Saturday, August 31, 2013

Komodo Alley - The Dragon's Home

Yesterday was the first time I was able to see the inside of the new Komodo Dragon exhibit.  My previous opinion from looking outside in, still stands and I think its too small.   I talked to some Staffers who did say this was only temporary and that a bigger enclosure would eventually be built.  Of course this would have to be a given as Falcor is only a few feet long right now and will eventually grow to be at minimum seven/eight feet.

The outside of the exhibit.  In my opinion there is much wasted space and the inside portion of the enclosure could have been extended outward, double-wide.  The tree in photo left was there but all the plants and container wall were not. 

Calling it an Alley was accurate in that inside, it is long and narrow.  The glass in photo left is the enclosure, right to the outside exhibit.  Having this inside walk-way is a waste of space.   I would have preferred to see the enclosure living space extend double-wide to that outside window.  Looking into the living space, it is approximately the width of the walk-way, which appeared to also be the length of the Animal, if he was to lay head to tail. front to back.  That said, knowing that eventually there would need to be another larger area built, this one should have been built to last at least a couple years, which at even the size he is now it seems cramped.   Its long, but narrow.

I'm not a building professional, but as I noted eliminating the walk-way in favor of having the living space twice the size seems doable.  Either by having it be as it is with an indoor walk-way or having the living space window face out with no indoor walk-way.  Either way, there was plenty of space to make this larger.  I know it needs to be climate controlled, so maybe there is an issue with the living space facing out and because of that there does need to be that indoor temperature buffer space?  That said, there was enough room to make it wider, adding in the size of the walk-way area, extending the walk-way out, or if possible eliminating it altogether, having a short awning of sorts if necessary. I heard they allegedly "wanted to get this done in a hurry" so maybe that factored into it.   I just wish he had more room.  He was very active, pawing at the window and roaming around the whole area, from front to back especially.  I would also have like to see it designed to let in outdoor light. Having the window without the walk-way would have provided that.

Aside from my opinions on the size of the living space,  I have to really complain about the glass.  I don't understand why the Zoo continues to use glass that glares.  It 2013, anti-reflective glass is available.  It is almost impossible to view him without glare.  The photo above is taken (a bit to the side) looking directly at the glass of the enclosure.  Its awful.  I know there is anti-reflective film out there, another Keeper once told me about it as she asked for it so that the Snow Leopard Rigel would stop looking at his reflection, which upset him the whole time on exhibit.  That request was denied/delayed, whatever not sure if it ever happened because he still is obsessed with staring out. Poor Rigel.  I digress.  They need to get some and put it across the lower part of the glass of this enclosure, so we can see Falcor better.   While they are at it, they need to get some for Rigel too, so at nineteen years old, he can have some peace while out on exhibit and not think another Male Snow Leopard is stalking him.

Additionally, there needs to be no knocking on glass signs.   

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.

Meeting Falcor! - Komodo Dragon in Person :)

Yesterday I went to see Falcor for the first time :)   So happy to finally get to see him, I started to tear up.  He is adorable!  He is going to be a big favorite of mine.  I look forward to watching him grow up!

 He is very active!

 Makes lots of eye contact!

~ Handsome Falcor ~

Forgot to post the link to the video I took:      Enjoy!

Friday, August 30, 2013

More New Name Nonsense! - Amani becomes Eve :(

I meant to post this months ago.  So, yes prior to the Zoo renaming Falcor, it disrespected another Animal Resident, beautiful new girl on the Savannah, Amani.

Amani, came to the Zoo in May from Albuquerque Bio Park Zoo.  She was born there on September 9, 2011.  She was given the African name Amani, meaning Peace.  ... She has now been stripped of her name and renamed Eve.  :(  

Additionally, I felt bad when I researched Amani, and saw photos of her with her new little sister, born shortly before she was transfered here.  Photos of her being affectionate with her little sister made me sad that she was torn away from her at that time.  Would have been nice if both Zoo's could have shown a bit more empathy and waited for the transfer.  Thankfully we had a babie around the same time and I caught this sweet exchange the other day :)  Amani giving kisses to babie Kozy (Zoo name Erin).

Note:  My friends and I have decided to name all the babies whatever we want.  So since I dubbed the Tiger Cub LP for Little Padang, in honor of her Auntie Padang,  Nica Doodle named little Giraffe Kosbare,  meaning Precious in Afrikaans.  Kozy for short.

You can read about Amani's birth and see her babie photos at these links:

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, August 29, 2013

Komodo Dragon Unveiling - New Name Reveal

I didn't make it out there today but just read a news article on about the cute little juvenile Komodo Dragon who came to the Zoo with a birth name of Falcor and through the lack of creativity of the Zoo, has been bestowed the name Big Daddy Bahasa by yet another Donor who obviously thinks the honor of naming awesome Animal Ambassadors is a joke.   Donor Barry Lipman paid $25,000 for his hand at comedy.  I don't take away from the generosity these Donors show, just the lack of sensitivity.

We all know I am against renaming Animals who already have names.  I know all about needing to raise funds, yadda, but there are other ways and myself and those who have commented on this blog, have pointed that out.  ... The Lipman name is a familiar one around the Zoo, so it amazes me that even though Director Peterson does not present alternative ways to support/sponsor Animals, that those who should no better and have some empathy, don't donate and put forth their own suggestion in exchange and allow an Animal with an existing name, to keep its name.

I guess we can be thankful he wasn't named after another ballplayer or ego based name.  It seems the word Bahasa has some relevance, although not as portrayed in the sfgate article which probably contained information in the Zoo's Press Release. The article noted that the word Bahasa is the official language of Indonesia.  Actually the word Bahasa means "language" in many Asian languages, preceding the language name, as in Bahasa Indonesian.  Which I learned with a simple google search.  So while there was an attempt to be relevant, as the Komodo does come from Indonesia,  it wasn't entirely direct.  That said, I could deal with it if the Animal had no previous name AND the name was just Bahasa.  BUT, adding the Big Daddy turns it into a Big Joke and frankly disrespectful. Would this Donor name his Son Big Daddy Lipman?

Welcome Falcor, for that is what I will call you!   Look forward to meeting you!

AUTHOR ADD:   After sleeping on this, I've changed my mind, I would NOT "deal" with just Bahasa, because it just means "language".  So basically this poor Animals name is Big Daddy Language!??? WTH?

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.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Get to Know the Zoo's New Komodo Dragon!

Gotta say, I love Komodo Dragons!  I look forward to meeting our new Boy Falcor!

My two top goals when I visited the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans, was to see their Komodo Dragon and their White Alligator Antoine LeBlanc, who I visited when he came to stay at SFZoo for awhile :) I got to see both!

Komodo's are awesome and adorable!  
Look at this one smiling :)

I first heard the Zoo was getting a Komodo Dragon when the aftermath details of this years ZooFest were in the News.  Part of that news was of course, the renaming of this Animal.  You all know how I feel about the Zoo renaming Animals who already have a Name.  If you don't, please search this blog for "naming", I have written about it many times.

So, yes its true, the Zoo has yet again renamed an Animal that already has a name.  Why is the Zoo hell bent on stripping every animal of its given Name?

It is my interest to know as much as possible about the Zoo Animals as individuals.  That said, I share with you what I have learned about the new Komodo Dragon!  

His name is Falcor :)  He was the Memphis Zoo's first Komodo Dragon born, after a decade of trying! In fact out of eight Eggs layed by his Mother Norberta, only one was fertile.  Little Falcor hatched October 8, 2011.    You can read about his birth and see his babie photo in this local news article:
AND see more adorable photos from zooborns site:

One of my main issues about renaming is not only is it cruel and disrespectful, regardless of what the Zoo might tell you, these Animals know their names.  They have personalities, that are as much a part of their individual identity as their Name.  I corresponded with someone at the Memphis Zoo who said, "The Komodo Dragons know and respond to their names."   ... Sadly this Animal who has had the name Falcor for near two years, and knows his Name, will now be called by another name, although not by me.   I can't wait to hear what crap the Donor came up with, I'm sure it will be a doozy!   

Now, for my opinion on the enclosure.  Pictured below, from what I've seen, I don't like it.  My preliminary observation over the past several weeks of seeing the building progress is, its too small and more of an issue, it seems there is no outdoor area, so he will be kept inside all the time (in the dark)? Most Komodo enclosures I've seen are outdoor landscaped areas.   ... Member viewing is Thursday, so we'll see. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Last Few Blurbs on My Other Blog

Going to see how using my two blogs as supplements to each other works out.

If you haven't seen my other (current) Zoo Blog (that I use mostly for shorter Items), its at:

The last few post topics were:

Norfolk (Virginia) Mermaid Parade, fundraising idea.

SFZoo Gorilla Babie Naming Contest

Dangerous Item left on ledge of Lemurs

Gorilla Babie Cam is Up!

Happy World Orangutan Day!

Happy World Lion Day!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Gorilla Babie Update - OR Not

As of Friday (Aug 9), it will have been three weeks since the Zoo posted an update about the Babie Gorilla born to Nneka on July 17th.   There was one article, on one news source that came out on July 24, yet the information in that article was never even posted to the Zoo's own Social Media sites.  I made a post to my other blog that day:

>> > July 24, 2013 - There has still been no update from the Zoo via their website or Facebook page, in regards to the babie Gorilla. The last word was on Friday morning, five days ago.  Its very curious, considering they made the announcement that she had been born, and there was a video.  That said, while there on Monday I did hear that while all the Gorillas are interested in the babie, coming in to see it and touch it, Nneka has not shown a "mothering" interest and the Staff is taking care of her.  Further information produced that, going the way of using Bawang as surrogate would probably be what would happen if Nneka did not take interest soon.   I didn't post this because I didn't think it was my place to, until there was definite word on what the plan would be.  With still no word from the Zoo on Social Media sites, this article did come today via Google News alert, confirming the information I got.  ... I'm looking forward to seeing the babie on the video, like they did with Hasani and what I had hoped they would do with Tiger Cubbie.

Since the Tiger Cub birth I have started to check the Zoo's Facebook page a couple times a week.  Over the past three weeks, several people have asked for updates on the Gorilla Babie.  All but one had gone unanswered.  The only Zoo only replied to one inquiry on July 29 and said:   "Gorilla baby is great, thanks for asking. Updates soon"

With another week passed and no still no update from the Zoo, this was posted by user Nica Doodle:
"What about our gorilla baby fix? It's been 2 weeks, and not a single word? I don't understand. It's no secret that mom isn't raising her, we got pictures/video of Hasani early on, didn't we? Sorry for the frustration, but people have been asking about her for weeks, and we were promised an update "soon", did I miss it?"

The answer is no.  She didn't miss it, there has been no update.  

We all ask the SFZoo,  Why has there been no updates?

While other Zoo's are on babie watches, have live dens cams, and get Animal updates, our Zoo seems to always hide behind a veil.  Everything is so secretive, it breeds curiosity.   Like I noted, they haven't even posted information that was in a news article.  

When will this camera stream be set-up?  I was in the Lion House last week and the Video Monitor that was used for the Tiger Cub (which I assume will be the one used) was still in there.  Its not in use so why hasn't it been set-up yet?  

That all said, I was also told this week that the Keepers started taking the Babie out in the morning before the Zoo opens, why haven't they posted any photos of that?   I remember they did this when Hasani was born. Keepers told me they brought him out to get Vitamin D from the natural light.  It was so exciting to see him so tiny!  Here are a couple of my photos :)  ... I'm sure people would be thrilled to see more photos of the new Babie!

 Babie Hasani  2009

As stated by Nica Doodle, the silence surrounding this Babie is curious, considering the birth was not only made public, but in front of the public.  One has to even wonder, if it was not witnessed by Visitors, would they even have announced this birth?   

UPDATE: Sunday August 18, 2013 -  I meant to make this update after my visit on Tues (8/13), but didn't get to it.  Doesn't seem to matter, as the Zoo has still not made any mention of the Gorilla babie on any of their Social Media sites.  This past Friday, marks week four of no word and yesterday, August 17th makes the babie now one month old. 

Not sure when this sign went up, but it wasn't there on Monday the 5th, but was on Tues the 13th.  Per this sign, I guess there will be NO info til the babie is ready to be on view?   Not sure whatever happened to the video they were going to put outside the exhibit.  Maybe it will be there tomorrow.