Sunday, July 14, 2013

Family Farm Frenzy!

Once again behind in posts.  So many things to do both on blog and off.   I have made space holders for posts since I like things in chronilogical order.  This is the post I have in me to do right now.  Its current and contains things that are in desperate need of attention at the Zoo.  

I will start by noting there are many posts within this blog where you can find details of Humans Gone Wild.  I know that sounds comical and sure its meant to be catchy, but it also is point blank.  When I walk into the Zoo I feel like I have entered a place where people are allowed to run wild.   I look around and see people out of control.  There seems to be few places in Society where Humans have any sense of personal control, or empathy.  The Zoo is no different.  There is very little guidelines given for behavior or respect.  I can not say none, because I have witnessed Security giving speeches to school groups as they enter.  Sadly I have also witnessed the same school groups act the fool while in the Zoo, even the adult leaders.  That said, these speeches are still needed, and the Zoo should be giving these same speeches to ALL that enter, not just school groups.  I won't say more on this because I have before written much about misbehavior and what things the Zoo should being doing to deter. Search "barrier breaching" and other "misbehavior" within this blog.

This post is isolated to the Childrens Zoo Family Farm.  This past week was out of control.  In March I noted in a post about misbehavin' :

> Additionally, there needs to be some at-a-glance (BIG lettered) signage at the Family Farm entrance, telling people not to bring in food, not to feed the animals anything but food they sell there, not to bring in any plastic bags to hold the food in or have hanging out of pockets/purses, not to sit on the animals, not to pull on their horns, not to chase the animals.  Good Grief I have recently and constantly seen people do all these things, which included an adult try to sit on a Dwarf Goat, put a Lollipop w/stick in a Goats mouth, and watch a Sheep throw up a plastic baggie. <

Such instances are an every visit occurrence.   With summer in full swing its only worse.  The Zoo needs to take notice!   Zoo Management is fine with people running wild all over the place and while it is annoying and may only be "potentially dangerous to the?"  Animals in the Main Zoo, there is DIRECT ANIMAL ABUSE at the Farm.  These are free roaming Animals.  They are vulnerable to Humans.  The above instances I noted of people sitting on Animals and feeding them unauthorized food, as well bringing in dangerous items like plastic bags, is not only abuse, it can cause the death of one of these Animals.  I have also witnessed the Animals being hit and a constant stream of trying to steer the Goats Horns.

There needs to be more signs not to do these things.  There needs to be a Volunteer or Docents at the gate reminding people who enter the Farm.  There needs to be more Volunteers/Docents monitoring the yard.   It can not be left up to the Keepers.  The Keepers job is to take care of the Animals. It also can't be left to one Keeper to Volunteer to monitor two yards and two barns.   Monitoring the Visitors should be part of what the Docents help doing, both at the Childrens Zoo and the main Zoo.  I never see Docents at the Farm.  Why isn't there a better organizing of what they do?  ... That all said, there needs to be a limit to the number of people who can be at the Farm at one time.   Too many people for the amount of eyes watching the Animals should not be happening.

There is a sign when you enter the CZ:

This rule is never upheld. 
NEVER!  

Monday I was at the Farm.  It was fine til a large group of kids from the Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Center came in.  They appeared to have only two leaders.  The frenzy then began and it was a sea of chaos in purple shirts.  Really awful and out of control.  There was no supervision from their leaders. The kids were running and screaming all over the place.  They were making fun of the Animals, yelling at them, it was really disgusting.  Why do they even come to the Zoo?   

Does the Zoo send out a guideline for behavior in writing to these groups prior to their Visit?  They should.  Does the Zoo provide them with a guideline in person when they arrive? They should.  Does the Zoo ask them to leave if they are misbehaving?  They should.  None of this behavior, which is not isoloated to this one group, should be allowed. 

My friend put several dollars into the food machine and these kids came up and took her food.   There was a point when they were so out of control, the Keeper had to put the food machines away.   I contemplated leaving but stayed as extra eyes.   There was a particular gang of four that made fun of a few certain Goats and in fact stalked them when they tried to seek refuge into the barn.  Finally after 45 minutes of this I said something to them.   Disrupting my right to enjoy my Visit, I asked them, "What's wrong with you?"   Telling them that they were one of the worst behaved kids I have ever seen and why don't they enjoy the Animals and learn about them, rather than run all over the place screaming and making fun of them.  They were silent after that, but seriously, what is wrong people who behave this way?  I see it in adults as well, so I guess there is no hope for society in general if adults act this way and therefore do not teach kids to act any better.  That said, when they come to a facility like the Zoo it is then up to the Zoo to set behavior guidelines.  Anyway,  I finally alerted the leader, who was sitting on a stump ignoring the behavior going on, even after being told by the Keeper in duty that the kids were wreaking havoc, he still wasn't monitoring them.   I get kids run around and yell and all that, but this is not the place for it.  This is a place where Animals are free roaming and where they live.   Its not a friggin' Fun House.  Visitors need to reign in the frenzy and learn to act appropriately in public.  Places like this should be somewhat of a controlled environment, so all Visitors have a good time.  I am not the only person there who was appalled and upset by this behavior.

That incident, which I've witnessed similar many times, really affected me.  Not that the Zoo cares at all about me, but I left there really hyped up and immediately felt anxious and nausea, which I haven't been able to shake all week.  Just writing about this I can feel a physical upset.  

When I visited on Thursday, there were no school groups at the time, but there was limited eyes on the crowd and I found this on the ground.  

Baggie of Raisins

I see alot of stuff at the Zoo, everytime I'm there.  I sometimes feel like I'm guided to be in that place at specific times.   While that thought might be alittle too spiritual for some, it is true that I seem to be witness to things for a reason.   Thankfully I was there to see this before one of the Animals got it.  People don't need to bring in unsecured snack bags or other items that can cause harm tot he Animals.  A sign needs to be posted that says to keep them secured in purses, zip pockets, whatever but not where they can fall to ground or an Animal can snatch from hand or pocket.   If your kid needs treats that bad eat them before or after visiting the Farm.  ... This also goes hand in hand with feeding the Animals anything other than the Zoo treats for purchase.   I heard that the day before on Free Day (another Run Wild at the Zoo event) was out of control with people trying to give the Animals unauthorized food.   

San Francisco Zoo, take note and protect these free roaming Animals at the Family Farm.  

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
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Check back as I reply to all comments.
Contact the San Francisco Zoo Director 
Tanya Peterson
if you want your voice heard.
tanyap@sfzoo.org


6 comments:

  1. Thank you for talking about this. It has not improved in 20 some years- I used to go to the zoo as a researcher, and visitor behavior was horrible on any day. After experiencing a few "Free Days" I never came again on free day; that was the absolute worst, and it is true that the "supervisors" are often worse than the kids. For these summer things the "counselors" are often sullen teenagers. I really feel the zoo DOES NOT NEED free days, are they required by the city? It's nice in theory to make the zoo available to all, but in reality, why? People are not at all interested in the animals except as some kind of fulfillment of their own power trips and ego satisfaction. So sad, because there is so much to learn and enjoy about animals. So many people don't 'see' them at all. Groups are the worst. Maybe limit groups, group sizes, and how many can be admitted to any given area at a time, and to the zoo itself.

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    1. @Joanne (Anonymous)- Thank you for your comment. I'm sorry the blogger still only lets you post Anon! ... I feel the same way about Free Day. I think its good that peple who can't otherwise afford the Zoo are able to come, but there needs to be tweaks to it. The Academy does theirs by zip code, probably to limit the amount of people, which is something the Zoo needs. They can not handle crowds of any size on any given day because they don't request enough Security Guards and don't utilize Volunteers like Docents as an extra set of eyes. Hopefully things will change and not only will free day be amended, but they will adhere to their own rule in regards to school groups.

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  2. I agree, it is up to the zoo to set the guidelines and then enforce them. If people misbehave at the zoo, they should be escorted out. period. no second chances. If this happens enough, maybe the word will get out and people will stop behaving so inappropriately. and if some people decide not to go to the zoo as a result, fine. at least the animals will be safer and the zoo experience more pleasant who do actually go to see and appreciate the animals.

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    1. @hazel- Thank you for your comment. ... It is up to the Zoo, but I have gotten the feeling by many points that the Zoo would rather count coins than point blank tell people how to behave. They don't want to offend anyone. They rarely toss people, in fact I've seen people who have on the rare occasion been told "not to" and they are allowed to just keep on with their visit. I don't know if this is still true, but if they did toss anyone, they would give them their money back!! To me that says, "Come on in, harass our Animals and we'll pay you for it."

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  3. Lee &quot;a tigers best friend&quot;July 15, 2013 at 6:53 PM

    I was there last week and hope to never see that purple tshirt group of kids again. Two counselors per 50 rotten children? There are clearly signs... posting different. and.... I am sick of the zoo worrying about stepping on someones toes and being friggin politically correct. The keepers seemed afraid to say anything, of course they were outnumbered. It was clearly Custer's Last Stand last Monday. The one counselor sat on a log turned far away from the kids so he wouldnt have to say a word to them. If the field trip was a learning experience, they learned nothing but just spent a couple hours wreaking havoc on the animals and other zoo visitors that wanted to enjoy their day. When I first got there I went to buy goat food and several of the purple shirt kids grabbed the food from me as it came down the chute and also grabbed my quarters. So, I was completely shocked at this. Who is running these schools? What is being taught? Certainly not respect for animals or other people. Most of the animals tried to cower in the time out area but the kids kept trying to get in there with them with the counselors turning a blind eye. The animals at the Childrens Zoo are very food oriented and naturally go up to the people. Little do they know that there are some very unruly kids (never taught well at home) that love to run wild and terrorize these precious animals. I could go on and on and on with this. I am still stressed by the visit of last week. The zoo needs to step up because these kids arent learning a damn thing at the zoo except that in their eyes, they can run wild and abuse. No one stops them, so if they are taught right from wrong at home, they arent taught to behave at the zoo either. Security needs to be in there if not all day, at least walk thru on occasion and have the courage to say something. There should be a docent in there all day every day to "teach" if that's what is supposed to happen, which should be happening. If not, then the zoo is just promoting animal abuse and the parents of the kids from the purple tshirt gang of last week need to be ashamed of themselves. Hard telling what they are learning at school.

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    1. @Lee- Thank you for your comment. ... They were awful and I have yet to write the school myself as I dn't want to relive the event adn get hyped up again. I will say that the Keeper handled it best she could. I know the Zoo will only allow Staff to say so much. They don't want to offend. They want coin above all. Personally I would not want people who act that way, esp if harm to an Animal to come back at any price. And with school groups, they don't pay anyway! ... You are right, like I said a Docent should be there, but like you said, they should be teaching. That is true since the Farm is a place that young kids go, teaching them at that level should be one of the things the Zoo focuses on. I'm still curious if there is an "respect for animals" being taught in Zoo Camp and when Zoo Mobile is out at schools.

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