Thursday, July 18, 2013

Zoo PR Fumble Again - Error in Gorilla Information

First, Congratulations to Gorillas Nneka and Jonesy!   I made a couple entries on my other blog, one which includes a link to a video of the birth which happened while on exhibit!

With news today that Gorilla Nneka finally gave birth to her first babie yesterday, of course I've been reading all the news articles.  One article linked to the Zoo's website  "for more information".   Which leads to a page that provides "information" on the birth and the Parents.  Here's a screencap of the Parent info.

So you ask what's wrong with this.  Well, sadly the Zoo has once again provided information with errors. Seriously, will these fumbles ever stop?   I really don't know if the people they have in PR are just not smart enough to read records or do research or if the Zoo really just wants to take liberties with actual fact. Then there's always option C where they just plain make stuff up.  But, this info is not correct.  

Jonesy (as I like to call him) was given the name Oscar Jonesy (O.J.) at birth.   He was named Oscar for his Father, Oscar, a hand-reared Gorilla born at the Columbus Zoo in 1969 and Jonesy after his Mother, Jonesie II, a wild-born  (captured) Gorilla from Guinea with an estimated birth date of 1961.

 Entry from 2010 Gorilla Studbook
for Father Oscar

Entry from 2010 Gorilla Studbook
for Mother Jonesie

The most recent Studbook available is from 2010.  In this version, Jonesy (O.J.) name appears as  OJ/Rich.
In the 2001 version while still living in Buffalo, his name appears as  O.J.

To me, it would appear that the Rich name came into play as a Donor name while he was living in San Francisco, where coincidentally the exhibit Gorilla World is named after the Donor Family Jones.  There is a little confusion to that thrown into the mix by a notation in a 2005 article, 

> Born at Ohio's Columbus Zoo in 1981 to Oscar and Jonesy II, he acquired the name OJ and moved to San Francisco in 1982. Five years later, he relocated to the Buffalo Zoo, where he was officially Rich and unofficially OJ.< 

That said, the article clearly states that he was named after his parents, not by the SFZoo Chairman as stated.

My friend Dr. Joanne Tanner who studied the SFZoo Gorilla's for many years, sent me this article and is quoted as well.  Her information reflected what I knew to be true as well.  With a bit of interest, facts present themselves.  There should not be so many errors coming out of the Zoo. 

Please visit Joanne's site to learn more about the SFZoo Gorillas past and present.  Its a wonderful resource for anyone interested in Primates.

I will note that I do feel I'm nit picking at things with this, but it really irks me when simple things like the personal information of an Animal is not got right.  Just makes me even more curious when other things appear to not be right, as well what else that even I'm not aware of.  For that reason I post.  I like all the wrong stuff to be documented.

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