Tuesday, December 9, 2014

San Francisco Zoo Chimpanzee's Ask Santa for New Play Area

Santa hasn't arrived at the Zoo yet, but has a mailbox set-up at the Zoo's Lemur Cafe, where Visitors can leave their letters for him.  So, yesterday my Friend Lee and I took the opportunity to ask Santa for some things on behalf of our much loved Chimp Friends, Cobby, Maggie and Minnie.  


My internet has been down, so I haven't been able to post for a few weeks now, but I've been writing posts and hope to have them posted by the weekend.  One post is about my Chimp Friends.  Its long overdue and over a year in the making.  I love these Chimps and every week I see them and want more for them. 

I'm going to keep this post short, so please check back and read the longer one.  For now, a little info on the Trio and why they need Santa's help!  

The Triple grotto where the Chimps live has been their home since they arrived.  Cobby in 1968, Maggie and Minnie in 1970.  Both Girls were taken from the wild as infants and brought to the Zoo at less than a year old.  At 45 years old, this is the only home they've known.  Cobby came to the Zoo at the age of ten, after being surrendered by the person who owned him (after obtaining him as a wild born infant) and used him in Entertainment.  This has been his home for 46 years.

Information that I've found shows the cement surface of the Triple Grotto was landscaped and the current structures built in the mid-80s.  There have been no upgrades since.  The structure in the third grotto was taken down a few years ago due to a safety issue.  A huge tree trunk was added.  Their access to the third grotto seems inconsistent.  So, their daily "active" (both accessible and for movement) outside area consists of two "island" surfaces and two near 30 year old structures.  One made of metal that has peeling and rusting paint.

The Chimps home needs some work.  In 1997 a City Bond was voted in, that gave money for a new exhibit, (The Great Ape Forest), that never materialized and the money misappropriated.  Now with their age, doing work that would displace them to another part of the Zoo or cause them stress from the noise, really isn't an option in my opinion.  BUT that doesn't mean there aren't things that can be done to their living area that wouldn't bother them too much in the process.

So, since the Zoo has failed to give them much in the way of upgrades and other stimulating items and activities that would Enrich their lives, we turned to Santa during this time of giving.



Please read my next Chimp post for more information, thoughts and suggestions about this plea.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

"Expert" (Terry Maples) in the House! - Gorilla News Update

UG, I thought I would be done and have said it all and maybe I have and I just have reoccurring beaten down issues.

So, as I was about to close up here and leave the house, I read this article, from Monday.


I have noted my issue with Terry Maples before and I'll say it again,  If this guy is such an Expert, WHY? Didn't he notice the "blind spots" and faulty door issues during his 2012 "Expert" stint?   I'll give him a pass on the faulty door thing, because the Zoo probably hid all those documents from him. But, I assume he inspected the enclosure when he made his suggestions, why were his new issues not mentioned?  WHY? Now does he all of a sudden have grievances?  Speaking of hiding, new thought, I'd like to know who these documents are made available to?   Did the San Francisco Zoological Society Board read them?  Did the Joint Zoo Committee Panel read them?  Did the San Francisco Rec and Park who hold certain reins on the Zoo read them?   

Who all is involved in the cover up of the Injuries that the Gorillas were subjected to?

Where's the update to the KGO investigation on safety from earlier this year?

That is my main message on Maples.  I hope he comes through with more than showing things he missed the first time around.  That said, this article pisses me off in other ways.

One, which I've also noted but continually irks me.  WHY?  Hasn't anyone investigated the Zoo before?  Its not like no one knew.  Please, anyone googling the Zoo comes up with my blog.  As well, I've alerted News Media, those of authority outside the Zoo, and others to specific issues and links to my blog.  WHY?  Has the San Francisco Zoo and Director Tanya Peterson for the most part remained untouchable?   

Among the tears I've shed, I'm just really pissed that Kabibe had to lose her life for people to wake the F up about what goes on there.   Media and Visitors both.  But, we will always have those who just don't care and say shit like this quote from the article, >"Fellow zoo visitor Molly Bloom said, "It's a fantastic place for kids in San Francisco and those are kind of few and far between, so it doesn't affect my support for the zoo."<  This woman and many like her, as I've spoken to them before, could care-less that the Animals are not a priority. Her Human kid is being entertained/occupied/enriched and that is all she cares about.  This is not a Human entertainment facility, its a place where Animals LIVE their LIVES.  It is their home.  The priority should be their care and safety.  Adding more than the Joy of getting to see these wonderful Beings, should be secondary.  AND if the display of Enrichment was highlighted, that would cover part of the Visitors need for "Entertainment", while enriching the lives of the Animals. 

I have to note this, and please do not think I am frowning on this for what it stands for, I am heartbroken about the loss of Kabibe.  The memorial.  I saw it in person last week and its wonderful that people want to pay tribute to her.  I just wish the passing's of each Animal we've lost were given the same respect.  Another Member reminded me of someone we once met there.  A woman who had sponsored the Praying Mantis in the Adopt an Animal Program.  That Animal, a small Insect, meant just as much to her.  There have been others who have had a sign posted at their enclosure, but there are many who do not. A Friend also suggested a Memorial Garden to Director Peterson, which was Veto'd.   To me it just says something about the respect level put on the Animals. Tatiana, who was tormented in her home, had to escape it and take care of business herself, didn't get any Memorial from the Zoo.  A group of her Friends raised money for the Bench that sits outside the Grotto she shared with her mate Tony.  

RIP To All the Zoo Friends We Have Loved and Lost.  Who Are Missed.




Monday, November 17, 2014

Zoo Survey - What San Francisco Zoo Employees Should be held Responsible for Gorilla Death?

So, with News at pretty much a standstill, meaning focus seems to be exclusively on the faulty doors, rather than any negligence on the part of the Keeper or lack of a "buddy system" protocol, are we to assume that the blame will exclusively bottom line with faulty doors?

I am all for uncovering truths, the documentation of past injuries and negligence on the part of Management is of paramount concern.  But in my opinion all the factors of that one night need to still be accounted for.  

Was there a "buddy system" in place?  
Was protocol followed?
Were eyes on the door at all times?
Was hand on the button at all times?

I hate to single out the one Keeper, as maybe they were following procedure as dictated, but maybe they weren't?  IN no way do I not think they are suffering because of this, that isn't in question, the question is, who is responsible for that single event?  Someone has to be.

The ignoring safety and other concerns of Animal Staff has to stop.  The communication gap between the Director and her Staff has to end.  Staff should not fear their jobs if they speak up, especially on safety issues, when lives are at stake,  Both Animal and Human. 

That said, who on the Staff should be held responsible?   Director Peterson?  VP of Operation Robert Icard?  VP of Animal Care David Bocian?  Primate Curator Corinne MacDonald?  Expert Terry Maples?   Who else ignored Safety Faults?

Should the responsible parties lose their jobs?

I know I'm not the only one who is asking these questions.  I've read many posts on News forums saying that so and so should be fired.  I'd like to see a collective tally, now that people are fired up. 

Please follow this link and take a Multiple Choice Survey of 10 Questions

What San Francisco Zoo Employees Should be held Resonsible for Gorilla Death?
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/L53JKTB

On the Literal Heels of my Last Post ... More Awful Discoveries About Neglect

Not seconds after I post my last entry, does a Friend message me about Channel 7 news story that was just on.  .. More discoveries about Negligent Care and Caring, in regards to the Animals.

My ears are literally pulsating since I started the last post, as I have so much about this subject and others I'm trying to vent in this forum so to continue my exposing while it seems people are now listening AND in an attempt to clear some of the stuff that been in my mind for over a year now.

The lastest, which you can read at the link below, shows that the Zoo knew about the dangers of the doors at the Gorilla enclosure for over a year.  This does not surprise me, yet just saddens me.  Poor Hasani now noted with Injuries in addition to Monifa.  


This begs and a Screaming Beg this is, my continued questions:

Why was the "Buddy System" Director Tanya Peterson said she had in effect (see below link to video interview) being used?  I have seen Keepers in pairs in regard to the Big Cats, but never at any other of the Code Red Animals.  Is that only because of the Tiger Event Media attention?  Is that all that she would fund for, in the way of extra Keeper Staff?   I know there have been cut backs on Keeper Staff, THAT is the one area that should not be slacked on.  Yet I'm sure her and her right hand man Robert Icard, salary and perks continue without decline.


Why wasn't this all brought to light during Terry Maples First outing as "Expert in Residence"?

AND my new question, although lower on the totem poll because I know the fear Director Peterson has put in her Staff, 

Why after the Safety investigation in April, didn't workers stage a Zoo-Wide protest to these issues. Band in numbers, she can't fire everyone!

There is a Whistle-blower hotline, does anyone use it?   Maybe it doesn't help since probably the person monitoring it is one of the Zoological Society Socialite buddies of Peterson. ??  

Something has to change.  When will there be a call for Resignations?  Does anyone with the authority have the guts?   Rec and Park, that is you!  You bullied Manuel Molinedo to take blame for something that wasn't his fault, when are you going to have someone take blame for something that is their fault?

How Many Inept Humans are There Connected to (San Francisco) Zoo Failures?

I have not posted about the Gorilla Tragedy in a couple days, mostly because I needed a break but also because every article that comes out pisses me off more and more.  I certainly have things to say and feel that I should because they seem to have become the starting point for much of what I've read post-blogging for what Media is writing.  Which in itself pisses me off.

For years, more people seem to like to applaud the Zoo for their wonderful care for the health and safety of the Animals of the Zoo.  Sometimes crucifying me for not wearing rose colored glasses.   

That said, gotta say, I'm really disgusted by the lack of not "doing their jobs" so many people actually do.   If there weren't so many lesser intelligent Humans, one less Animal would be dead.

For years I've been writing about Zoo Failures, pointing things out, in hopes that things get the attention they need, for the Animals sake.  During this time, many employed by the Zoo have failed to do their jobs, and often I have seen some things I've pointed out come to fruition, meaning someone fell short in doing their own job, but it got corrected because I blogged about it.

One incident involved a dangerous L bar in the Snow Leopards home.  The Animals could have been hurt, and yet after I alerted them to this, it still didn't get fixed til I blogged about it.  You can read about it at this first link, and the fix at the second link.  Sorry, there are other notations at the links as well, but that will just serve to show those new to my blog what else I post about.



As well as this blog, before that I had this one, in case anyone is up for complete reading of SFZoo FAILS  

sanfranciscozoofails.blogspot.com

For years, the Media have been taking the Press releases from the Zoo and using them as their "reporting of news".  There is no investigative reporting anymore.  I found that out when I tried to expose the Zoo Director for slandering me.  Yet now, it seems to me that in addition to the Zoo, the Media is now reading my blog to get info to go on.  

I don't mean to sound vain, and admittedly this could be coincidence, but I don't really believe in coincidence, but its all very curious that the day after I wrote my first post about this and raised questions, noted the "buddy system" and "code red", did the Media raise questions and seem to investigate further in regard to the "buddy system" and "code red", specifically  using those terms.  

As well the Animal Rights group In Defense of Animals (who I consider to be "close the Zoo Zealots" rather than those who really know anything about the SFZoo or its Animals specifically), must also read my blog as in my first blog post, I raised the question why the door didn't have a stop sensor, especially after this happened at two other Zoos and they adopted it as their own. They quickly were vocal in Media with this and are now contacting the AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) about requiring safety doors to have an auto-stop sensor.    

If it all comes out to the benefit of the Animals, that's all I care about.  I just wish people would care about what goes on at the Zoo before Tragedy strikes.

Is there anyone of authority or higher voice that actually has a functioning mind?  Anyone who can retain and process information in a way that can conclude in logic?   

No one, not the Media, not the Zoological Society, not the Rec and Park, no one wants to go up against the Zoo and say anything against this administration.  I've even been asked by some, Who does Director Peterson know that she is so protected?

Friday, November 14, 2014

Please Take Action - Be a Voice for the Animals At the SFZoo

Note:  Thank you to all who have commented on this blog about this Tragedy.  I will reply, just haven't gotten that far yet!  Thank you for being a voice!

I woke up this morning and of course I am still outraged by the News out of the Zoo yesterday.  

I have tweeted my post to Mayor Ed Lee, Rec and Park Manager Phil Ginsburgh, the USDA, AZA, Ken Wayne and KTVU News Team, KPIX, KGO, and KRON.  I would have done the same to the Zoological Society, but no way to reach any of them except by post mail. 

I am so disgusted with none of the above investigating the Zoo on my further attempts to shine a light on what goes on there.  That also includes the SFZ Society, as I hand delivered letters to its Chairman in 2011, so while David Stanton is no longer the Chairman, I made him aware of certain things, so he can not claim ignorance.  

As well I have many times contacted Rec and Park Joint Zoo Committee member, Sally Stephens, Chairperson of San Francisco Animal Welfare.  She knows about the failures of the Zoo.   Additionally in 2011 I also contacted Park Commissioner Larry Martin.  

None of the above mentioned can say they didn't know bad stuff was happening at the Zoo, they all just chose not to investigate things proper.

Thankfully for the first time, I am reading comments on the Zoo's Facebook and on News articles and Peope are finally starting to question the Zoo, rather than blow smoke up their ass and patting them on the back for doing a great job and providing excellent care to the Animals.  There are many dedicated Keepers there who care and do their best for the Animals.  Unfortunately that is not everyone on the Animal Staff.

Sadly, the apparent turn of tides has come with the cost of Kabibe's life.   

If you are outraged too, please contact someone with authority.  They do not seek our comments. While you are at it, why not email (tanyap@sfzoo.org) our caring Director and ask her why this happened?  Why she knew about unsafe situations and did nothing to fix them?  Why there were not the required Two Keepers under her own Buddy System Protocol, working that night?  In my opinion this Negligence falls on the head of Director Peterson, Primate Curator Corinne MacDonald, as it is her responsibility to make sure her Team is intact (the Two Keeper rule in place) and following Protocol, Terry Maples and all other Staff who knew this was an unsafe door, and the Keeper who took their eyes off the door.  I'm sorry to put blame there, but that is not my problem.  This Keeper and I'm sorry I know they must feel awful and this will haunt them, but this is the sad truth,  s/he took their eyes off the door and a life was lost.  I personally think they just hit the button and off they went, but if they for some reason (question which has been raised) they could not control the panel buttons and see the door proper at the same time, then they should not have performed any of the closing actions until they had back-up.  < BOTTOM LINE!  


Thursday, November 13, 2014

News Update - Gorilla Enclosure Deemed Unsafe- OMG!

I just read this article and said out loud several times, OMG!!!  I am beyond OUTRAGED!


Quote from the article:

"The San Francisco Zoo enclosure where a 16-month-old endangered gorilla was fatally crushed under an electric door is outdated and unsafe and should be replaced, the lead investigator into the death said Thursday, raising further questions about conditions at the zoo."

"Maple said watching each of the doors from the control panel is “possible to do, but it is not easy to do.” He said he will recommend that the zoo scrap the 30-year-old gorilla enclosure and install a state-of-the-art system that would be safer for the apes and could include a portable system for operating the doors, allowing workers to look directly into the cages."

OMG #1 - SO When Terry Maples was being paid by the Zoo the first time around, WHY didn't he notice these unsafe circumstances at that time? 

article snipped

"On July 16, 2012, an adult gorilla named Monifa had her right hand pinched under a door, cutting the base of all four of her fingers, according to a zoo report. She was treated by veterinarians, and mechanics adjusted the door — which was not the same one that killed Kabibe."

OMG #2 -  SO Monifa severely injures herself and yet nothing is done to fix he problem, only Band-aid it?

"On March 4, 2013, the same door that injured Monifa jammed and had to be pried open with a crowbar, records show. The same door then unexpectedly collapsed earlier this year. “Electric door 5 crashed down in AM while securing gorillas,” stated a Feb. 22 report. “No one injured just upset by noise.”"

OMG #3 - AND the same door has issue and again nothing is done to permanently fix it.

"Maple said he was aware of the reports, and that they reinforced his conviction that the enclosure needs to be overhauled."

OMG #4 - Maples knew of Monifa's injury AND the consistent issue with the door and yet took the Zoo's money and NEVER at that time made any reference to repair or "overhaul".  WTF was he being paid for then?  NOW after the fact, after an Animal lost its life, he is NOW "reinforced"!?  Am I reading this shit right?  THIS is outrageous!!!  In my opinion, he is an accomplice in her death.

"The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is responsible for enforcing the Animal Welfare Act at zoos and other facilities, is also looking into Kabibe’s death.  If the agency suspects the zoo was out of compliance in the accident, it can send in an inspector, unannounced, to investigate, an agency spokeswoman said. That inspector can issue a fine or a warning. The agency can also send the case to an administrative law judge, who has the power to suspend or revoke the zoo’s license."

Thankfully the USDA is going to be on this.  I contacted them on a couple other Animal Welfare issues and they ignored my request.  I guess an Animal has to DIE first to get them to do anything. At least its an outside investigation.  BUT it Should not be just of Gorilla enclosure,but that of all the Animals homes.

In closing, I will say that Dr Maples has an Allegiance to Gorillas.  That is why Gorillas were pretty much the only ones to get his attention during his past work with the Zoo.  Sadly they didn't get all of his attention it seems.  AND while of course there are major faults obviously that need to be addressed at Gorillas, with the caging door safety, I don't think the whole enclosure is of issue as stated. If there is an issue with the enclosure by all means do what it takes to keep the Animals safe, but to just scrape the whole thing when there are other Animal homes in need seems a bit much.

I will also add that just because the door was found faulty, let's not forget that it was the Negligence of the Keeper at the root.  I know the Keeper feels awful and I don't mean to make it worse, but that is the situation, no hiding it. 

This all said, When will Director Tanya Peterson be replaced?  Too many bad things have happened during her reign.  How many more notches does her belt need before she gets the boot?

RIP Kabibe - Watch over your Family, they need your protection.  May you haunt those who were negligent in your care.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

News Update for this Morning - Handwritten Account & Protocol Signage

It appears that the Zoo has not released a further statement but has provided these photos.

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Focus-on-door-stop-button-after-S-F-Zoo-gorilla-5886496.php#photo-7130498



I wasn't going to read this right now because i'm short on time and have not enough to read, process and of course comment BUT  had to and preliminary is that this is all BS.   I may regreat posting this, as I have no time to retract til this evening, but something says something isn't right with this. there are some I know there are many who will think this harsh, but with the Zoo, I am always suspicious.  

At this time, I certainly believe their silence has been while they formulate a damage control scenario. Otherwise why didn't they release the photo of the Protocol?  Or at least read it off in a Statement of Protocol, saying that they will launch an investigation i based on whether this procedure was followed?  

I've personally been their scapegoat so I know this is a common MO of theirs.  They fabricate "truths" to suit their needs.  

Its been too many days, this sign could have been made and just put up there to cover their asses. They aren't big on signs, so this is surprising as it is to the point answering all the questions that could and would be posed at this time.  I've seen them do this after the fact in regards to myself. Adding paragraphs to Zoo guidelines specifically designed toward my actions.  As well the keepers account doesn't seem logical to me.  It seems like a coaxed statement.  I would not be surprised if they told the Keeper what to say or the Keeper themselves is making it up.  The keeper definitely was not watching.  What does looked back mean?  You are not supposed to look away!?  AND in my opinion if there was any amount of time, even a nano second, that their eyes were not on Kabibe BUT Bawang's were, Bawang would have been vocalizing, if not screaming.  At this moment, I don't believe much of this.

What I do believe is that the alleged Buddy System Protocol was not being enforced and followed. There was only one Keeper.  This one Keeper cut corners to end the work day, looking away and it cost this innocent Little Girl her life.

Another awful lesson the Zoo will "learn" from.  How many more does it take?  Who will lose their life next?

The Zoo has cut back on Keepers, Put many established Keepers on "As Needed", while hiring newbies.  Its not that the money isn't there to pay more Keepers, its that the money is being used for other things.

A motion sensor which even if not Required by Aza Guidelines, is common sense.  BUT like I've stated before, the Zoo has different priorities and the Animals are not at the top of the list regardless of what they put forth.

Note to the City of San Francisco and the San Francisco Zoological Society:

Its Time To Clean House at the Zoo!



Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Gorilla Death Updates - Story Changes and re-hiring of Expert

Wow, yesterday sure was an interesting news day. 

Our poor little Kabibe's death. Too many conflicting stories, so much BS, as the tangled web of the San Francisco Zoo is woven on yet another gag order tragedy. My brain is mad and sad.

I'm sorry to sound so suspicious, but I know for a fact, when something bad happens there, unless you are standing right there at the time and see it with your own eyes, you never know the true story, even if you are one of the Primary Keepers.   Those standing there are gag ordered and only allowed to say what they are told.

As of last evening, the story sure seems to be changing.  And now the Zoo is hiring an Expert.

I can't find the first article I read, but it definitely said (whether part of an official statement or not) that there was, No way to stop the door once it was activated to close.  Can't find that now.

News articles yesterday morning now state there was a Stop Mechanism but it wasn't reached in time. I noted some thoughts in my blog post from yesterday.  Apologies if I repeat myself.  ...  Questions then are, Why wasn't it activated?  Was the Keeper (s) not watching that the Animals were cleare?  

I am finding it curious that No News Media asked about this initially, only reporting the News as usual, which is printing the Press Release.  Finally, some investigative reporting?  I have begged for this on many occasions.  Maybe the Media should start reading my blog.

Late Sunday or early yesterday, I read one article that stated that there was only One Keeper there at the time.  ... There is supposed to be Two Keepers on Code Red Animals, per a Buddy System that was revealed in an earlier News investigation.

One News piece last evening, noted that they got Anonymous email from a group of Keepers.  I know for a fact they do indeed fear their jobs.  I have noted this myself many times.  At some point, like with the earlier Safety issue, more need to band together and get everything out in the open.  These troubles may have gone on in other Administrations but I definitely know that there is major issue with the reign of Director Peterson, and that should be brought to an even brighter light than before.  

I haven't read much about this next thing, but I can pretty much gather the deal.  So late news out of the Zoo was that they are re-hiring Terry Maples, an Animal expert.  Nothing personal to him but the first time around I thought it ridiculous to hire outside experts, to tell them things they should be able to figure out on their own, otherwise hire better Staff.

Maples came in and noted that he thought there should be glass at Gorillas.  No shit, I blogged about that two yrs before his arrival.  There should be glass at alot of exhibits, but I digress.  I didn't think he made a difference, because Gorillas is a decent enclosure and there was never any word on other Animals he helped.  Surely not the Chimps or Bears.

So, him or anyone else coming in to "find out what happened" seems ridiculous.  Of course an Investigation has to take place, obviously I don't know who the best person to that is, but I don't think its someone who is being paid by the Zoo.  To me that poses a certain allegiance, which is part of the problem there.  No outside anything, so everything always stays under wraps.  ... Ask the Keeper who was there what happened?  Check the Doors.  Allegedly seems pretty plain and simple from what they've released so far.  They had one Keeper, that Keeper couldn't have been watching the Animals were clear.  If there is a Stop, it wasn't activated, because no one was watching.  No Keeper Buddy System, No Motion Stop on the gate.  To me and maybe I'm missing something, having someone come in to figure out what happened  seems like a reach to figure out how to spin the story so it goes down in history as an accident with no fault to the Zoo or Staff.

Lastly I have BIG issue with the Gorillas being forced out on exhibit to grieve in public.  Yes they can go inside, but they shouldn't have to be cooped up all day, their exhibit should be closed and they free to go in and out without onlookers.  This is cruel.   There were people on the News saying, "We are looking for mourning behaviors.  Seriously?  That is awful, if the only reason you came to the Zoo is to see these poor Animals grieving.  The Reporter then said, "Visitors gathers to watch them mourn".   My heart breaks for them and if I was in charge of the Zoo this moment more than any other, many Staffers would lose their jobs.  First up would be the PR gal Abbie.  The Zoo has not said much, in fact being slammed on their Facebook page for not recognizing the tragedy.  



There was a photo taken of the Gorillas in mourning.  I saw this photo on a private Facebook Page of one of their Volunteer Photographers, who went there to check on them because she cares about them, not to take advantage of their grief, like other visitors who clearly have gone to gawk.  It was an Amazing capture of mourning and made me sob.  I cried because I could feel their loss and because they had to be on exhibit.  Last night I saw this photo on a News source.  I was outraged that of all the things the Zoo put out, it was a photo of the mourning.  This should have been kept private.  The PR Department continues to be disrespectful to the Animals both living and in death.  To me, this was a very exploitative move.  But, the Zoo pimps out the Animals to the Media in any way they can.  My disgust for the way the Zoo handles things grows daily.



Monday, November 10, 2014

Gorilla Tragedy Update - News Article reveals "new" information

From this article

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Hydraulic-door-that-killed-baby-gorilla-at-SF-Zoo-5882033.php

"A hydraulic door that crushed an endangered young gorilla to death at the San Francisco Zoo on Friday night was custom-made with a fully functional manual shut-off switch, a zoo spokesman said Sunday.
The instant-stop switch, though, wasn’t pressed in time to save Kabibe, a 16-month-old gorilla, who unexpectedly darted under the hydraulic door as it was closing while she was being moved into her night quarters after the zoo closed."
article snipped...
"Dr. Elliot Katz, a veterinarian and founder of In Defense of Animals, said his organization is going to call on the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the group that accredits zoos, to require automatic shut-off systems for hydraulic doors.
“There should be a system in place to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” he said. “It’s just another tragedy waiting to happen. It always takes something like this to have people wake up.”"
---------
So, two questions?  Why wasn't the shut-off hit in time?   If a shut-off doesn't work when pressed in an Emergency, then what good is it?  The Zoo is supposed to work on the Buddy System with Code Red Animals.  There should have been someone at the switch and someone at the door watching.  I still don't understand the "darting". Was she coming in and going back out?  Why hasn't a full picture of what happened been painted for us so we can understand this as an unavoidable accident, rather than one that is questionable?
I think its great that there will be some attempt to force better guidelines from the AZA, but this has happened twice before in other Zoos and they have done nothing to put to use doors with motion detectors.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Babie Gorilla Killed by "Safety" Door - SFZoo Tragedy

I waited til this evening to post this for a couple reasons, one being I wanted to be sure its something I wanted to do.  I'm not sure want is the right word, need might be better.  

I haven't posted on Zoo Friend passing's in sometime.  Its just too sad, so I have chosen not to.  The circumstances regarding this incident, make this something that begs questions.

I am heartbroken at the news out of the Zoo yesterday.  While I am sad, I'm also pissed.  I didn't want to write anything, instead being respectful to Kabibe's memory and sensitive to all who loved her, including her Keepers, but this should have never happened.  This sweet young girl should never have lost her life.  My heart weeps for the Gorilla Troupe.  I can't even imagine the screams that came from them, the sounds of their pain witnessing this horrific action must have been deafening.

I was at the Zoo yesterday, and because of limited time I often don't get to the whole Zoo on every visit.  As I was leaving the Savannah and stopped and looked toward Gorilla World.  I got a vision of Kabibe and thought, its sunny day and  I bet she is out playing and doing cute things, but not wanting to battle the hordes of People for a viewing spot, I continued away, choosing to wait til a less crowed day during the week.  

In hindsight knowing that Gorilla World was even open, infuriates me so much.  The Zoo didn't even have the decency to close their exhibit to Visitors yesterday so they could mourn as a Family without Assholes hootin' at them and pounding their chests.  Its disgusting.

In my opinion, the Zoo never takes the feelings of the Animals into consideration.  This especially is not surprising coming out of the Primate Department as Curator Corrine MacDonald once tossed about the Anthropomorphic word (meaning to attribute human form or personality to things not human) when I was sharing my observations on the behavior and expressions by a couple of the Gorillas.

The statement out of the Zoo says, there will be an investagation and look at procedure.  I sure hope there is an outside investigation that will be made public directly.  Otherwise the only word we have is that of Zoo Management, which meams, we as the public will only hear the version they put out.

I know my opinions and questions are not going to be the popular ones, but I'm sure I am not the only one with them.  I'm sure Keepers who talk to me, may not after this.  I will be marked as someone who always tried to find fault, even in an "accident" but there are some accidents that can possibly be prevented.  Everyone has to know, there are questions on everyone's mind.

I got a call about this not long after leaving the Zoo. So I had not read any news articles, only had the information about how she died.  Too many things immediately flooded my mind, along with many tears.  I literally get chills each time I in the plain and simple, Kabibe is gone.

How could something like this happen?  At the time I didn't know that the doors were hydraulic.   Obviously I don't know the pros and cons of safety doors.  I do know that the Lion House door system is manual.  I was also told at one time, several years ago that the doors/"operating panel" at Gorilla World allegedly needed to be redesigned because the Gorillas had watched how it was done and learned to open them.   I now wonder if this was a change from manual to hydraulic?   Regardless, several questions come to mind.

Prior to writing this early this morning, I had only read one article.  It said she "dashed" under the door unexpectedly.  My vision of what happened had them all safely in the night quarters, the door being activated and Kabibe turning around and "dashing" under the door in the opposite direction of the Troupe.  Based on that ...

First and foremost, why was this door activated to close while any of the Gorillas were in a plausible "dashing" distance?   All Animals should be at a cleared distance before the closing action.  Now that we also know these doors did not have a Stop Mechanism, the Animals should also have a distraction that keeps them occupied for the amount of time it takes to close, so none can go back the way they came for any reason? ... To me, this is a Negligence on what Procedure should be.  OR maybe is procedure and it wasn't followed?

I kept a confidence years ago about a Caging Negligence in the Lion House, where allegedly safety doors were left open between the Female Siberian Tiger and a Male African Lion.  I was told the "Mistake" was noticed within seconds of one or both of those Animals losing their lives.  The caging closed in time to prevent full on physical contact.  These Animals are supposed to be separated by two bedrooms (cages) and the Lion ended up with scratches on his face.  SO, I know for fact, "mistakes" happen.  While they are just that, there are still questions that need to be answered, especially when they involve losing a life,

At that time there was no "buddy system" with Keepers.  Something that a recent investigation revealed was part of current Protocol for Code Red Animals.  As I understand it, put in place for Human Safety.  What about for Animal Safety?  Is there a "double check" by the back-up Keeper?

After reading an article this afternoon that a friend found, a different picture was painted in my mind. It noted this happened during the closing procedure of the Gorillas going off exhibit to the night quarters, which would then leave Kabibe being the last one in?  To me that didn't make sense.  Not saying it didn't happen, but it didn't make sense.  And, if this is how it happened, to me its even less understandable how this "accident" happened, without a premature door activation.  If these Animals are coming in from exhibit, there should be no hurry to close the door.

Next, it was noted in the first article I read, that the door system has no Emergency stop button? Why, would a Safety Door not have this option?   This is beyond my comprehension.  I have had many head shakes at stuff the Zoo does, but THIS, something that could possibly and DID cost an Animal its life, is a completely Negligent Management decision.  

I work in a place that  has a freight elevator with motion sensor, you can't even have your elbow near it and the door stops and opens.  Why is there no motion sensors on these safety doors?  WHY?   This is the most important question to be asked.

The article I read noted that this has happened before in other Zoos.  After that, why wasn't there an across the board inspection and redesign of all safety doors in all Zoos?   Was there?  Did the San Francisco Zoo take short cuts once again?   Has there been a follow-up to the Safety expose' that came out of the Zoo earlier this year?  The Zoo sure has been busy building Tiki Huts for Director Peterson's Cocktail parties, and fancy outdoor Camping areas, yet Animal enclosures (homes) are still in need of upgrades and now obviously so is their Safety.  When will the needs of the Animals be a Priority at the Zoo?
  
I do not want to put blame on any one person, as I don't and will never know the true details of what happened.  I know the people who cared for her loved her and feel awful.  That doesn't mean that all these questions are not valid.   Someone is responsible.   Whether its the person who made the decision that a door without a Stop action was safe, the person who didn't set a safety distance protocol, the person who didn't have the sense to follow protocol if there was one or make their own determination on safety,  whoever, for whatever reason, plain and simple,  THIS should have NEVER happened!

Unfortunately the tragedies out of the SFZoo will not stop coming.   Two words, Barrier Breaching.  

RIP Sweet Girl and Bless you and your Family.

Kabibe with Grandma Bawang

Kabibe with Brother Hasani

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Toddler Falls into Enclosure at Arkansas Zoo - News could one day read "at SFZoo

Not a new way to start a post, but I apologize for not keeping up here.  I have all the post ideas and info swirling in my head, just no time or energy to follow through.  That said, I'm interrupting my ideal post flow because yet another story is in the News about someone breaching a barrier at an Animal Enclosure at a Zoo. 

Report notes that a Child "fell" into the Jaguar Enclosure.  Its reported that as his Father was leaning over to take a photo, the Grandfather was holding the kid "perched on the railing."  < THIS,  I see multiple times, every Zoo visit.   


If you have read much of what I post, you know one of my main issues with the San Francisco Zoo is barrier breaching.  As I walk around the Zoo, I continually see this as an issue and the Zoo continually seems to not want to do anything about it. 

I don't know what drives people to think its ok to, stand on, lean over, hang over, or in some cases completely cross to the Animal side.  Is it Stupidity or Sinister, or both?  In any case, you have to ask, What the F is wrong with People?

I admit I am not a Humanitarian and flame away I do not care if a Human gets attacked or worse by an Animal.  What I do care about is, Animals losing their lives because of such actions, even ones that happen accidentally because of lack of brain cells.

Thankfully, these Animals at Little Rock Zoo, did not lose their Life.  That is not always the case, and definitely in San Francisco it would be a different story.  SFZoo has now even hired armed ex-Military Security who carry guns and are allegedly authorized to shoot any Animal that appears to be a  threat to any Human.

As I said I have posted endlessly about this, with photos, which I still try to take every chance I get.  I had a New Years 2014 post that called the Zoo to action with yet another suggestion to deter this behavior.  Unfortunately, it was one of the ones I haven't gotten to yet.  Shouldn't matter because our Zoo and other Zoo's should be able to think of more to do to protect the Animals.  You can't safeguard from everything, but you can do your best AND put the Animals in your care first, which is something not many facilities tend to do, putting Humans first because that's what we are conditioned as a Society is the right thing.  That is Bullshit in these types of circumstances. 

Of course the most famous in our time happened at our Zoo in 2007.  We all know the story of Tatiana, I won't go over that again.  As well, our Zoo didn't learn about Security and a breach happened again in 2009.  Thankfully, our Grizzly Girls didn't care about the guy who made it into their home.  If they had, rifles were aimed to kill them.  In my opinion, this is not acceptable.  Tatiana lost her life because of documented Criminals.

A side note on the Tatiana event, that was not the first time in Zoo History this has happened.  I recently was at the Library doing some research on the Zoo and came across an article about a similar event in 1968.  If changes had been made then, Tatiana would still be alive.

 Front Page of Chronicle 1968

Text close-up

Story continued

I personally think all Animals should be behind glass for their own safety.  This is not a popular thing among photographers that I know, and I myself, love getting great photos of the Zoo Friends, but Priority over that for me, is their safety.  Open air/natural exhibits became sought after by Zoo's more and more in the past 15-ish years.  That would be great, if the direction of Human Compassion and Smarts was on the rise , instead of the decline.  Exhibit barriers need to keep up with the times and I don't mean ideal times, I mean practical times, in light of current Human behavior.

A couple years ago I posted about an incident at the Pittsburgh Zoo in which a Mother dropped her Toddler into the Wild Dog enclosure. Both the kid and the Animal lost their life.   A few weeks later ( I think it was) I was at our Rhinos and a Mother was dangling her Infant over the barrier, entirely into the enclosure calling, "Hey Rhino!" She only stopped when her Husband alerted her her I was taking photos.

Pretty much says it all doesn't it?  ... This news story could one day read, ... "at San Francisco Zoo."



Flamingo Day Celebration! - Zoo Event???

soon

Monday, September 22, 2014

World Rhino Day - Zoo Event Review

soon ...

Red Panda Day - Zoo Event Review

Well, finally I have some time to write a bit about this Zoo event from last weekend.  If you didn't go, I guess this will be the first and only place you'll read about it.  I just scanned thru the Zoo's FB and there was no sign of a post that gave highlights from this.  I seriously do not understand the Zoo's thought process on anything.

 Happy Red Panda Day!

Celebrating photo I posted to my short blog.  FYI Kodari is the one they was renamed "Tenzing" and the one they seem to only post about :(  In my opinion that's because they can pimp him for Media attention.  I love you too Miss Grace!

Will start off by saying, this is what an "event" should be!  Have nothing to rag on.  I will say from what I know,  this had not much to do with "Zoo" planning, but more the efforts of the Red Panda Animal Staff. They obviously are dedicated to this Animal and wanted to raise funds to help them and spread awareness.  Kudos to Children's Zoo/Red Panda Keepers, Antoinette, Corey and Tricia, and CZ Curator Eric, for putting on a great event.  Thank you!

Below you can see they had an information table set-up, as well a table with raffle prize items.  All donations for the raffle, went to support the Red Panda Network.

Not pictured in the prize item table photo is the below Painting that was standing to photo left.  I love Animal Paintings!  This was a beauty, in my fav color combo, Orange and Pink!   This Painting was done by Grace, the Female Red Panda :)   Done mostly by paw, but with one added swoosh from her tail :)  It was lovely!  ... My suggestion to many facilities that do Animal Art is to photograph them and make note cards and other items so that the Animals Art can go further than just this one offering and many can own and enjoy it.
Below is a close-up of the other items.  In addition to a behind the scenes tour, all other items was hand crafted by Keepers, their Family and Friends, and you can tell they were made out of the passion these people have for this Animal. Each item was wonderful!  My fav was the Rhea Egg, hand painted by Corey, who also did the Stained Glass.  The Metal Work Face was done by Antoinette's Husband.  The hats were made by Corey's Mother and the Scarves by her Friends at Houston Zoo.  



Two Enrichment Items were offered to Grace and Kodari.  A painted box with Bamboo and a fruit filled Ice Treat.  The only hit was the box and only Kodari seemed to like it.  He REALLY like it!  I think my video caught a bit of it, but he was jumping and pouncing all over it!  I vote for fun box items for them every week!  Hopefully Grace had some fun with it after :)


Here;s the link to my Video of 
Kodari playing with his Enrichment Toy :)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-OE507CyjI

The event also had Craft based things, Red Panda Mask coloring and Origami.   Posting my offering, as I think the outline would make a great Pumpkin Carving template, if anyone wants to print it out.


Video of Red Panda Origami
Thank you!  to the Staffer
who demo'd this for me to film.

Animal Awareness Days - World Lion Day - Zoo Event Review

Well, I meant to do a World Lion Day post, and obviously I still haven't.  With two Animal Awareness Days this past weekend and the Zoo actually doing something for them,  I'll post abit about Awareness Days in general, as well a review of the Zoo's Lion Day Event.

Animal Awareness Days at the SFZoo have either been non-existent or have fallen short of what they should be.  When I first started to take note and post about this, it was World Tapir Day 2012 and there was nothing on the Zoo grounds that even hinted at that.  They continued to miss such Days for Tigers, Polar Bears, and Rhinos.  In 2013, for Rhino Day, the Zoo put up a "sandwich" board, with a few notations.  That was the extent of it.

Here are a couple of the posts I've made on this blog in reference to this.



So far this year they have recognized three Animal Awareness Days with Events.  Not sure why the change, but at least they are getting with the program a bit.  

World Lion Day is August 10th.  
Screen-Cap from my blog post

With the recent increase in Lion related Offenses, I looked forward to seeing what the Zoo would put forth in the way of Education.  Their website noted there would be a Keeper Talk and Enrichment. 

There was no Educational signage, and no other Fanfare.  The Keeper came out and talked about our Lions.  There was not one word mentioned about the current plight Lions are facing.  Issues that are pushing them towards extinction.  WTF?  Why even bother to recognize an Awareness Day and not promote Awareness?  Again as I've noted many times, the Zoo falls short of its Mission to Educate.  I was hoping to hear something in regard to at least one  of the issues and nothing.  I wasn't surprised, yet at the same time,  I seriously couldn't believe there was nothing said about the massive increase in Trophy and Canned Hunting.  BIG FAIL SFZOO!

Screen-Cap from World Lion Day site
noting issues that threaten Lions

In my opinion it is a responsibility of all Animal Facilities, whether a Zoo or Sanctuary, to Educate Visitors, especially on these Awareness Days, especially if you are going to go as far as advertising it as an Event!  Taking advantage of spreading the word about issues threatening the lives of these Animals, should be a priority.  With the amount of Visitors that come through the gates, not to get the word out, is a crime.  Why our Zoo, which holds the namesake of a City famous for Environmental Awareness, continues to fall flat, I can't understand.  San Francisco Zoo Management, why are you so lame?

I will give Kudos to the Enrichment offerings.  I can't find my photos, but a large Hoofed Animal was made out of boxes by Zoo Campers (I think).  It looked great and so I had much expectation for interaction between the Lions and the Enrichment Toy.   The Keepers put out bones wrapped in paper, but didn't put food incentive in the Toy structure.  This was curious to me, as the food is the lure, the toy/item is the challenge.  They work hand in hand to make it an enriching experience.  They only put Rhino poop (a scent enrichment) on the toy.  The Lions came out, went right for the paper wrapped bones and ignored the toy structure completely.  After being involved with how a prior Keeper worked with Enrichment Toys, this was unusual.  They barely looked at the toy.  I stood there for an hour and the only interaction was Jahari spraying it.  So either they couldn't smell food, so ignored it or the lack of Toy Enrichment they have received over the past few years has been so little that they just aren't interested in toys or no longer know how to interact with them.  Sadly I think it is the later.  When they had this type of Enrichment weekly, they were very interested and interacted with it, in a what is called,"high yield" experience.  Their lack of interest made me sad and I felt like not having toys for so long, they had been ruined for the experience it provides them.

The Zoo seriously is lacking in their Enrichment efforts.  I hope to do yet another post in regards to this.  If any reader is on Facebook and is has an interest in Animal Enrichment, check out my group

Awesome Animal Enrichment

Here are some links in regard to the Plight of Lions today.





Sunday, September 21, 2014

Whats Going On?

Apologies again for not updating this blog in a timely manner.  It weighs heavy on me that I haven't had the time or the energy to do so, because all the things I happen upon that I want to post about, are passion points, because of my love for the Animals. 

Today was International Red Panda Day.  The Zoo, not only put on an Event, but actually did a good job! ...  There was an incident once again with Visitors acting the Fool and Upsetting the Chimps. ... Tomorrow the Zoo is attempting a Rhino Day Event. ... And then there's more Flamingo Chick news!  ... So, right there four posts swirling in my mind.   

There are many posts that need to come first, but I'm going to forge ahead and hopefully have these above mentioned posts done by tomorrow evening.  And then hope to pick at least one thing on my mind, at least once a week and finally get the words down.  Hope to create a topic flow, even if I've lost my chronological way. 

Stay tuned and check back tomorrow.  .. Meanwhile, don't forget to visit my short item blog 

mysanfranciscozooouttings.blogspot.com

Thank you for visiting my blog

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

San Francisco Zoo Illegally Uses My Photo ... AGAIN!

As noted many times before, I am very behind on blog posts.  I usually like things to go in order for chronological and flow purposes, but the further I get behind that is probably going to be something I have to let go of.  What I can't let go of, it the subject of this post.

Long over due as I first noticed this over three months ago.  I just haven't had the time or energy to deal with more Zoo BS.  

The Zoo has gone and used My Photos once again without permission.  This happened two years ago when Photos taken by myself and a friend appeared on the San Francisco Zoo Website, under "Enrichment".
You can read my post from that time here:

This time they have used My Photos in their current Big Cat Video that plays on loop in the Lion House.  

I hate to be a Bitch about something like this, but with the way Management has treated me in the past, I would not give the Zoo anything, unless it was for the Animals.  AND I take this particular action personally because the Assistant Carnivore (Big Cat Department) Curator Debbie Marrin, who I was "friends" with at one time, has allegedly bad mouthed me to many.   

When I was friendly with everyone, I shared My Photos. The Big Cat photos were shared in a few ways.  I made CDs, emailed and gave hard copies of My Photos to Curator Debbie Marrin and then Keeper Barb Palmer.  I let Barb use one of My Photos of Sukari in her Lion House Video.  She asked.

Anyone who I have shared photos with, should have known this was for their own personal enjoyment, NOT for any other use.  Unless they asked for permission.

I know for a fact Curator Marrin knows this, because she asked my permission to share My Enrichment Photos with her friend who was doing an Enrichment Workshop at Oakland Zoo.  Why she would think this would be any different, I do not know. 

I will say, I do not know who made this Video or how they sourced the photos, but if it wasn't Curator Marrin, I probably got no beef with you, you used what was made available to you.  That said, if Curator Marrin didn't make it, she sure as hell has seen the Video and knows where they came from.  

There is text at the end of the Video that says, something to the effect, that these photos are Staff's and one of their named Volunteer Photographers.  Ah, no not all of them. 

Bottom line, Using someone's photos Without Permission is ILLEGAL.

Let this be notice:  
San Francisco Zoo needs to Remove My Photo from that Video, effective immediately.  

I plan to be at the Zoo Saturday, and I sure hope I don't see My Photo being used Illegally.

There are Three Photos in question.  But, since I have near 100,000 Zoo photos, I can only find the Original for one, I will only post that one.  One of the others is a friends and she too can not find the Original.  They know all the ones they have No Ownership or Permission to use.  

My Photo
 MY PHOTO!


Lion House Video Monitor

AND considering I have a real issue with the name changing,  it really pisses me off that they got poor Shastyuh's stupid "Martha" moniker on a Photo I took!   Sorry Shasty!

Oh and FYI, the photo you have used here:
Is NOT Amanzi, its Sukari.  Would really be nice if the Staff knew which Animal is which.



Thursday, July 17, 2014

SFZoo Birthday Celebrations NOT!

How appropriate that my last post was in reference to a Birthday Celebration.  

I'm very behind on posts! Ihave been attempting to write about many things over the past couple months in addition to catching up on drafts, but time and energy seems to be scarce these days.  The last couple weeks have been filled with worry about over a dozen abandoned Ducklings and attempting to rescue them.  

I missed posting two Zoo Friend Birthdays in a timely manner :(  Happy Belated Birthday to Bawang and Slash! (see my other blog for the bday pix!)  I did get to the Zoo last Thursday to wish Cobby and Skylar/Leanne a Happy Birthday!  (other blog for bday pix!).  I knew neither one would get a Celebration, but still I get disappointed.  I always hope the Zoo will start to recognize each Animals Special Day, but I guess that will never happen.  Its just not the kind of respect shown to these Wonderful Beings who give their lives to the Zoo.  Without them there would be NO Zoo, the Staff would have NO job.  To me, an Ice Treat or another special treat shouldn't be that hard to provide them.  It doesn't have to be a full blown party, but something Special should be given.  Geez, its one day a year.  

The biggest hit to my soul is always the Chimps.  These  Friends have lived at the Zoo 40+ years. They have been denied an upgrade to their home (more on that in another post), they are the oldest Animals living there and they can't even get a Happy Birthday post on the Zoo's Facebook page.  Disgraceful. 

So I write this on the eve of the Gorilla babie's 1st Birthday.  This is not to take anything away from Kabibe, I'll be there for her Party, but the Zoo seems to be selective in their "celebrations".  I wrote about this before.  They certainly seem to only do things that will possibly get them Media attention, and all the rest get ignored.  

As I said I'm behind on stuff, and one of the Zoo Friend Birthdays I missed posting in a timely manner, was Bawang, who is the surrogate Mother to Kabibe.  She has raised two infant Gorillas now, Hasani and Kabibe.  Without her the Zoo could not have kept these infants.  Its shameful that she can't even get a shout out or special treat.  I mean really, what's the criteria for rating a Happy Birthday recognition on Facebook?  A Special Treat?  A Party?   Its pretty sickening that some some Animals are Celebrated by the Zoo and others get nothing.  Nada.  Zip.  Zero. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Rhino Gets Birthday Treats! - aka The Zoo Gave Gauhati Birthday Treats Can You Believe It?!

Wow, can the tides be turning at the Zoo?  Someone told me today that the Zoo posted about Gauhati's Birthday.  Unbelievable really, so I took a look see at their Facebook Page to see when they posted, and there was a post today. If you read my blogs then you know I LOVE the Zoo Friend Birthdays!  After years of blogging about the Disrespect of the lack of acknowledging the Animals Birthdays, Gauhati got some Special Treats!  I'm so happy for him!  Wish I could have seen it, but its all good, most important it that he got something to Celebrate him :)   

ScreenCap from Zoo FB Page

As I've also blogged about, People love this kind of stuff.  The amount of comments on their post, shows that.  Its been a missed opportunity for the Animals to be Celebrated, get Special Enrichment, and have People enjoy seeing them up and having some fun!

That said, why can't the Zoo Staff communicate with each other?  Keepers should tell the Social Media Staff that they are planning something and it should be posted, so that People can make a plan to visit. No reason why those who Love the Animals should miss special activities like this.

That said part two, I'm curious that this was posted today.  His Birthday was Sunday.  Since it was Holiday craziness, I went yesterday and sang to him.  Then today there's this post.  Maybe my blogging nudges them?  Maybe my mentions remind them?  Whatever it is that works for them to get with the program, I'm all for!  I always wait til the evening to post my Birthday Photos, just to see if there's a mention.  Most always there is not.  I say "most" because they did mention Erin's Birthday, but I figured it was because it was her First. It happened on the actual day, so it probably was. ... Still would be curious to know, When did this actually happen? Did it happen on his Birthday on Sunday?  OR later?  Doesn't matter to him, or to me really, because as long as IT happens at all in the days around the actual date, I'm just glad it happens BRAVO! 

You can keep up to date with all the Zoo Friend Birthdays (including Gauhati's and three happening this Saturday), as they happen on my other blog :)  Check in Saturday evening and see who had Birthdays!