Sunday, June 16, 2013

Black Rhino Re-Named After 49er Ballplayer - What's Wrong With This You Ask?

OR maybe you aren't asking that at all.  Doesn't mean you shouldn't.

In January the San Francisco Zoo announced it would name its new Black Rhino after San Francisco 49er Alex Boone.  THIS move is a particular sore spot for me and of course I noted my opinion and reasoning in this blog post:

Last Friday, the Zoo hosted a naming ceremony.  As (they) expected it got them much Media attention.  I grabbed this quote from one news article.  

> “There are very few black rhinos left on this planet, so to have one named after me is truly an honor,” Boone said in a news release. “It’s awesome to share a close connection with a black rhino, but it’s even better that we can raise awareness for these endangered species through the Alex Boone Animal Education Project.” <

If Alex Boone actually cared about Animals, he would have, A- Asked if this Animal had a Name already and/or B- Opted to have this Animal keeps its given name out of respect for it.   Its ironic that he's an "offensive" player because I'm offended by this. I think Alex Boone should re-name one of his kids Belozi which is Rhino "Boone"s given name.  

I also know that I'm going to be in the minority in my feeling about this, because most people idolize celebrity and local ballplayers are considered gods in this town. That said, while it absolutely sickens me when Animals are renamed and I absolutely hate when its after a ballplayer, if its at birth, at least there is no real disrespect, which is my issue.  Naming the Newborn Langur Romo was a definite play for Media attention, but at least it was its true given name and like the re-naming of Tucker the Hippo, it wasn't the full name (Giants player Sergio Romo).

The Zoo does this renaming crap for the Money and Media attention it grabs.  No other reason.  And it works.  You can Google SFZoo Rhino Boone and read all sorts of fluff about how great it is to name an Animal after a ballplayer.  I doubt Belozi would agree.  And that my readers is the sad truth.  In fact here's a list of Animals who are sure to be very confused if they are ever transferred to another Zoo as they won't even remember their given names after being disrespected by the SFZoo.

Belozi  ( 5 yrs old)   Black Rhino now dubbed "Boone"
Tucker (10 yrs old)  Hippo now dubbed "Brian Wilson"
Shastyuh (12 yrs old)  Amur Tiger now dubbed "Martha"
Taymor  (6 yrs old)  Sumatran Tiger now dubbed "Larry"

On the 49ers website there is a link to donate to the Alex Boone Animal Education Project.  Don't get me wrong, I have no greif with the alleged Mission of this Project, in regards to providing the opportunity for Kids to come to the Zoo who might not otherwise be able to.  My issue is, the whole thing is presented and worded in a hypocritcal way, but that is no surprise as the text on the website seems like the same mumbo jumbo that comes out of the Zoo in their own press releases.  Either the Zoo wrote this or all PR is just a bunch of play on words with no real substance.

This paragraph is taken from the above mentioned link:

> Your contribution will go to the Alex Boone Animal Education Project, an initiative that brings local youth to the San Francisco Zoo to learn leadership and respect through the theme of animal wellness. It is the mission of the San Francisco Zoo to connect people with wildlife, inspire caring for nature and advance conservation action. <

What a crock.  Sorry to those who buy this, but frankly how can anyone teach another respect when they can't even respect an Animal by letting it keep the only name its ever known?  

Disgusting, the whole lot of them.  SFZoo and SF 49ers.

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  1. Lee (a tiger&#39;s best friend)June 16, 2013 at 8:03 PM

    I agree completely with your thoughts on the re-naming. Just adding to animal is given a name at birth and trained by that given name. People don't change their pets names. I am tired of all the animals being named after ballplayers, there's something more political about that then the zoo might state. To me, it's a safety issue also with the name changing. Animals need to have one name, and keep that name for life. An example, if an animal with a newly changed name breaks out of enclosure, will it know immmediately which name to respond to? So, I feel as you do in addition to a safety concern.

    1. @Lee- Thank you for your comment. You are right in regards to the safety thing. An Animal should have one main name its whole life. Its disrespectful and cruel, in addition to this safety issue that you bring up. IF the Zoo had continued the past ways and had a donor name for public use and kept the given names for keeper use, I would have no problem with any of it. It was the renaming of Tucker and not calling him anything for four months and then changing his name after 8 yrs (I think that was it), that really pissed me off, as well as broke my heart for precious Tucker. The Zoo Management is a mess, no one cares and they are just prime for a major problem.

  2. Nothing could be said better in reply to your blog than the words of Lee, Well done Lee!

    1. @Charlene- Thank you for your comment! It just goes to show the Zoo Team who does read this blog that I am not alone in my opinions AND that there are some valid issues, like Lee's point on safety, that I didn't even think of on my own. The Zoo Team thinks they are on target and that myself and those of you who agree are stupid. At least we have the Animals welfare AND wellness! in mind, while they have the mighty dollar swirling in theirs.

  3. Lee (a tigers best friend)June 17, 2013 at 6:49 PM

    Thank you Charlene!!! My Dad was a professional dog trainer, you just don't change names. Can you imagine a Tiger escaping, only knowing it's original name and then a week after a new name they try to call out to it, the zoo is so ignorant with this name thing. They just think of the money (which probably goes to their cocktail parties)....

    1. @Lee- You are right. Cheers for the continued commenting.

  4. Lee (a tigers best friend)June 17, 2013 at 6:52 PM

    Thank you Charlene!!! My Dad was a professional dog trainer. You just don't change names. I truly in my mind believe the zoo does this for money and cocktail parties. You just don't put an animal or the public in danger by after many years of going by one name, it now has to remember a new name. God forbid, an animal escapes a week after a new name is given and it cannot be called back to enclosure or given a command to stop. I just tire of the name change thing. You don't change pets names, you don't change (esp red alert animals names).

  5. You said it, Kim - disgusting. And excellent comment, Lee!

    1. @hazel- Thank you for your comment. I know I've fallen into using some of the same old adjectives, but they are sadly so appropriate for so many things there.


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