Sunday, May 5, 2013

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.

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Check back as I reply to all comments.
Contact the San Francisco Zoo Director Tanya Peterson
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  1. All I can add to this is kudos for all your hard work and extreme love for all these special furry, winged and scaled critters that live at the zoo. I am tired of zoo staff that are cowards. In my world, you chose a place to work because you believe in the company. I will never understand staff at the zoo that arent animal lovers and fight the cause. It's all about cocktail parties with the director and people afraid to stand up for how they feel. The donors must not care at all and just schmooz and write checks as tax deductions. Priorities are messed up big time at the zoo. They feel a playground superceeds animal care. The zoo touts "wellness" which should be a given. The animals never get enrichment and the zoo just continues to bury their big fat heads in the sand and keeps fingers crossed that an elderly donor will come forth and give some cash, which always goes to something foolish. The animals at the zoo are awesome. They are champions for their species. Please keep up the good fight, and God Bless Wakoda..... I will never forget him and all of the special animals that have come into my life.

    1. @Lee- Thank you for your comment. I apologize for the delay in reply. Know that your comments are always appreciated! ... Thank you for the kudos and for being someone like me, who loves these Animals, and is there for them, despite how the Zoo as their home is run AND for not wearing rose colored glasses. Too many people support the Zoo because they don't have an interest in knowing what goes on beneath the surface. Not many are as invested as we are, for whatever reason. The Zoo has over 30k Facebook followers, most who just "Like" everything without question, and are there to comment on cute Animal photos. It sickens me that Visitors, especially the Residents of this City and those in authority to do so, don't demand a better Zoo and better people to run it. Sure I have placed much blame on Director Peterson, but there are some many more people on Staff there and in the Zoological Society who are in love with Status Quo and Cowardess. UG i'm getting sick talking about it. ... anyway we know and too bad the world doesn't. ... YES RIP sweet Wakoda I can barely post that without sobbing.

  2. I feel tired and sad after reading this, so I can only imagine how you must feel. Thank you for letting the world know what's really going on at the zoo and because of that at least some things have changed for the better. They may seem like small victories to you, but they are huge victories for the animals.

    I do agree with you, nothing will change at the zoo as long as the current director stays in charge and she is not held accountable for the well being of the animals entrusted to her.

    1. @hazel- Thank you for your comment. I apologize for the delay in reply. Know that your comments are always appreciated! .. Thank you as always for your support. I value it. We met after being introduced by a Keeper, so people can not say all those who comment here are just my friends. Yes some are friends, but we have become friends as people with vested interests in the Zoo and the ANimals. You have been a long time Friend to the Zoo and the ANimals. You have been in the know as well for many years before I started to be inivolved at this level. So, our views and opinions do count and are valid regardless of those who think otherwise. I think there would be more of a push for change is more people cared. As I wrote in reply to Lee, I do blame alot on Director Peterson, but there are other people who carry blame there. That said, she is the example setter, so if she were the type of person that really had the Zoo's best interest in mind, things would be different and those other people would not have jobs. ... AND thank you for recognizing what I try to do here, which is raise awareness not just gripe. And because of things I have posted about, there has been changes made. Stay tuned for a post that directly relates to this!!!


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