Saturday, September 28, 2013

Zoo Hippo's Unfortunate Namesake - Ballplayer Brian Wilson, Typical Human

I had another post in queue, but someone just posted this on Facebook and their comment prompted me to write this post now.  The person who posted this is not a Zoo Visitor, but knows that the Zoo did name one of its Animals (one that already had a Name) after former San Francisco Giants Ballplayer Brian Wilson.  I don't follow sports and didn't even know he wasn't with the Giants anymore.

Allegedly, yet apparently, BW isn't a stand-up guy, which prompted the Facebook poster to comment:

"I think the Zoo should rename the animal that was named after him"! This is a good reason ANIMALS at the ZOO should not be named after celebrities!!!!"

All I have to say is A-Friggin'-MEN!  

Everyone knows my opinion on the Zoo's naming processes, if not you can search this blog for references. That said, in regard to this particular naming travesty,  at Eight years old, Tucker the Hippo came to the Zoo with a name he had his whole life.  Then at Zoofest, the Zoo auctioned off his name and Board Member Mark Roberts decided to name him after the Giants Ballplayer.  Not just Brian, not just Wilson, but the whole stupid thing.  FAIL!

I not only hate the name change game the Zoo plays, but really take issue with the Ballplayer Names. In my opinion the Zoo allows this and does it themselves because they know they will get Media attention from it, since SF has been on a winning streak with Sports Teams.  It makes me feel like they are raping Animals of given Names just to pimp them out.   If an Animal is without a Name, as in a newborn, and its appropriate, I may not have a problem with a Celebrity Name, but the keyword is appropriate!  Not like the gal who wanted to name the Female Penguin Chick after Male Comedian Russell Brand.  

This all said, the problem is that Celebrities are Human, and in my opinion, should not be put on pedestals, as they fall off, just like anyone else.   I'm not a fan of Humans at all, but regardless of my bias about that, this is a proven fact.  Unless they are going to be named after Humans who have proven to have done great things in their lives, especially for Animals, then it just shouldn't be done. I don't see an Animal named after Leonardo DiCaprio who has done alot for Animals.  Yea, that's what I'll be looking forward to, an Animal (that's born there) being named Leo or DiCaprio.  

In the case of Brian Wilson the Human, this guy has never even acknowledged that poor Tucker now bears his name.  I even read once that he was at an event across the street from the Zoo and didn't bother to even visit Tucker.  This is clearly not even a guy who likes Animals.  

The Zoo named its newborn Female Francois Langur (Monkey) after another Giants Player, Sergio Romo.  He at least came to the Zoo, BUT he was also quoted allegedly saying the Langurs weren't his favorites!    What an Ass!  

So, YES as the Facebook poster suggested, that awful moniker BW should be removed from our precious Tucker and he should be allowed to keep his given Name.

Zoo seems to really be blowing smoke up 49er Alex Boone's bum, so I think poor Rhino Belozi will never get his Name back.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

My Zoo Outtings - A Weekly Synopsis

Since I started my "short" item blog,  a couple followers have noted that its hard to comment on that blog because of how lengthy the Running Commentary post is.  I would like to figure this out so people can comment.  That said, the style of that blog being a running one post, was meant to be easy access to everything by just landing at the main page.  I have posted here once before a Topic list, but that doesn't lend to a comment forum, unless you go back and forth.  So, I'm going to try this.  Once a week posting here, what was posted on that supplement blog.  

September 26, 2013 - I really should start tallying up all the things the Zoo does that I blog about. Just saying.  ... I post here in July 7 entry suggesting a Food Truck event and tonight's event Noc'tails, will include Food Trucks.  Actually looks like a good event.  Since the Lion House is open during it, would have been cool if they gave the Big Cats some fun themed Enrichment Toys!  Here's a photo of a Coconut Cup Tropical Cocktail "Toy" I made for our Tiki Luau themed day :)  

Skylar/Leanne enjoying her "Drink aka Toy (filled with meat)  :)

September 25, 2013 - The Zoo finally took my suggestion and came up with a creative way to Name an Animal (thankfully, as a newborn, this one didn't already have a Name!).   Noted in my August 23 post.   These "ballot" boxes are located in Entry Village.

> September 25, 2013 - Finally!  After visiting Willow a handful of times and not seeing her with any food or with it only hanging outside her enclosure, today, she had food inside the fence!  Maybe alittle racket helped?!

Four food options INSIDE the fence!  

> September 24, 2013 - I haven't posted in sometime about the Idiots who roam free at the Zoo.  That doesn't mean they don't still exist.  I see them every visit and document as many as possible, because the Zoo refuses to take a stand on deterring this misbehavior.  Last week in the African Aviary a guy reached into the exhibit and bounced a tree branch trying to get the Bird sitting on it to move for a photo.  WTF?  People are out of control.  Sure that's minor to Visitors hanging over barriers and possibly falling in, but still its major Bullshit and I'm tired of seeing it.  This is their home, WTF is wrong with people?  In the case of the later, if that happened, one of our Animals would be killed.  

Idiots is too kind. Considering that this is invasive to an Animal in its home AND this action could lead to an Animals death.  So, Evil, Demon, Ahole is more what I'd call it, but many don't embrace my extreme bluntness in choice of words.  Being ignorant is no longer a valid excuse.  ... Note this same Family was dangled of the Black Rhinos minutes before.  These Parents must not only be stupid as get all, but must really hate their Children.

September 23, 2013 -  New idea for sharing photos.  I take alot of Zoo friend photos, but only edit and share a few on Flickr.  Editing is time consuming and they all have to be resized even if I don't have to adjust exposure.  So, I picked a bunch from the past week and put them in a Video.  Will try to do this weekly :)  Enjoy!

September 21, 2013 -  While watching Willow the other day, I captured a Sweet interaction between her and Amani :)  While the other Giraffes came by and looked, only Amani interacted with her.  Amani came up and sniffed her and then started giving her Kisses!  Too precious :) I almost teared up it was so sweet.  Amani seems to be a very kissey, lovey girl, as I captured her also kissing the Babie :)   I love these two beautiful new Girls!   Welcome to you both, I look forward to watching you for many years to come!

> September 19, 2013 - Put together some screen caps from the Monitor outside Gorillas.  I took pix of the ones of the babie that I haven't seen posted online anywhere.  There have only been a few, these will probably be new to those who haven't been in person.  

September 18, 2013 - Had a wonderful interaction with precious Gauhati (One-Horned Rhino)  you can view the video of him greeting me and wanting me to play Ball with him :)   

Sunday, September 22, 2013

World Rhino Day at the San Francisco Zoo

So, where do I begin.  I know, that doesn't sound like this is going to be very good.   So, two things first.   I love my Precious Rhino Friends!  I'm lucky to get to experience what Special Beings they are. I usually don't Zoo on the weekend, but went today to support their Species special Day and to witness whether or not Elly got treats, because I knew she would be dissed as usual.  Answer is NO Elly did not get treats.   

Elly has been banished to the back of the exhibit for a year now (more information on that in my next post).  I rarely see her up anymore, but she was up today!  She's not stupid, she knew something was happening.  Sadly, it just wasn't happening for her.  It was heartbreaking to watch Elly trot around in a circle, as she watched Belozi get his treats.

I asked one Keeper if Elly was getting treats and she said maybe later, indicating during the Keeper talk in the afternoon. In my opinion, that isn't good enough. I don't know who decides what and when, but her not getting something at the same time is inexcusable.  I'm not blaming this Keeper because as I stated I don't know who's call this was.  BUT There is NO reason why Elly couldn't have been given a box of treats at the same time Belozi was.  They could have thrown it over to her before they went around to the front to throw Belozi his.  There is NO excuse for her having to watch him.  When Mishaki was in the front of the exhibit, she had to watch him too.  Its horrible.  

In an effort to "give info"  the other Keeper told people Elly (at 42 yrs old) was the oldest Rhino in a North American Zoo, something they like to boast, yet they couldn't give her a friggin' box?  Sorry, but I'm getting really tired of this crap.  AND that's exactly what this and other stuff I point out that the Zoo does that disrespects these Animals.  Elly is a Grand Dame, and she deserves better treatment.  

Let's talk about the Enrichment.  Since my friend and I used to make Enrichment Toys, as well I've seen attempts the Zoo has made, in addition to reading everything I can about Enrichment in other Zoos, I do know what kind of creative things can be done for Events.  There are different types of Enrichment, but for Events, there should be something fun and Themed.  Don't get me wrong, the Animals don't care, they are happy to be getting treats!  BUT that doesn't mean that putting those treats in something different (shape, color, size) isn't funner for them and fun for Visitors to see.  

The treats today were put in plain boxes the produce comes in.  In my opinion thats just plain lazy. You tell me the Zoo couldn't have some Docents at least paint the boxes and write World Rhino Day on them? They had three double-sided signs that were fancier than the Enrichment Boxes.  Pathetic.   ... And the signs, interestingly noted that Elly had fourteen babies, when their Animal List says she had sixteen.  Note that fourteen is MY count, that I always post when referencing.  Just saying.  Wonder where they are getting their information (and other ideas) from?

I try not to blame the Keepers (at least in this instance), as I think Event Enrichment should be planned by the Curator and the Animal Care VP and/or Event Staff.  The Keepers seem to work with what they are given.  I guess there's no official Enrichment Staff anymore and the Enrichment Program they slammed the door on us for, is and always was non-existent.  No one makes anything fun for these Animals anymore.  Keeping them entertained is just not a priority.  They sit around bored all the time, and are given the same old things.  The only kind of  "Toy" type Enrichment I've seen given lately is when there's some kind of 49er thing going on and Belozi gets a box with the logo painted on it, for a photo op.  And again only Belozi (who they renamed Boone after the ball player) gets something.

For an Event that is supposed to Celebrate Rhinos and raise awareness for their plight, there sure wasn't much going on.   It seemed like this was something they just did to keep up with the Jones. They didn't even have anyone taking photos.  They sure go all out when there's a Sports thing going on, but hey, we're only trying to save an Animal Species from going Extinct, its not the Super Bowl or anything.  On their Facebook page they even mention the Zip Line before Rhino Day!  Disgusting.

At least two out of three Rhinos got some extra treats out of the deal.

Belozi enjoying his treats!

 Gauhati enjoying his treats!

Down to the last drop!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Happy World Rhino Day! - September 22, 2013

Happy World Rhino Day!
to my Awesome Rhino Friends
 Greater One-Horned Rhino, Gauhati!
Black Rhinos, Elly! and her Grandson Belozi!
... remembering Mishaki, you are missed!

Tomorrow is World Rhino Day!  I have been lucky to know some awesome Rhinos!  They are Beautiful and Intelligent!  All species of these Wonderful Beings are threatened.  Please visit this site to learn more about their plight.

So, the San Francisco Zoo is Finally! getting with the program and acknowledging an Animal Awareness Day!   I guess at some point the Shame from Other Zoo's participation and my blogging about their lack of Celebration, had to nudge them eventually.  All I can say is, its about time! I haven't seen one of these Days acknowledged since I've been aware of them myself, at least last couple years. Recognizing these Animal Awareness Days, not only bring attention to the plight of threatened Species, but Celebrates the lives of the Wonderful Beings we are so lucky to have in our lives.   It's also a win-win in getting people to the Zoo and educating them.

Will report on the Zoo's participation and Enrichment activities.  So check back for my next post.

Rhino Day 2012 with Elly 

Here are some posts I've made pertaining to Animal Awareness Days. 

Short bits from my other blog:  (listed by date)
August 10, 2013 -   Happy World Lion Day! 

August 19, 2013 - World Orangutan Day!

September 4, 2013 -  Happy National Wildlife Day! 

September 7, 2013 - Happy International Vulture Awareness Day!  

Friday, September 20, 2013

Meet Willow! - New Giraffe Lady :)

I am happy to post my findings about this lovely Lady.  Her Name is Willow.  She was born October 3, 2008 at the Como Zoo in St. Paul, Minnesota.  At about One year old, she moved to the San Diego Zoo, where her Mama was born.

You can view her babie photo and read about her birth here:

If you read my previous post, then you know that this beautiful Lady has joined the list of other disrespected Animals at the San Francisco Zoo.  Falcor, Amani, Belozi, Taymor, Shastyuh, Niya, Sable, Tucker and Skylar (search this blog to learn who these Animals are now) These Animals come to the Zoo with life Names that they know and respond to.

You also know that when I asked about her Name the Keeper told me she didn't know what it was.  I noted this was a flat out lie because I know there is a Name attached to each Animal in its Species Studbook.   I NOW know that when Animals are sent to other Zoo's they come with a printed Transfer Document that states information pertaining to the Animal as an individual, including its Name.  At first I thought maybe it was just me they would lie to because most there hate that I blog and know so much about the Animals, but I asked several other Keepers and they too have been lied to.  I know that there are things that go on that unless you are standing there at the moment it happens, you will not get the true story, so this just confirms the secrecy that goes on, even on a level as simple as an Animals Name.  

That all said, I hope you enjoyed learning about Willow's History, as much as I did  :)    

I will also note that I have heard that some Zoo Staff don't like that I know so much about the Animals. I think that's a very curious thing. Why would they not want people to care about the Animals?  They share very little personal information on the Animals.  To me, the more People know, the more invested they become.   This Caring (which is supposed to be part of their Mission) endears People, and in my opinion not only makes them want to visit more, but also might breed a bit of empathy for those who might not have a sensitivity towards the Animals (aka the misbehaving fools).  I feel that by not sharing personal information, the Zoo robs us of learning about something that we are passionate about.  That we Care about.

Speaking of caring.  All three times I've seen Willow, she never has Browse (Acacia branches) inside her space.  She is right now "holding" inside the corral.  Friday, she had none at all.  Monday she had a picked clean one hanging on the outside of the fence?  AND she was hungry!  That's when I took this photo.  Wednesday, all the other Giraffes had Browse out for them (three different locations inside their space) and Willow had one, but it was again on the outside of the fence?  She stared at the others eating, and it made me so uncomfortable I had to leave.

That's another thing, they always keep the food on the ground outside which in my opinion teases them when they don't have any.  I've seen others try to reach for it, but they aren't as tall as Miss Willow!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Another Name Change on the Way - New Giraffe Lady Doesn't Have a Name? BS!

Yes, its true, true to San Francisco Zoo style, this lovely Lady, according to them is nameless.  So, I'm only to assume she is receiving the same Disrespect that Tucker the Hippo got when he moved to SF.

Yesterday I visited the Zoo and got to meet the new Female Giraffe that apparently arrived Wednesday night under a blanket of secrecy as even some Staff didn't know a new Giraffe was being added.   A sign noted she came from the San Diego Zoo, and I heard she is Five years old.

Knowing that the Zoo can't stop their compulsion for renaming Animals, I figured they would change her name.  That didn't stop me from trying to find out what her given name was.  I usually don't get that information from anyone at the Zoo, but since a Keeper arrived on the scene I figured I'd have go at it, perfectly knowing how it would go.  

Me: What's the New Girls Name?
Keeper Megan:  She doesn't have one.
Me:  What was her Name before she came here?
Keeper Megan:  I don't know.

Typical.  The Zoo Staff must really think people are stupid.  Maybe they are, but I'm not.  A full grown Animal most definitely has a Name and the Keeper Staff know full well what that Name is.  The whole exchange with Keeper Megan was embarrassing.   Maybe she's following orders, which I can respect, what I can't respect is choosing to Lie.  Shameful and yes, embarrassing.  There is nothing wrong with being Honest and simply saying, "We can't say until she gets her new name."

Unfortunately the Zoo is laden with Secrets, Lies, and more.  People wonder why I don't trust the Zoo Staff (those who I do know who they are). This is a prime example.  Instead of just being Honest, they find it so easy to Lie.   That's just how they roll there. 

If I can't find out her original Name, my friends and I will rename her ourselves, something appropriate, which a Donor will never do. 

This photo was taken on my cell phone, as I didn't have my camera with me.  Look forward to more photos of her soon!

Author Add:  Through the comments, the Studbook source came up and I realized that by not sharing an Animals original name, the Zoo deny's us the joy of learning more about the Animals as individuals. There is no way to research their history. Not a very good way to foster Caring, which is part of their Mission Statement

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Happy Grandparents Day!

Many of my wonderful Zoo Friends are Grandparents!   
I wish a very special Happy Grandparents Day! 
to these that I'm aware of  :)  

 Elly :)      
Having birthed I believe fourteen calves
Elly has several GrandBabies!
Her GrandSon Belozi :)
shares exhibit space with her.
Belozi also has a Brother named Ajabu :)
both born at San Diego WIld Animal Park
 to Elly's Daughter Susan K.

Belozi :)

Ramona :) and her first GrandBabies
Brooks and Shania :)
whose Mama is Rosa :)
Two weeks after Rosa gave birth
her Sister Rita :)  had her Twins
Dakoda and Maverick :)
Making Ramona a Grandma to four kids!

 Bawang :)
who became a first time Grandma
when her Daughter Nneka
gave birth in July.

 Sukari :)
who became a first time Grandma 
when her Daughter Mfisha 
gave birth to five Cubs last December
at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha.

Bititi :)
who became a Grandma in July
when her Son Dozer sired a calf
at Safari West.

Rigel :)
who is Grandpa to GrandDaughter Renji :)
born in Jan 2011 at the Chattanooga Zoo
to his Daughter Kasmir :)
Renji has moved to Cinncinatti
as part of the breeding program 
and will someday soon make Rigel a GreatGrandpa!
Kasmir, gave birth to a second litter
in Chattanooga last Oct 2012.

I had a fun time putting together this post.  It gave me the opportunity to share information I've personally gathered through my research of the Family Tree's for some of my wonderful Zoo Friends.    Being able to share my passion for these Animals and endear others to them as I have been, is something that was important to me.  That was the goal of my first blog .

Hope you enjoyed!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Homes of the Hornbills

The Zoo is home to three species of awesome Hornbills, the Great Hornbill, the Ground Hornbill and the Wrinkled Hornbill.  

With the Komodo Dragon exhibit being adjacent to the Ground Hornbills, now seems like an appropriate time to finally get to this post.  I started this post about a year ago it seems.   At first it was about the size of the Great Hornbill's enclosure, then earlier this year the Zoo acquired a pair of Wrinkles and I wanted to do an introduction post in combination with that.

One of my Zoo favorites is Hercules the Great Hornbill. Stop by and watch him, especially interact with Keepers.  He has quite a personality!   

The issue with his enclosure is that for this size Bird,  its too small.  I heard (what seems like the year ago, that prompted this post topic) that there was talk of expanding his living space, but that has yet to happen.  Why?  I have no idea.  BUT it is necessary!  

This is the front view of Hercules enclosure.  Where I have the blue arrows, shows three panels of fencing across, each measuring what looks to be about 6 ft and on the side there are two panels.  So, his living space seems to be approximately 18 ft x 12 ft.

This is the side view.  you can see the two panels to the photo left and the blue box on photo right is overlayed to an area that is the same size of the current area, but sits vacant with nothing on it.  This space should be used to extend Hercules living area and more important, FLIGHT area!  He is a bird with a wingspan of 5 ft, he needs space to free fly, not just flap a few feet to get around, which in addition to hopping is all he's able to do in here.

I have read that the European guideline for captive Hornbills is enclosures that are at least four times the wingspan.  I couldn't find anything for North America, but it would seem something similar should be in line. From my calculations that would mean Hercules should have an area of at least 20 x 20.

Below is the living space of the Ground Hornbills, who are in the old Lorikeet free fly enclosure.  This is a huge area.  This is what a space for Birds this size should be like.  

When the Zoo acquired the Wrinkled Hornbills earlier this year, they knocked down a wall between two of the enclosures on Bird Row (across from the Chimps), to create a long flight space for them.    They are a good size smaller than the Great and Ground Hornbills.

You can view them in their space in my Meet the Wrinkles video:

SFZoo, Why is Hercules still living in basically a big cage?

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.