zoo.  I felt if I could endear people to the Animals, they would be endeared to the Zoo.  I thought the idea was a win-win.  I made many efforts in the form of suggestions, ideas, ect.  and presented them to the Director.  My history with the Zoo and Director has had its highs and lows, which I'm not going to get into here, its all been documented on my various blogs.
The purpose of bringing this up is, the Zoo has never embraced educating Visitors about the Animals as individuals.  The only time they do so is when it benefits them either with Media attention or with Monetary incentive.

Photos like this one should be at all the Animals homes and include personal history about them.  Celebrate the Animals and their lives daily, not just when you think someone is looking.

I love seeing this because the Cub makes me smile
and having something to identify her personally
is a good thing :)

I apologize if this post is wacky in color, text and spacing in consistency.  With all the linking and such, it saved that way.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Tiger Cub Finally Gets a Name

News articles surfaced last night noting that Literary Agent Jillian Manus paid $47,000 for the naming rights and chose to name the Cub after herself.  So, we now have a Sumatran Tiger Cub named Jillian.   

I know most reading this will say, she paid 47k she can do what she wants, and yes that is true.  Money does buy that kind of an attitude.  Opinions on the other hand are free.

In my opinion, this is pretty pompous and self-indulgent.   High bidders should take this honor to choose a name that has meaning for the particular Animal.  I wonder if she has also named all her children and pets after herself?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

San Francisco ZooFest - Tiger Cub Naming - ATTN Donors

I had a post marker for this last month, but am bumping it as a new post since the Zoo's annual fundraising event ZooFest is this Saturday May 11, 2013.

This year San Francisco ZooFest will among other things be the forum for the Naming of the Sumatran Tiger Cub, born February 10, 2013.

It was at a similar event that a deep pocketed Donor paid to casually and comically without any thought, name our precious Hippo, Brian Wilson after one of the Giants ballplayers.  Simply awful.  Not only did the Hippo come to the Zoo with an name he had his whole life, Tucker, but to be renamed something like this is disrespectful.

SO Mark this post as an Open Letter To Donors.

I don't know if Donors read my blog, but I think its worth the effort to make the post just in case they do or someone who has the ear of one and cares about the name this little one will carry through life.

One news article quoted Zoo Rep Jill Lynch "Eventually she will be given a proper name by the highest-bidder at a Zoo fundraiser."   Let's hope "proper" actually plays out in the right sense of the word, which means "belonging characteristically to a species or individual."

To my knowledge the Zoo Director does not give any guidelines for naming rights.  She should.  In the case of naming this Cub, the guidelines should be:

-No (first and last name combination) names of athletes or other celebrities.  Keep in mind she is female.  Sumatran Tigers are from Sumatra/Malaysia/Indonesia regions.  As well I think noting characteristics of the Cub are nice, such as that she is super spunky and playful!

This all said, when the Cub was born my friends and I who loved our passed Sumatran Tiger Padang, started calling her Little Padang/LP in tribute.  Padang was her Aunt, as well as the oldest Tiger of any species in a North American Zoo.  We thought and still think it would be an awesome tribute.

BUT I've also got some other suggestions.  One in particular I'm fond of and think the Zoo would actually love, because its a combination of the two names the Mother and Father were renamed.   The Cubs Mother Skylar was renamed "Leanne"  and her Father Taymor was renamed "Larry".  

In my research, I found the name Leela.   The name is of Sanskrit origin, which is the language Malay is derived from.  Leela means divine play/amusement.  Reading more about it, it doesn't directly mean playful, but yet the grand scheme of god's play, which is life.  I personally think its perfect.

More name suggestions.

Jasmine -  The official Flower of Indonesia is Melati.  This is beautiful, but there are two other Tigers named Melati that I know of.  Melati means Jasmine Flower.

Jambi - This name was offered by my friend Lee.  It is the name of the City in Indonesia, that leads to the Rainforest the Sumatran Tigers live.

Melayu -  Little hard rolling off the tongue, but wondeful as it is the name of an ancient Kingdom.

Caspia - A play on the name of the now extinct species, the Caspian Tiger.

Scarlette - No connection to origin of the Sumatran Tiger, but a nice name that has a fiery flare for our little spunky girl :)

Ok, I think I've done more work compiling a list of great contenders for a wonderful name for this little Cubbie Girl, than the person who will probably write the check.  Let's hope that I'm wrong and the high-bidder gives it some thought and comes up with something wonderful, or chooses from this list of already researched suggestions.

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.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Dogs in Cars All Day in Zoo Parking Lot!

So, as someone who wants to be aware of all things SFZoo, one of the things I do is RSS feed all the mentions of the Zoo from Twitter.  Over the years I have learned alot this way that I otherwise would not have.

Last year I caught a Tweet from one of the Zoo's Docents. Chris Shuttlesworth,  in regard to seeing a"Dog under a car" in the Zoo parking lot.  She posted a photo and simply said, "I hope the Family comes back soon."  I was appalled that not only would a Docent say they saw this, AND post a photo, but they didn't follow through and take the Dog to the office so it didn't run out of the lot to the street or even get hit by a car in the lot.  From what she wrote apparently she had no other feelings about the safety of this Animal.  Real nice from a Zoo representative aka someone you would hope cared about Animals.

Here is the Tweet, Photo, and Comments posted.

Last month I caught this Tweet from late March, by user @DavidDowneyJr

"Props to the SF zoo for allowing people to have dogs in the parking lot! Now we can take our son to a zoo before he turns 1! Stoked"

Upon further questioning to this user, he said that when he got there, leaving his Dog in the car seemed like a bad idea.  Kudo's to him!

That said, the day after I read this I was walking through the parking lot and heard a Dog barking.
Photos are both of when I went in and hours later when I came out.  :(  
You can also view my video 

So, yesterday knowing I was going to post about this, I finally followed through and called the Zoo and asked if it was Ok to leave my Dog in the car in the lot while I was at the Zoo.   I'll also note that yesterday was a really hot day. 

The Zoo Employee who answered the phone said, "We don't tell you, you can or can't, but we don't advise it.  If someone complains and calls the Police they will come in and ticket you."  

I called back to get the name of the Employee, for both reference and to again confirm it was an acceptable action.  I will also note that I am not posting who I spoke to because he is just relaying the Zoo's own Policy.

SO yeah, OMG!  There are so many things wrong with this!  Where do I start.  First and foremost, it is in no way acceptable for a Dog or any pet to be left in a car for an extended amount of time.  Maybe you leave it in there while you do some quick marketing, but not for a day long outing.  Not only who does this?  BUT The Zoo a facility that is supposed to support, respect and educate in regards to Animals, not only let's this happen, but also tells people its okay to do so!   What kind of message does this send?   Its obviously illegal as well if Police can come in and issue a ticket.    

I just don't get it.  After all I see with Animal disrespect from both Visitors and Staff, I'm not surprised by anything, but I still continue to have a reaction of disbelief.   Very disappointing.

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.


The Future of this Blog and the SFZoo

I have been haunted by the passing of my Precious Friend Wakoda (male Navajo Churro Sheep).  I still can not bring myself to write a memorial post, but when I do, I'm feeling like that may be it for a long while, if not ever.  

The Zoo exhausts me, and it seems like there will forever be issues, because not many within the walls want to rise above mediocrity or for that matter put the Animals first.  Management will continue to make decisions without the Animals best interest a priority.  The Director will continue to make uneducated, hurtful and disrespectful statements,  Untruths will continue to be put forth to not only their own Staff, but to the public in order to serve the needs of the Zoo in any way they see fit.  Staff will continue to run the place like its a school yard, letting personal issues rise above professional.  The Visitors will continue to run wild and do whatever they want including breaching barriers, because the Zoo doesn't want to do whatever they can to ensure the safety of the Animals.  Its a mess and not many seem to care, certainly not those with the authority to do anything.  The Management Staff are the worst offenders and the Zoological Society Members don't care much past their menial duties and writing checks.  Its sad and disgusting.

There is Staff that I know agree with me, then there is Staff that doesn't.  To them I can only say, how can you sleep at night?  Many think I look for issues, or even make stuff up.  If anyone actually reads what I write its clear that I write about what I myself witness.   I pick-up on things that are valid flaws/fails, obvious, curious and questionable.  I rarely post any hearsay  because that is not who I am.  I'm honest and have no need to lie or make anything up.  I post about what moves me.  I have passion and I'm not afraid to say what I think.  If you don't like me for that, that's not my problem.  I care about Animals before Humans and that is what drives me.   It actually surprises me that that some Keeper's choose to support cover-ups and gag orders rather than use the anonymous whistle-blower phone number option that is provided to Staff.  It disgusts me that's its not used more, for the good of the Animals.

For all this, I'm feeling like I want to just finish the posts I've had in the works.  My need to post is not only to make things public and have the things I feel strongly about documented, but writing about them is a way to vent.  I have a small group of friends who feel the same way as I do.  I have blog followers who may be like minded but remain silent.  And then there's the thirty thousand plus that follow the Zoo on their Facebook page, who have no clue other than the fluff the Zoo sells via their own press, both in house and thru the Media. 

I start these posts on this day, Cinco De Mayo.  A "day" many view as a celebration.  The Chimp Sanctuary Northwest's  Facebook post today reminded me of how the Zoo misses the opportunity to do fun things for the Animals.  Before I say anything more on that, I want to link the Sanctuary Cinco De Mayo festivities you might find fun to see :)  ... These Chimps love a good party and get one almost daily.  I have been lucky to have provided Enrichment Toys for one of their celebrations!

Anyway, its safe to say that the Zoo did nothing for the Animals on this festive Day (or they would have patted themselves on the back and posted about it), as they don't do anything for Birthdays or even International Awareness Days for specific animals.    Currently their Facebook page boasts about all the Mother Animals (for upcoming Mother's Day), one being 42 year old (can't believe they got her age right) Elly the Black Rhino.   This is an Animal who gave the Zoo fourteen babies, which at a fifteen month gestation equals  over seventeen years of her life she was pregnant.  Whoever let this happen committed a crime in my book, but what's done is done, you think they give her a Birthday celebration for that alone?  Regardless of the fact that she is one of, if not the oldest Rhino in a North American Zoo.  That would be a big fat NO to any celebration. ...  Make sure to check  back for a blog post in the next few days for more on the disrespect of Elly.

So, if you have read even a handful of my posts you will see a certain never-ending trend of topics.  I'm Sad, I'm Tired and even though I know some of what I've posted here has accomplished some good, there is the situation of the Zoo actually paying people to do the right thing and they don't.  I'm not sure I have it in me to keep policing all the crimes they commit against the Animals who live there.  So, I'm just not sure how the future of this blog will play out once I'm finished with those in the works and my Sweet Wakoda's memorial.

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.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

San Francisco Zoo Newsletter and continual PR FAIL

I have been silent as I grieve for the loss of my very dear Zoo Friend Wakoda.   This is not his memorial post, because I don't have it in me to do that yet.  In fact I didn't think I had it in me to do any posts at the time.   That was until I got the Zoo's monthly newsletter Animail via email minutes ago.  Can't even grieve in peace, the Zoo never fails to do something unconscionable.

The upper level Staff which includes the Public Relations Department continue to do and say things in poor taste.  

Not long ago someone relayed a blurb in an internal Zoo email in regards to the future Bear Grotto plans.  There were a few notations that I had planned to post about in regards to this but hadn't gotten to yet.  That is for another time.  The part that struck me about what I was told was a quote from the Zoo's illustrious leader Director Tanya Peterson.  After sharing the future plans she added, "This was made possible by the passing of the Spectacled Bear."   Nice Tanya, Nice.   I'm sure Wishbone is looking down glad he was able to help you out by dying.  You're probably waiting for the Polars to die too before you do anything to get those animals off concrete.

Now my poor precious Wakoda, is being used so they can pat themselves on the back yet again, regardless that the poor guy just passed away.  They had time to put in a footnote, yet it was more important to proceed with their selfish boast than to post a photo of his face and a nice farewell, maybe adding in that they did acupuncture on him.   Nice going.  SFZoo always empathetic and compassionate.  Oh, and classy too.  NOT!    

This is what they included.

Stay tuned for a proper tribute to Wakoda, when I can emotionally deal with doing one.   Til then with tears streaming I say RIP my Sweet Precious Friend.  I miss you so very much.  XO.

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.