Monday, November 25, 2013

Blog Update Long Overdue - Apologies

NOTE for 11.23.13 -
 I apologize to the much appreciated People who follow my blogs.  
I am sorry for the delay of almost a month of posts!  
Not to worry, that doesn't mean I'm not keeping my eye on what's going on at the Zoo :) 
 I have been making notes along the way, just haven't had time for proper posting, photo edits, and linking.   I updated my  blog over the weekend.  
I noted several in draft posts for this (longer version) blog.  
I hope to finish those soon, I apologize if soon isn't as soon as I hope.   

My Zoo Outtings - Weekly Synopsis 11.22.13

> November 22, 2013 - RIP Banana Sam, Mocha and Marody.  All precious Zoo Friends who we lost in the past week.  You are Loved and Missed.   ... I will make an extended post on regarding the loss of  many Friends in recent months.  Its sad that People only hear about the passings of the Animals the Zoo feels are "newsworthy", when each of the Animals have People who love and care about them.

> November 21, 2013 - News of the New Playground opening has started.  

I have been very vocal on my other blog about what I think of the Zoo fundraising for this while Animals continue to need upgrades to their homes.  Yesterday I woke up wishing I had the funds to help our Chimps have a better home.   Today, I  further fantasize that our Chimps could be the first ones to try out the new Playground!  Playing on the Banyan Trees, for the Zoo would never build them such grandness :(

Read my extended post about the Chimps, coming soon to

> November 19, 2013 - Took this photo recently and wanted to share.  I often see Visitors sketching the Zoo Friends.  I thought this was a nice one as first time I've seen someone use color.  Usually its students doing such for assignments, but this guy seems like he's doing it for pleasure.  Miss Pike is his subject :)

Noting also the curiosity of Pike's Grotto still having a metal fencing barrier up.  WHile I am all for Barriering up all the Animals for THEIR safety, this one was installed along with one at Ulu's concret grotto, 2008 a couple months after the Tiger event.  The one at Ulu's (grotto B) came down during the recent renovation.  These fences have been ridiculous from the start, seeing as they never put one on the Meadow, so defeats the purpose of both Keeping the Animals in (?) and the Visitors out.   Nothing was ever installed at the Grizzly grotto either, even after a Visitor climbed in in 2009.  This all said, the Zoo should take this eyesore down. If they want to protect all, they should run a glass barrier across the whole Bear area, protecting all the Grottos from Visitor misbehavior.

> November 17, 2013 - Noticed this new sign.  Along with reading my blogs, the Zoo must be reading my mind, or maybe they have some new Staff that actually think.  I have a long signage post (yes another one!) in the works and something along the lines of this is part of it.  Hope to have it done soon.  Stay tuned to  

> November 16, 2013 - Rumor has it, there's a new Cat in Town!   Tis True, a Male Siberian/Amur has arrived as a mate for our Shastyuh/Martha!   He is in quarantine, so should be out after the thirty day period! Looking forward to meeting him :)  Will post more details on him as I get them!  

My Zoo Outtings - Weekly Synopsis 11.15.13

> November 15, 2013 - What the Heck happened to the Childrens Zoo Sign???   Its gone (obviously in the Zoo's attempt to redo the area surrounding the new Playground, but why take down something like that?  I asked a handful of Staffers and all seemed disgusted by the removal and said no one could tell them why/who's idea this was.  FAIL!!!

I couldn't find my photo of it, so here's a screen cap from the Zoo's website.

> November 14, 2013 - Koola at Brookfield Zoo gave birth to a babie girl on 11.4.13 Koola is the Daughter of Binti Jua whose paternal roots are tied to our Zoo.  Her father Sunshine was born at SFZoo. Sunshine is the son of Bwana.  Bwana the brother of M'Kubwa, who is the Father of our Nneka, Grandfather to our unnamed babie Gorilla born in July.  Without doing all the math in further detail, our babie and this babie are cousins.  I believe since its a girl it will be owned by SFZoo like its Mother Binti Jua.

You can see some wonderful photos of Mother and Babie on my friends photostream.

> November 11, 2013 - Interesting!  If our Zoo adopted this, might change the way some Staff dress ;)

> November 10, 2013 - Yesterday, in addition to all the notations I make on my blogs about Visitor misbehavior towards the Animals, I'm sick of hearing their stupid comments.  One of the females in this motly crew was watching the Peccary babies and said, "Babie Bacon" repeatedly.  WTF is wrong with people and why do they come to the Zoo?  I guess it makes them feel superior to make fun of Animals.  It hurts me to hear these things and makes me feel sick to even relay them.  Who says this kind of thing, especially about week old little babies?  

My Zoo Outtings - Weekly Synopsis 11.8.13

>November 7, 2013 -Another note regarding my Visit yesterday, which was also Free Day.  Not only does the Zoo continue to not have enough Staff and Security presence on the grounds daily, it is really a problem on Free Day.  ... In relation to that and all the Barrier Breaching issues I post,  I will note that the Peccary enclosure is too vulnerable.  I do not like when people can literally hang over into Animals Homes.  There are several of these type exhibits.  The problem I have right now at Peccarries is they have six tiny babies, and seeing People sitting on and leaning over the barrier is awful.
NO protection for Peccaries

If you have read my other blogs Barrier Breaching posts, here is another angle of what continually goes on at Mandrills.  Note that this exhibit is outside the Security office.

> November 6, 2013 - Could not believe my eyes when I saw Taymor/Larry in Big Cat Grotto B!  
Taymor enjoying some Sensory Enrichment :)

I have had a post about enclosure rotation in the works for literally a year.  Some posts take longer to get going not only because of time and energy it takes to do them, but sometimes I'm just repeatedly exhausted at the same issues and the non-rotating of some of the Animals is mind numbing and heartbreaking.  Hope to finish my post in draft on this soon.  Til then you can read a bit about this subject in this previous blog post. 

> November 4,2013 - Peccary babies!  As a big fan of Red River Hogs, I was so happy when we got Peccaries, and once the male Habanero joined the females, the possibilities of babies was very exciting :)  So when our first babie girl was born I was slightly obsessed with her cuteness, and now we have six at one time!  Two litters, one Twins and the other Quads :)  Overload of cute and fun :)

> November 3, 2013 - Happy Polar Bear Week!   
Polar Bear Week is November 4-10.   This week hosted a number of worldwide events, staged to create awareness for the plight of Polar Bears in the Wild, which probably still include members of our wild born Ulu's Family.

Read more about it:

I didn't see any mention of this come out of the Zoo.  Guess it was another Awareness Day they missed. Probably doesn't really matter, they attempted Rhino Day (after I posted a couple years in a row about how they missed it) and did a piss poor job at it.

They are Zero for Zero in their Mission Statement. "At the San Francisco Zoo,  (A) it's our mission to connect people withwildlife,  (B) inspire caring for nature, and (C) advance conservation action." 

A- The only connecting I see, is when Visitors hang over barriers into the Animals homes.  B- I rarely see caring coming from Visitors and the Zoo does nothing to deter or educate.  C- The Zoo may participate in outside Conservation efforts in order to keep up with the Jones of other Zoos, but at home, they do very little to educate the Visitors on the plights of Animals being threatened with extinction.  Like taking advantage of these Celebration Days. 

> November 2, 2013 - Churros Are Home!  

Finally after an unexpected expanded stay at the Nature Meadow, Zoo Management finally let the Navajo Churro Sheep Ladies go back home to the Family Farm. They were moved on Halloween and I visited them yesterday to see how they were doing.  As I expected, Barn harmony was upset, the move changed them and their Friends who stayed behind.   Hope it doesn't take too much time for them all to adjust.  As well hope the Zoo never does something so uncaring again.   That's wishful thinking.

Read more about this unnecessary event on my previous blog post

November 2, 2013 - Today marked the first National Bison Day!  As a Richmond District Native, I grew up visiting our lovely herd that lives in Golden Gate Park and continue to visit them regularly. This is one of our beautiful Grand Dames :)  One of the last offspring born in the Park in the early 80s, babies I was lucky to see :)
You can read more about the American Bison and what this recognition Day means.  I will note that I personally find it curious that this awesome Animal is being celebrated yet not protected in the sense that it is used as a meat source :(

My Zoo Outtings - Weekly Synopsis 11.1.13

Novenber 1, 2013 - I sure miss Zoo Friend Bamba the Black Howler Monkey, who recently moved to the Santa Ana Zoo, to meet some Lady Friends :)  In a recent correspondence with them via Facebook Messaging, they said, "Bamba now lives at our "Amazon's Edge" island lagoon with a couple of Crested Screamers Black Swans. He seems to really like the new space.  He does have 2 new friends, a pair of females.  I'll post a pic on the timeline."   You can view the photo here:

October 31, 2013 -  
Pix from when my friend Lee and I made Enrichment ToysHeads in the Grass Halloween FunThese Paper Mache Heads by Lee,being enjoyed by Jahari :)

October 27, 2013 - I've slacked on posting this past week, just didn't have time.  Will follow-up on those items soon, but this video of the Babie Gorilla just came thru on my news alert.  Pretty cute, hope she will be working with Bawang the surrogate/grandma so she can go out on exhibit soon.

My Zoo Outtings - Weekly Synopsis 10.25.13

October 21, 2013 -  View some of my Photos and Video from the Zoo's Halloween Event.  Love seeing the Animals have fun with Pumpkins :)  Cool to see Falcor get what might be his first Pumpkin treats :)

October 19, 2013 - Zoo Friend, Lulu the African Elephant who now lives at the PAWS Sanctuary, won the title at today's Ms Tuskany Event!  Read her story and view the photos :)

October 18, 2013 - Zoo Friend Tucker's (Hippo) Son, Vision, who lives at the Topeka Zoo with his Mama, enjoyed a Pumpkin Treat!

All Losses Mean Something

coming soon! .. see Weekly Synopsis for short note

Will the Chimps see an Upgrade in Their Lifetime?

coming soon! ... see Weekly Synopsis for short note

Signs of the Times

coming soon! ... see Weekly Synoposis for short note

Rotation Enrichment

coming soon!  ... see Weekly Synopsis for short note.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Boo at the Zoo - Review

Well, here we are on the eve of the Zoo's Boo at the Zoo 2014.  Don't think I ever forgot that I had this in queue.  As well, I tried for two weeks to get to it.  It is now pointless, mostly as over the past couple weeks I tried to remember what my review was and without reviewing all the photos I took I can only remember two things.  The Enrichment offerings started out great and then weaned to disappointment.

The Zoo had their Halloween Event two weekends in 2013.  Here is a collage of some of the wonderful fun I captured the first weekend.  

This is an event I have always loved.  Many years now, I wait for this. I love Animals and Pumpkins and when Boo Events started, I thought WOW the Zoo experience can't get any better than this!  This is one of the things that got me interested in Enrichment. 

I actually thought well done that first weekend and the second weekend was a let down.  One thing that stands out in my memory was that alot of the Pumpkins weren't carved.  I'm not a fan of giving the Animals uncarved pumpkins, unless they are small enough that they can be played with.  In my experience big, uncarved ones don't often provide any fun factor for them.  Gauhati the Indian Rhino is constantly given huge uncarved pumps and they are the last thing he goes for.  Sometimes I even see the same pumpkin still untouched in his enclosure days later.  Tucker the Hippo seems to do ok with them, but I think both, especially Gauhati would enjoy them more if they were carved and stuffed with treats.  All the Animals should get carved pumps with treats,  The Lions were given plain pumpkins that Jahari gave a sniff too and then looked up like WTH am I supposed to do with this?  I agree, WTH is the point?  Just to show you gave a pumpkin?  Its lazy not to carve them and add treats.  These Animals hardly ever get fun Toy type Enrichment these days, the one event that they are supposed to, is not the time to be lazy.  

Many Zoo's and Animal Sanctuaries have been posting for over a week pre-festivity fun.  You can view some of those photos on my Facebook Group Awesome Animal Enrichment :)  Where myself and other Members have been posting all the pumpkin fun we see!  

Looking forward to this weekend.  I always hope the Zoo does right by the Animals.  Hopefully the Zoo has seen what others are doing and gets some ideas :)  


coming soon (I hope!) < didn't happen, I apologize. (10.24.14)

Haven't had time to post about this Event, but did post some photos and videos of Zoo Friends with Pumpkins you can view :)

Komodo Dragon- Falcor

Chimpanzee - Cobby