Tuesday, October 8, 2013

HOT TOPIC! - Kids Allowed Beyond Barriers at Chimp Exhibit!

I strongly believe that everything happens the way its supposed to and in reference to the Zoo that I'm positioned to witness certain things, because honestly, it sometimes seems that myself and my friend Lee are the only ones that do.  

A series of events have tied themselves together to form this post.  Words from a Friend.  A Horrifying Event.  Lame new Signs.

Because I'm a fan of story-telling in chronological order when possible, I'll note the gist ahead of time, because my title lends to wanting the information out there.   SO, in short, during yesterdays visit, we witnessed three young Girls at the inside Barrier around the Chimp enclosure.  This misbehavior could have ended with one or all of our Chimps being killed.   Every aspect of this is unacceptable.

The other day a Friend told me that my negativity about the Zoo and the People that work there is hard to handle.  Additionally noting that she believes "They do the best they can."    ... Hard to handle I can understand, but judgmental about it when our experiences with the Zoo and Staff have been very different, is not.   This post isn't about my experiences, so I won't lay them out in detail, but they have been very well documented in another one of my blogs if you don't already know.   

Today while spending time with the Chimps, I was taking photos and my Friend Lee said in broken words something about the Barrier.  I looked at her and she pointed in the direction of the middle Chimp Grotto.  There stood three pre-teen Girls leaning up against and slightly over the inner Barrier.  Lee said she was so shocked that she couldn't say anything sooner, which would have been when she saw one of them with their legs actually over the Barrier, which would put her directly in the Exhibit!

Of course I took a photo and then said, "Excuse me, but you're not supposed to be over the Barrier." To which they said, both "We aren't" and  something about paying for it, which I assume meant because they were part of the group that had rented the Party Room.  This Room is adjacent to the Lemur Cafe.  The Room has a small Patio the looks out to the middle Chimp Grotto, which is apparently from where they gained access.

I went looking for someone to tell, and a Staffer was exiting the Cafe.   He said,  "they aren't supposed to...",  thanked me and quickly went over there.     

Knowing I was definitely going to be posting about this,  I wanted to see what the Barrier situation was from the Party Room, which I had never been in.  So, once the Party was over I went in and checked it out.  Two members of the Catering Staff who worked the Party were still in there.  I went to the Patio and saw that there was a fence several feet before the inner Barrier,therefore creating that outer/secondary Barrier,  but it ended to the left, with a wide open area beyond some trees, leaving that part of the Barrier approachable.  One of the Staffers was giving me the "sales info" spiel, so I noted that space where it ends and added that I had seen kids beyond that over at the Barrier.  She said,  "They didn't go over there."   I said, "Yes, they did, I took a photo."   Then the other Staffer said, "I let them go under the bushes to collect Feathers."   At that point I saw the Mama Peahen and her Babie napping in the sun, in a place that should have been their safe haven, yet it wasn't, because People were "allowed" to traipse through there.  ... I had the info I needed so I left.

So, now that I've painted the picture calmly, I will say that seeing those kids at the inner Barrier was horrifying!   In short, if the one Girl who had her legs in the Exhibit, (for example) slipped and fell in, Our Chimps would have been Shot and Killed in an effort to save her.   .. I'm getting pretty tired of hearing stories about Animals getting killed because of Human misbehavior and/or stupidity.  And in reference to our Zoo, no one seems to want to take any serious steps to ensure this doesn't happen.

I have posted about this before, different times I've seen Barriers being breached and my thoughts about the People who perpetrate this Crime.   And, my feelings about how Animals should not lose their lives because of Stupid and/or Evil People.  But, because Society values the lives of Humans more than Animals, even if the Humans are Stupid, Evil, or whatever the characteristic that leads them to misbehave.  Sorry if this is harsh, but its how I feel, and I know alot of other People who feel this way, I'm just vocal about it.

Yes, in this case these were Kids, but does that make them less responsible?   They weren't five, they should know better.  Who's watching these Kids?  Why wasn't the Catering Staff who gave them permission to go beyond Barriers supervising them?  Do these Catering Staffers even have the authority to give that kind of permission?   AND Why does that fencing just stop?  There shouldn't be an incomplete Barrier that area.  There should also be a sign there that says, STOP No Access Beyond This Point.   In fact THAT is what all the signs should say.  A Plain and simple LARGE sign should be at every exhibit, not just ones the Zoo picks and chooses at curious random.  That one with the Park Code, ect.  THAT should be posted on a Large sign in Entry Village and at the Gate House.

There is just too much Barrier breaching going on at the Zoo.  Every single time I'm there its something.  So, it must be happening all the time.  Accidents just waiting to happen and the Zoo can seemingly care less.  I can say that as apparently certain, because I have been posting about this for along time.  I've provided photos.  I've made suggestions.  I've basically begged them for more signage and other deterrents.    There is never Security on the grounds.  I didn't see Security until I was in the parking lot.  That's no fault of theirs, they patrol where they are told to.  Most days the Zoo only hires two at one given time.

So, to all Readers, including my Friend,  I must ask, Is this the best they can do?  Hell No!  Its not even close to the best.  THIS incident today should have NEVER happened.  Those Kids should have never been given permission by a Staffer to go beyond an obvious Barrier area and certainly not unsupervised.  Whether or not the Zoo actually allows this, it is unacceptable to put those Chimps (or any other Animals) in a vulnerable situation if an accident occurred and they reacted naturally.

The Zoo continues to FAIL in trying to provide a safe environment for the Animals that live there.  I know you can't fix Stupid, but you can try to deter it and they don't even seem to want to do that.  My only guess is they don't want to offend anyone and lose business.  I guess that's more important than an Animal losing its life because of Human misbehavior or a Human losing theirs because of their own actions.  I certainly hope that neither ever happens (again).  SFZoo, let this once again be notice to you. I have a pretty decent size documentation on your lack of safety and will only continue to document what I see, so you might want to get a better grip on the Barrier situation.

I recently posted about seeing people hanging over the Barrier at the Hippo.  Its happened before where after I post something I'll see some fix-it suggestion materialize on the grounds.  So, now there's a new sign about Barrier breaching.  

Size compare reference

Size reference

This sign was at the Indian One-Horned Rhino.  I find this curious.  For one, there was already a sign there, while for years there were none at any other Exhibits. A few months ago,  a couple tiny ones turned up at Black Rhinos after I posted about a breaching there.  Two, this is not even one of the repeated breach spots.  Three, the sign is the size of a TV Guide, much like the two they put up at Black Rhinos.  Four, the Sign only notes about "Entering" an enclosure, nothing about standing, sitting, or dangling over the Barriers.  Did the Zoo miss my post on what happened earlier this year at the Pittsburgh Zoo?   

In any case,  there is still no such sign at the Hippo.  Or the Mandrills, or the Anteater, both which are other consistent hot spots for dangling over Barriers.  ... This same (tiny new) sign also appears near the middle of the new Polar Bear exhibit.   Curious that one small sign is all that is at Bears, when it there is a stretch of five Bear Grottos.  

 Visitors either ignoring the
tiny new sign at  Polar Bears,
or more likely, they didn't even see it.
Either way, MISBEHAVING!

AND, What's the deal with the signs being so small for something so important, yet the signs to keep unauthorized People out of restricted areas is about six times the size?  I would think the message about not entering a Wild Animal Enclosure would be more important than an employee only area, but hey that's just silly ol' me.  Silly me, I also think more Security and Staff actually watching people would be helpful.  Silly me, I also think there are other ways to let Visitors know and learn about proper behavior.   Maybe its also too negative of me to notice when someone dangles their baby over the Rhino and says "Here Rhino."   I guess I also shouldn't take notice when a grown adult tries to sit on one of the babie Goats or feed Goats Lollipops?    How about when People let their Kids chase the Peacocks and try to pull out their Feathers for a photo op?   Should I not notice that too?  

Bottom line.  I'm not a fan of Humans and I don't pretend to be.  I prefer Animals, that I why I'm hypersensitive to everything and everyone at the Zoo.  And you know what, someone has to be, because it sure ain't the people that work there.   

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.


  1. lee a tigers best friendOctober 9, 2013 at 8:37 AM

    I was horrified to witness the breaching at chimps. The girl in the turquoise pants was actually straddling the final barrier when I called to you. These are older chimps but still dangerous red alert animals. The zoo never learned from the tatiana tragedy. I guess if there had been an accident the zoo would have liked the publicity good or bad. If anyone has ever seen how worked up the chimps get when a squirrel gets into their grotto they would see how chimps work as a team. Monday could have been a tragedy for our precious chimps. The adults weren't watching the kids because later the same kids were running with huge sticks banging on everthing and even pulling out the rubber animals from the lion fountain with the adults twenty feet away in their own conversations. I might add the kids were around ten years old. Thank you for bringing this near miss out in the open.

    1. @Lee- Thank you for your comment. ... You are right the Zoo never learned from the Tiger Event in 2007. They think they have yet in 2009 there was another near Event with someone going into the Grizzlies. And there continues to be barrier breaching everyday, with no eyes on the grounds to see it. Another incident with someone actually making it into an Animal enclosure and not only as I stated would the Animal (s) be at risk of being shot to save a lousy Human, but the Zoo would probably close and then where do our Senior Animals go to live out their lives? BUT the Zoo Management Staff doesn't think about that because they have proven over and over that the Animals are not a priority. AND yes! Those same kids were acting the fool all over the Zoo, with no Parent giving a shit what they do.

  2. This is a disgrace, with such high standards (the city of San Francisco), it is frustrating to see the zoo with so few precautions. There will always be those people (referring to teens and adults) who will be stupid and act in such a way, but for the kids that you have talked about, it is more reasonable (just a little bit though, they should have known better). But as of now I will not blame the visitors (yet) because it is THE ZOO'S FAULT for not having proper barriers and restrictions, it is THE ZOO'S FAULT that they allowed the kids into danger, that lives (both animal and human) could have been lost. I have never personally been in the Party Room, but seeing your pictures, there is an obvious flaw in the barrier fence ending, as with other barriers and precautions around the zoo, and this IS THE ZOO'S FAULT.

    1. @ellicruu- Thank you for your comment. ... You are right, this is a disgrace. It is very frustrating, for many reasons. Mostly because since 2009 I have been pointing things out to (first) Tanya (Peterson, Zoo Director) and after her slandering me, via my Blogs. It isn't brain surgery to have someone walk around and see what needs to be done. Frankly and I don't mean to sound pompus, but I could do several people's jobs there and the place woudl be much better for it, because they obviously don't have many people with any sense working there. Its the biggest ship of fools I've ever been around. AND they are going to sink the ship at some point with their neglect to fix important safety issues for both the precious Animals and the stupid Humans. ... I got stuff going on this week and not sure when I'm going to make it there, but I will post if there has been a "fix" to the Party Room barrier access.

  3. Thank you for your continuing blogs about the misbehavior of people at the San Francisco Zoo and excellent suggestions for making the zoo a safer place for animals and people alike. I hope the Zoo will get a clue and fix some of these problems before it's too late and there is another international incident.

    1. @hazel- Thank you for your comment and continued support. As long as I'm a Visitor there and there is a threat to the Animals, I will blog about it. I will always be the Voice for the Animals. I can care less about the Humans, but at the same time, must provide suggestions from the Human side of it, in order to make sure the Animals stay safe. Hopefully the Zoo has addressed this issue and fixed that access point from the Party Room. I will hopefully be able to go there this week and check. ... If there ever is another incident and I pray there isn't just because I don't want one of the Zoo Friends to lose their life, BUT if there is, like I stated to the Zoo, I am documenting and I will widen my outreach to Media, because they should have been on this barrier issue yrs ago. SHAME on you SFZOO!

  4. Very good the bring this kind of misbehavior into our Worlds. First of all I feel that a ZOO is FIRST responsible for the ANIMALS SAFETY and on second place for the humans who visit. I believe if you keep your animals safe and in their comfort zone I am sure humans are safe aswell.

    Second I find it very disturbing it seems to me the lack of care, responsibility and amount of indifference from the staff at the ZOO. The CEO's lacked responsibility in hiring good humans on the right places. Sometimes humans lack braincells that comes with a certain type of job like working in a ZOO. It is not their fault to overestimate their intelligence it is the fault of CEO's to put them on in the wrong places.

    Third I think as a responsible member of the Staff let spoiled brats going over barriers which are there for the comfort zones of in this case the family group of Chimps and to create safety for the humans to search for feathers in the process alarming a mother peacock and baby. I think if you let that happen you lack braincells for the job you having.

    Fourth the ignorant parents (I assume) who think their spoiled offspring is everybodies responsibility when leaving the house with them are also very responsible. I cannot believe that they did not call those kids back themselves.

    Fifth you can't make a ZOO IDIOTPROOF! There are and always will be morons who think it is cool to cuddle a very dangerous animal. So you desperately need a qualified INTELLIGENT staff to prevent things such as happened with the chimps.

    What saddens me is that IF the brat fell in the Family Group of Chimps would only react on their instinct. Basically protect their family from the sudden treat. They are confused out of their comfort zone and will react. They remove that treat out of their family in a way we humans knew in our early days when we lived in caves but modern day humans can't understand this anymore. They will take a gun and shoot the animals because then all on the sudden they are to dangerous to handle. While they are still the same Chimp before and after the incident that is a fact in several studies.

    Homo Sapiens is the only evil and vile animal that kills out of pleasure. All the other species will only kill and attack when you cross a certain line you trigger something in the animal to attack you. Unfortunally Homo Sapiens supposed to be the Intelligence on this planet well if that is the case here I dare to say we are the less Emphatic Species ever walk the Earth.

    1. @Miss Dani - Thank you for your comment and Welcome! ... You are right on every point. Sadly our Zoo while touting that Animals are a priority, actions speak louder and I have documented far too many issues that show that not to be true. ... You hit it, there are not the right kind of people working there. Management does not make the right decisions for the Animals, and almost all Staffers walk right by people misbehaving and say nothing. I seriously think I'm the only one whoever see's stuff, because when I'm there all I see is people with blinders. ... In reference to Parents, they are often worse than their Kids. It is mostly Adults acting the fool, but in this case, yes can't these Parents see that it is not the best idea even if the Zoo says its OK? That woudl be a NO considering I saw a Lady dangle her infant over the Rhino and yell Here Rhino! < OMG! right?! ... And YES if the brat fell in, the procedure would be to shoot the Animal if it touched the Kid. AND those Chimps would def touch the Kid! The Grizzly Girls walked past the Guy who went in their home, so they were spared, BUT had they touched him and not backed away, they would have lost their lives. To me NOT trying everything to deter this misbehaviors (whether or not they work) is like playing Roulette with the Animals lives. That said its must be a game to the Zoo then. They clearly do not want to take steps to make the Zoo safer. They want to continue to have a couple Security Guards that roma the parking lot, while the Visitors are allowed to run wild all over the place and do whatever they want.

  5. This is unheard off!!! The Zoo must keep their animals safe and in their comfort zone. The Animals are brought there by the Zoo so it is their responsibility to give them the best care possible to protect them from clueless (and I think cheaper) Staff and Moron visitors. The visitors are there on their free will and as the 'Intelligent' species, the humans are responsible for their own safety. I do not approve when things go wrong due to human behavior the animals get shot, that to me is not logic. Intelligent staff who is aware of the responsibility that comes with their line of work, must be priority number one to make that ZOO safer for Animals and Humans.

    1. @Mr Rene - Thank you for your comment and Welcome! ... I agree this should be unheard of, but sadly its not. I see it every visit, someone over a barrier and this was the worst, because the Staffer told them they could go to this off limits area. Sadly again, the Zoo does nothing to protect them. They won't even put up enough signs, or even any of the other things I've been suggesting for near two yrs now. Its disgusting. Thank you! for saying such, that Humans should be responcible for themselves. If I was to post a sign, it would say, Do Not Cross Barrier. If you do, it is voluntary and We will do our best to extract you BUT Not with Danger to our Animals. BUT the Zoo and most like facilities are chicken shit and afraid to offend people. My honest words are not politically correct enough. That said the Zoo can't even put up a PC sign at every exhibit. It mind numbing to think about the IQ of the Staff. ... Of course it is not logic for an Animal to lose its life because of Human miisbehavior, But that is unfortunately the World we live in where no matter what kind of Moron or Demon your are, if you are Human, you are considered of more value.


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