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!



Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Comment Replies

Hello Followers:


@ellicruu
@Miss Dani
@Lee
@Michael Groob

Please view posts you have commented on, in case you are not on an auto inform (if there's such a thing here) for replies.   Tonight I found a page full of comments that I never got notification on, that I just published and replied to.  As well, some from as far back as Oct 2013 that I published and never got back to replying too!  FAIL!  I apologize.

Thank you to you all and everyone else who reads (and) comments on this blog,  for your time and support, its very much appreciated!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Tiger Cub Gets Birthday Party! - New Post, Bumped from February 16, 2014

Finally getting back to this!  So sorry to anyone who has been waiting Three Months for this!  I will also bump it up to the front of the blog.  At least I came here and was happy to see I put the photos on! Will add a couple more, plus you can see the others here:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/leo811_sf

So, Jillian's First Birthday!   So, happy that she got a party!  If you read my blogs, you know I'm obsessive about the Zoo Friends Birthdays.  I think they should all be celebrated in some way, not all have to be a huge Party, but they deserve a Special Treat and a Mention and aside from the Farm Friends, the rest of the Animals that live at the Zoo get nothing.  No Special Treat, No Mention on their Social Media sites.  NADA :(  ... I must say that I don't think Jillian would have gotten anything either, if I hadn't mentioned it   
( "...will they have a Celebration for Jillian the Sumatran Tigers First Birthday February 10th?  <cough, hint>" )  
in a previous blog post 

That all said, her Mama Skylar/"Leanne" is turning Eleven on July 10.   Just saying.

The production for Jillian's Birthday was pretty good.  Of course there would be an effort as they had Media there.  Thankfully, the Public wasn't shut out in order for Media to have priority viewing (which yes has been done before).


Here's a wide angle of the Party layout.  There was an Ice Cake, Gift Bags, Streamers, and a Bubble Pond.  I was most impressed by the Bubble Bath Pond :)  I had seen this recently from another Zoo and thought "what fun"!   There were a couple things I wasn't impressed by, which will be noted below the photos.  But, I was happy that there was a Celebration and most of all, Jillian and Sky had a wonderful time!  The Animals enjoyment is all that matters and I had fun watching them have so much fun :)  

 
You can see by this photo, it was all good!
Love the happy here!
I want to see this on all the Animals faces.

The Cake made for a great photo op, but fell short of being anything Fun or Enrichment for the Cats. It was just colored Ice. WTH?  Serious Laziness.  Why make an Ice treat that has no flavor?  One layer could have been Milk, another Blood, another something else.  After the initial sniff this thing was left to melt, it served no purpose other than it looked good. 

Another Lazy and curious thing was the Party Bags. One had food in it, the other had a rock.  Yes, a Rock!  Again, WTH?  These Animals eat a good amount during the day.  The former Big Cat Keeper Barb, would save portions of their daily food to use for Enrichment Toys.  There should have been Meat in all the Bags.

While the food treats proved to be a Fail, the Streamers, and chasing thru them was not!

And the Bubble Bath was the biggest hit, 
once Jillian threw caution aside and jumped in!

Zoo Visit Review - Thursday May 15, 2014

I hate posting out of order, but behind as usual and I had several photos (along with my comments/opinions) from this day to post, so didn't want to make too many individual posts on my other blog because that's not the nature of that blog.  ... Posting in order taken.

Noticed that several of the Cat enclosures had Sand Boxes.  To me, this is a nice addition, especially for the Seniors who get arthritis and this is a soft place to rest.  You can see in this photo, Amanzi is taking advantage of it!  ... Wish the Zoo would have listened to me when I tried to tel them Wishbone needed some soft surfaces.  http://projectgetwishbonegrass.blogspot.com/

Renovation underway at Orkney the Gray Seal's former home.  Rumor has it that the new Resident will be a Wolverine.

More new Peccary Babies!  I think there has been Two new litters since the Six born last fall.  These Friends keep providing the Cute, that's for sure!  I think there are Four new little ones :)

This was at Ulu the Polar Bear's home.  I've seen this before and it just seems dumb.  Maybe I'm just not there to see what happens thru the whole melting process, but I've never seen them touched and this one was no different apparently.  At least it could have some flavor on it.  I know they give all the Bears a bit of Honey as a treat, why not squirt some over the ice block?  ... Reminds me of my still not written post about Tiger Cub Jillian's Birthday Party.  I'll bump that and write a bit now that I'm thinking of it.  She had an Ice Cake, that had no flavors added??  UG.

I've written someplace about this before, but I walked by and thought about how long its been since I wrote before and how this exhibit is the only one that still has this sign and you know I have an issue with lack of signage and Visitor misbehavior.  SO, once again SFZoo WHY is this sign only posted at the Sea Lion exhibit?
Sweet Boomer, love him!  Caught Keeper Livia cleaning up at the Walkabout and Boomer was right there supervising! :)

Sheeps were getting weighed today :)  Some got on the scale with ease, some didn't.  Sweet and cooperative! Miss Hermosa hopped right up.  The Sheep are weighed every Three Months, to make sure they are at a healthy weight and adjustments in diet are made accordingly.

Merlin and Gandolf getting ready for their walk :)  The Alpaca's are taken for daily walks to get exercise.  Here they are on their way to be weighed before their walk.

My Zoo Outtings Synopsis - Sunday May 25, 2014

Have another entry to make today, so check back this evening!


>May 24, 2014 - Zoo Grandbabies!  News from London Zoo, Tiger Cubbies have Names!  The Zoo has thoughtfully named the Three Cubs, whose Papa Jae-Jae is our Skylar/"Leanne"s Son with her former mate Bali.  Cub's Mama Melati was sent to London Zoo from Australia (If I remember right), as a perfect match for Jae-Jae :)  ... View the naming video and see these Beautiful additions to the Sumatran Species!    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iu6TQhuo9TU

>May 23, 2014 - I was wrong when I previously posted that there were Three signs at the Red Panda, there are EIGHT!  AND NONE note anything about behavior, especially at the too low windows.  Four Signs are you enter the area and another four inside, including two on the glass.  I was there for less than five minutes and people were knocking on the glass, one kid repeatedly kept backing up and running into the glass, ramming his reflection while his Mother sat there smiling at him. Again why can't we get anti-reflective glass?  Sorry I digressed. SO, SFZoo, Why are there no signs on the glass here or at any of the exhibits stating not to Bang, Rap, Tap, Kick, ect the glass at these Animals Homes?  Been questioning this for years now.



>May 23, 2014 - Female Red Panda in quarantine!  I've known about this for a couple weeks, but haven't had time to fully research her and post.  Her name is Grace and she came from the Boise Zoo. She and her mate Tiki had Two Cubs there, who have now gone on to live at other Zoos.  So, here she will not be breeding, but here for companionship with Kodari/"Tenzing".  So, there will soon be double the cuteness at this new enclosure :)

>May 22, 2014 - Zoo Friend Birthday Today!

Happy 1st Birthday Erin!

>May 21, 2014 - And it starts already.   Visitors breaching barriers at the new Red Panda enclosure. What is wrong with people?  What is wrong with the Zoo?  Why do they continue to make bad decisions in regard to the barriers at the Animals homes?  When I saw the constructing this exhibit, I thought the height of the glass was too short, then when I got up close, its definitely too short!  Its not even Six ft.  and there is no "stand back" barrier in front of it.   I just don't get it.  ... As well they got about three big colorful signs around the exhibit area and some smaller ones actually on the glass, yet not a one notes anything about barrier behavior.


Note to Visitors:  The view is the same through the glass as it is over the glass.  DUH!  To me when Visitors hang on/over barriers, its like home invasion.  Think about how the Animal feels People. You want People hanging in the windows of your home?  

>May 21, 2014 - Visited the cuteness that is the Sloth :)  When I saw him for the first time last week, one of the Curators was there and I asked if the mixed Species in this enclosure have been done before and he said yes.  I have thought this enclosure was too small to house the Anaconda and Toucan, and now with the Sloth it really seemed cramped to me.  The Toucan is the only one that probably NEEDS the extra space, as he's very active and flight is probably stunted.  Those observations made, while watching them today, the Sloth leaned over as if to say Hi to the Toucan and the Toucan bit him in the Face!  It was awful to see.  Poor Sloth, seems like such a sweet and gentle Animal.  His Face around his Eyes looked a bit red afterward, which I confirmed when I got home by looking at photos from last week and today.  I asked Security to alert the Keeper to this, so I sure hope they are monitoring the situation.

>May 18, 2014 - Zoo Friend Birthday Today!

Happy 11th Birthday Tucker!

>May 16, 2014 - Meet New Zoo Friends!  Please view my blog post on my other blog, much cuteness happening at the Zoo!  Toucan - Black Howler Monkey - Sloth

My Zoo Outtings Synopsis - Sunday May 11th, 2014


>May 11, 2014 - Zoo Friend Birthday Today!

Happy 11th Birthday Bititi!


>May 10, 2014 - Zoo Friend Birthday Today!

Happy 12th Birthday Inti!

>May 7, 2014 - Yesterday, the Farm Celebrated Three Zoo Friend Birthdays!  

Minature Donkey Clint had Cake with his Papa Nikos :)  
This video makes me smile so much, I love how they are singing too and then give each other kisses! LOVE! ... I didn't know about Clint's Birthday til yesterday, so I just posted his photo.  Scroll down to May 4th to see him in his Party Hat! :)

San Clemente Goat Twins shared their Cakes with their Grandma Ramona :)

>May 6, 2014 - Meet Kodari!


I was lucky enough to see him and all his super cuteness for the first time today!  They are still working on the outside of the exhibit area, but I could view him from the path.  You can see more of my photos and a video clip at the links below.  



As well learn more about him on my post on my other blog.  I try to write a post there, when I have enough information to post a good new Animal profile. Enjoy learning more about him :) http://iamnotananteater.blogspot.com/2014/05/red-pandas-return-to-zoo.html

>May 5, 2014 - Zoo Friend Birthdays Today!

Happy 1st Birthday Maverick & Dakoda!

>May 4, 2014 - Zoo Friend Birthday Today!

Happy 19th Birthday Clint!


Friday, May 23, 2014

What's My Name? - Who's Really Who, at the SFZoo!

I asked the Curator Dominick the Names of both the Toucan and the Sloth, knowing full well what the answer would be (because I've heard it so many times before), but wanted the official word just for documentation purposes.  "They don't have Names".  The Zoo Staff must really think everyone is stupid enough to believe that.  AND why lie?  Why not own the fact that they like to rob the Animals they acquire of their Original Names and give them Names they don't know, and force them to learn to respond to them?  Tell the public, They come with Names but we change them.

That said, in the instance of the Sloth, he came from the Tulsa Zoo with the Name DT.  Not sure what it stands for, and sure he could probably have a better Name, but this is the one he's had and knows.  I would love to win the lotto and make a huge donation to the Zoo with the stipulation that the Director change her name to whatever I choose.  Oh the fantasy of it!  

Some might ask why I'm so stuck on this Name issue?  To me, your name is your Identity.  It is already too rampant that Humans don't respect Animals as feeling Beings, and put themselves above them.  Screwing with their Identity just feeds into that and doesn't set a good example of how we as Humans should be treating Animals.  That said, I do get that there is a fundraising aspect to this, and I've written much about how it could be done differently.  Since the majority of the time its not done differently, they should at least continue to use the Original name behind the scenes. In addition to Respect, they also shouldn't be confused, especially for safety purposes. For example, if they needed to call in the Female Siberian Tiger, they have her so screwed up now she doesn't know what her name is, I think she just responds to voices.  What happens when someone who doesn't work with her might need to call her in?  What happens is she ever was transferred to another Zoo?  For example, Male Sumatran Tiger Taymor had his name changed to "Larry".  I heard the SFZoo will not be keeping him his whole life, so what happens when he moves to another Zoo?  His studbook name is Taymor but SFZoo has conditioned him to be called Larry.  Awful and Stupid practice.  Back to Shastyuh.  When she first got to the Zoo she came to Shastyuh, her Original name and one she had for Eleven yrs when she arrived at the SFZoo.  Then her name was changed. Her first main Keeper Barb, always used her Original Name and that of all the Cats in her care.  When she left, under the reign of Asst Curator Debbie Marin, she became ShastyuhMartha.  Then just Martha, her Donor Name.  All the Animals should always remain their Original Names by Zoo Staff. Their Donor Name should only be for Public purposes.

Since I write about the Animals using their Original Names (although I do sometimes put the Donor Name in quotations), I thought I'd do a post about the Names so not to confuse anyone.  



Compiling List ... Coming soon!


Friday, May 16, 2014

Meet New Zoo Animals

Several new Residents have moved to the Zoo!  In addition to Kodari (now Tenzing :( so not confuse) the New Red Panda, this post will introduce you to three new boys, a Black Howler Monkey, a Keel-Billed Toucan, and a Linnaeus's Two Toed Sloth :)

I first saw the Toucan a few weeks ago and got so busy didn't get to posting its photo and an update on the enclosure its in.  A new enclosure was built in the Lion House to house Oliver the Green Anaconda and the Toucan, both who will eventually move into the Tropical Aviary when Phase Two construction is done (end of Summer?).   In my opinion this enclosure should have been bigger, so the Toucan had more room to fly around.  I thought it was going to be more of the length of the LH front wall, but instead its a small square off the Ladies Restroom.  I didn't calculate an estimate in size, but by memory seems its about 10x20 ish.  Disappointing, so I hope the Aviary is done on time and these Animals get into a larger home. 

What didn't disappoint was the Toucan.  So beautiful!  I had only seen one once before when it was for sale at a local Pet store :(.   When I saw him again yesterday he was very active and I took this vid clip, you can see how fast he moves!  He will be fun to watch!  He is also part of the Breeding Program and when a Female becomes available she will join him :)



Note to Zoo: Why is the price tag still on the plant?  Looks lame.  ... This reminds me of the laziness of not taking the stickers off the fruit that is given to the Animals whole.  

Keeping in chronological order, last Monday I saw the new Male Howler Monkey for the first time! Again, short on posting time, for this to be timely, BUT this was an awesome moment!  I was so happy to see him I teared up.  The Female, Baya has been alone since the passing of her Father Bosco.  The Howlers were a very close Family and it was heartbreaking to see her alone.  She lost her Mama last year, her Sister, then her Brother, were both sent to other Zoos, and then losing her Father. So sad.  So I have been anxiously waiting for this moment :)  So happy that Benjamin is finally here and Baya has a companion :)   At Five, she's a few years older than him (I've been told).  They have a breeding recommendation, so we could have little ones at some point :)  I think they like each other, he was vocalizing to her when I was there, as well I was told she has been flirty with him :)  .. So happy for you Little Miss Baya!  Welcome Benjamin!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RGNZ-lGls8

Benjamin

Yesterday was filled with firsts.  For the first time (I can remember) I actually got a good look at Oliver's face!  What a Cutie!

Oliver

The other and most exiting first yesterday was seeing the new Sloth!  Love Sloths and this was my first one in person :)  Beyond Cuteness!  I took some sweet video, although at first I wasn't sure this was a good use of battery time (considering how slow they move ;) but he did some cute things at a faster speed :)  I liked the part with him scratching his head.  He scratched his tummy first but I tried to get still pix and they didn't come out. The cutest thing he did repeatedly was tilt his head back, make eye contact and smile :)  Its ridiculous cuteness and I love it!   He too is set to get a companion once one becomes available.  ... He is sharing the enclosure with the Toucan and Anaconda, and will move into the Aviary as well.



Additional notes about the Sloths debut.  After seeing him, I spread the news to all the Staff I saw, "Did you see the Sloth?"  Everyone's response was, "No, I didn't know he was out."  Seriously?  Again WHY is everything such a secret there?  They don't even tell Staff what's going on.  UG!  ... As well, the Director was at the Sloth while I was there and I could hear someone ask her a few questions about him, and then a pause and someone else answered.  Once again, she apparently doesn't know anything about the Animals at the Zoo.  Shameful.

I also saw the Two new Pelicans, bringing the total of American White Pelicans to Five!  Lovely sight to see :) They were all hanging out together, but it seemed like there might still be some territorial issues to be worked out.  Also one of the new ones is a Female, and the others are all Male!   I took some video but its from far.  Will do another post about them soon.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Red Panda's Return to SFZoo

I for one can't wait to see this little fur ball of cuteness!  I Love Red Pandas!  A Friend told me the Zoo had Red Pandas many years ago.  Glad to see them back in the Collection. ... The official Debut is set for this Weekend.

According to the Acquisitions, the Zoo's new Ten Month Old Male Red Panda was born at the Sacramento Zoo.  Below are a couple links I found that show him at Seven Weeks and at Three/Half Months. 

The photo below is a screencap from this link: 

OMGosh Cuteness!

Information from this link http://sacramentozoo.blogspot.com/2013/09/red-panda-cub-named-kodari.html note that at Three & a Half Months Old he was named Kodari.  The Sac Zoo website posts "Kodari is the name of a city in Nepal and is one of only two north-south roadways connecting Nepal and Tibet via the Himalayas. Historically, it is the beginning of the trans-Himalayan caravan route that has been referred to as the Nepalese equivalent of the Silk Road, thus has played a culturally significant role in the development of both Nepal and Tibet."  Sadly by Wednesday, he will lose that adorable and appropriate moniker, when per usual, the Zoo will rename him.

Via an sfgate.com article, "S.F. Zoo emeritus board member Barry Lipman and his wife, Marie, pledged $31,000 to secure the naming rights to the panda."

Readers of my blogs know that I am always bothered by the renaming thing.  Unless the Animals also get to keep their original names and those names are used by their Keepers, I am totally against this and find it completely disrespectful.  I also feel that those who bid to do such, have disposable income for such luxuries, and should make the donation to the Animals Care, and do the right thing and allow them to keep their names.  BUT ... THAT never happens.    ... It might actually be an option is the Director presented the "auction" in this such way, but she obviously doesn't.

This all said, regardless of what the Zoo names the little fella, I will call him Kodari.  

You can view more photos of Kodari at Seven Weeks Old :) on the Zoo Borns site:
http://www.zooborns.com/zooborns/2013/08/red-panda-sacramento-zoo-update.html

Kodari will be getting a girlfriend very soon :)  They already have a breeding recommendation, so we can hopefully look forward to Red Panda Cubbies in the future!

5.6.14 Correction to above info.  I was originally told they had a breeding recommendation, but I found out today that is not true.  I did some research last night on Grace, the Female who will be joining Kodari and my preliminary info showed she had given birth at least twice already, possibly 3x.  So, she is done breeding.  Their match-up is for companionship.  She's a bit older so will be his Mrs Robinson ;)  ... She is in quarantine now, so will post about her when she is out! :)  Can't wait to see them together!  I saw him today!  Beyond cuteness!  Stay tuned to my other blog for photos and video links!



Sunday, May 4, 2014

My Zoo Outtings Synopsis - Sunday May 4, 2014

From my blog mysanfranciscozooouttings.blogspot.com

>May 4, 2014 - International Respect Chickens Day!

This Awareness Day is to bring attention to the way Chickens used as Meat are kept.  It is promoted by Vegan Groups.  Myself I am neither Vegan or Vegetarian (Yet!)  I have never been a big meat eater, but have really cut down over the past few yrs, with very little Chicken being the only meat I now eat and I never eat anything off the bone.  But, thats just me.  Most of my give-up has been because of Animals I've met.  The Zoo Farm Turkeys are the sole reason I stopped eating Turkey.  The Zoo Farm Chickens are the reason I am on my way to completely cutting out Chicken. And, YES I do feel like hypocrite when I hang out with these awesome little Friends.   That said, please take a look at this link and Educate yourself on what these Animals go through.  Maybe make some changes in your intake.  

My Precious Little Farm Friends :)

>April 28, 2014 - New Patas Monkey Babie! 

Got to see the cute little thing today :)  This is the first Patas Babie I've ever seen!  Congratulations to Mama Winnie and Papa Patrick, your little one is lovely :)

Video :)

My Zoo Outtings Synopsis - Sunday April 27, 2014

From my blog mysanfranciscozooouttings.blogspot.com

>April 27,2014 - Happy World Tapir Day!

I used to love going to the Zoo and spending time with my Precious Friend Goober on this day that celebrates his species :)  I sure do miss him!   ... Please visit the World Tapir Day page on Facebook to learn more about all species of Tapir and check this link to learn about their plight.  Thankx!



>April 25, 2014 - Zoo Friend Birthdays Today!

 Happy 45th Birthday Maggie!

Happy 44th Birthday Minnie!

My Zoo Outtings Synopsis - Sunday April 20, 2014



>April 18, 2014 - Zoo Friend Birthday Today!

Happy 1st Birthday Brooks and Shania!

>April 17, 2014 - Sheep (and Alpaca) Shearing Day!  All Twelve Sheep and the Two Alpacas got their Summer Do's.  
You can view Gandolf and Merlin getting sheared 

Miss Mole!

>April 16, 2014 - Zoo Friend Birthday Today!

Happy 20th Birthday Rigel!

>April 14, 2014 - New Litter of Peccaries!  Twins!

My Zoo Outtings Synopsis - Sunday April 13, 2014


>April 13, 2014 - Zoo Friend Birthday Today!

Happy 11th Birthday Poppy!

View her Party!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBsDfRGAuug

>April 8, 2014 - Saw the new Enclosure built in the Lion House as Temporary home for the Anaconda and new Toucan Acquisition.  Both will move to the Tropical Aviary when its renovation is complete.  I personally think the space is way to small for both.  The photo makes it appear bigger than it is.  I'll try to remember to estimate the measurements.




>April 7, 2014 - Saw Athena, the Eurasian Eagle Owl in one of the free flight Aviaries.  She was enjoying some pool-time!  This was a first!  

Read Athena's amazing story here!

April Zoo Friend Birthdays!

I try to post this as close to possible at beginning of the actual Month.  Sorry that I didn't get to it even close :(  ... Please check my other blog as I post them on the actual day almost always :)

April
6/1991 - Edna/ Chinese White Goose
9/2003 - Poppy/Nigerian Dwarf Goat
16/1994- Rigel/Snow Leopard
18/2013- Brooks and Shania/San Clemente Island Goat Twins
25/1969- Maggie/Chimpanzee 
25/1970- Minnie/Chimpanzee
(Chimp info taken from Studbook/differs from Zoo info)

You can see the individual Birthday announcements on my other blog 

Sincere Apologies - Too Many Coming Soon Posts!

While looking for links for the post previous to this, I realized I had way more "Coming Soon" posts than I thought.  Time in the past six months has really gotten away from me and I just have not been able to catch up.  All the Titles were things I really wanted to post on, and may still, just wanted to note that I wasn't deliberately ignoring posts.  So many page views on ones with nothing there, bothers me to be so behind.

I appreciate all who visit my blog and are interested in what I'm writing about.  

At A Glance - Safety Related Blog Posts

http://iamnotananteater.blogspot.com/2014/02/mandrills-get-glassed-success.html

http://iamnotananteater.blogspot.com/2013/10/chimp-exhibit-inside-barrier-still.html

http://iamnotananteater.blogspot.com/2013/10/kids-allowed-beyond-barriers-at-chimp.html

http://iamnotananteater.blogspot.com/2013/07/more-barrier-breaching-human-jumps.html

http://iamnotananteater.blogspot.com/2013/03/a-different-kind-of-barrier-breaching.html

http://iamnotananteater.blogspot.com/2013/03/san-francisco-zoo-connecting-people.html

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Is the San Francisco Zoo Safe?

Even though I wrote this draft a couple days after the broadcast, I haven't had the time to re-read it to publish, til now, a week later.  I hate being so untimely, but life happens.  Sometimes, time passing isn't so bad, because now I am wondering if KGO has any intention on a follow-up piece to document what, if any changes have been made since the "outting".

Sat 4.26.14 - During Friday Night's Re-broadcast of Thursday's KGO News piece on Zoo Safety, they opened posing the line, "Is the San Francisco Zoo Safe?"   I thought it was an odd thing to ask, considering aside from the Tiger Event of 2007, there have been no dire incidents.  That said, that doesn't mean the Zoo isn't posed for another.

Its taken me a couple days to get to this post, not an hour passing without making a note of something I want to include.  The piece made me think of many things I've posted about in the past that relate to this subject.  Where to begin is the obstacle as I write.  Much like I hate that the only time the Zoo seems to be in the News, its in relation to the Tiger attack.  I also don't want to bring up the crime committed against me by Zoo Director Tanya Peterson, but I guess in the case of this "safety" issue, both are relevant in their own ways.

I will note to start since this is related to the News piece, I personally do not feel the Zoo is unsafe. Not in the way that I feel I'm not safe while I'm there.  That said, that is not relevant to the concerns brought up by the Staff in the News piece, which I had no idea was even a concern.  So, does that alter how safe I feel?  Not really.  I just don't have any personal experience with that.  Any Safety issues I have are based on my experience, and those issues are exclusively for the Safety of the Animals, in regards to Visitor Misbehavior.

I was there Christmas Day 2007, probably have the last photo ever taken of Tatiana 2:48 pm.  If I had gone a different route, going instead on the way home, instead of first, I always think I may have been able to save her life.  I would have definitely made sure those three delinquents were stopped.  When I got home and saw the News, I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach.  I was just there.  A beautiful Animal was dead.  I knew that this was because of taunting.  

If the Zoo had been open the next day, I would have gone and stood in front of the Tiger enclosure with NO fear for safety.  Just like I have done for 40 plus years before and Visitors have been doing since 1939.

At that time, 2007, although I had a Membership and went often, I did not know the Animals on an individual basis like I do now.  I did not now the "workings" of the Zoo.  I was like most Natives, someone who grew up going to the Zoo and feeling connected to it.  I was very affected by this incident.  I stayed up into the early morning, many nights, participating in comments on sfgate.com forum, where I defended the Zoo endlessly to all the ignorant posters.  One common issue that always and still does piss me off to read was in relation to the height of the wall.  Everyone grabbed at the word "recommended" when in fact, that meant a guideline height, not a "required" height.  Another, which I have read in relation to this piece, many maintain that Visitors should be kept safe regardless of taunting.  Something else I personally find ignorant.  If everything was "sinister" proof, there would be no crime.  If someone goes to extremes, anything is possible.  From all I read, I found no fault of the Zoo.  All I read is all I have to go on, in regards to this.

In the News piece, they say that the taunting was never proved.  That is not true.  Three years after the event sealed Documents were made public and notations indicated that Tatiana was indeed provoked. Much like the Super Strength legend you hear in reference to Mothers and their Children, if pushed, you reach into your core and react.  Tatiana was reacting, defending herself, her companion and her home.  I may not be the most popular for anything I write and surely not for this, but I see people constantly harassing Animals, at the Zoo, in the Park, you read about the disrespect and harm everywhere online, so many Humans are just not nice, and in my opinion I have no doubt that each one of those Boys were involved in harassing her to the point of rage.  

I will note that I have never talked to any Staff Member about this Event, or the one brought up in the News piece, in which Tatiana was again made out to be the Villain for reacting naturally, which always really bothers me.  I have never heard any Staffer in the five plus years I have had conversations with Staffers, say anything about the Zoo not being a Safe working environment for them.  I am not saying its not true, I just have no information in regards to any of this. This was a surprise expose' to me.   That said, what I will write about are things I personally know about that relate to the Subject of Safety, not only for Staff, but for the Animals, and Visitors by default.

From the time I began visiting the Zoo regularly (up to 4x a week), in 2008, until February 2011, I had an open communication with not only Director Peterson, but a very large contingent of Staff.  Then out of nowhere, that changed and myself and my friend were slandered by Director Peterson, accusing us of "calling in a false alarm Code Red incident."  The complete details I chronicled in this blog:

In short, there was an over the barrier incident witnessed by my friend and she called it in.  Due to the Zoo's lame call taking and faulty dispatch system, a Code Red was called.  Because the Zoo screwed up, took no call details and dispatched in error, we were blamed and became the only people in the History of the Zoo to have Memberships revoked.  I was extremely hurt, as I had demonstrated to be a great friend to the Zoo and the Animals who lived there.  I was outraged as I had never been treated this way.  I launched my own investigation and crusade for justice and the return of our Memberships.  
This untruth was fabricated by Director Peterson in an effort to cover-up the Zoo's faulty Safety System.  

I not only contacted the Zoological Society and the Rec and Park Chairman's, a Member of the Rec and Park who sits on the Joint Zoo Committee, the area Supervisor, the Mayor, but also KGO 7 on your side, who sent an investigator to the Zoo, yet he yielded no results for us, because Director Peterson allegedly issued a Gag Order in regard to this event.  I was frustrated and pissed at the lack of investigative reporting these days.  It seemed that no one cared that this happened.  The only reason we got our Memberships back is because I kept at it for almost a year, when we finally got them back when I can only assume that when I asked Zoological Chairman David Staton if just going by Director Peterson's word he "really wanted to be the face of this", he told Peterson to give them back.  They were returned complimentary, which is an indicator of guilt.  ... I will note that one reporter from the Chronicle contacted me and wanted me to assist her with an article "to take Tanya down."  I wasn't interested in that, I just wanted my Membership back.  

How does this relate directly to this News piece?  For one, the reason we were blamed was to specifically use us as a scapegoat for why this Code Red was issued.  The Zoo had its AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) Safety Inspection soon (I think it was within two weeks) and if they were found guilty of faults in relation to Safety their accreditation would be in jeopardy.   THIS now begs two questions?  WHAT did the AZA actually check during this 2011 Inspection?  and Will the Zoo's accreditation be reevaluated now?  ... There was a 2011 incident mentioned in the News piece, in which "the system malfunctioned and sent out a false alarm" which I'm investigating to get the date on.  Curious if it coincides with the date of our incident.

I find it disgusting that something so crucial as Safety apparently continues to go ignored by the Zoo's leader.  I know she ignores the Animals safety as changes to barrier breaching that I endlessly post about have for the most part remained status quo.

Prior to our incident, I had made suggestions about how the Calls were taken and about the lack of Security.  Nothing was ever addressed.  The way the Calls are handled was changed immediately. There is still no Security presence on the grounds most of the time.  Even on the busiest days, I have walked the ground for four hours straight and not seen one Security Guard.

Before going on I will note this, which at the time I found an entertaining discovery, now just disgusting.  When I found out my Membership had been revoked, I was trying to gain entry to the Zoo an hour before closing, as I was going to attend the Joint Zoo Committee Meeting that evening.  After being told I couldn't go in, I was livid!  I wanted to speak to Tanya and went to the office, who told me she was conveniently out of town.  At the meeting there was a Security Guard present. There never was at any previous Meetings.  That was my last Meeting, choosing to instead read the Minutes online, rather than sit in a confined space with People who I didn't respect to tell the truth.  By next months Meeting Tanya had metal detectors installed for the Meetings, noting when questioned about them, that is was because 'certain persons had been contacting Board Members...'    Gee wonder who she meant? The paranoia is laughable.  So here we have it, so far the tally here seems to be that Director Peterson seems to not care about anyone but herself.  She made sure within a months time this safety precaution for HER was taken, yet years have passed and Staff don't feel safe?  The only reason she tested this system now is because she was forced to.  As a leader she should be the one to check or at least have someone checking that all Safety "zones" are working properly. Those zones involving Animal Staff Safety, Animal Safety, Visitor alert systems and containment/exit strategies.  During her reign she has allegedly fired/hired/promoted on whim, yet not one person on her Management team can seem to "check batteries."  Both she and her right hand make six figures, what are they doing for their pay?

While having just mentioned a metal detector, I'll add that within the past six months, there have been two incidents of Visitors carrying weapons into the Zoo.  One a Gun and another Hunting Knife.  Both weapons not concealed, yet they go through the gates.  No Security, No Staffer, No One noticed this. It would also serve the Zoo to train Staff to be more aware of what's going on around them.

It was two years after the Tiger attack, two years into the Peterson Reign, and the Zoo nearly missed another blood bath event in 2009 when someone entered the Grizzly Bears Grotto.  Again, during Winter months, late in the day and no Security around.  Thankfully our Bears didn't touch the guy, or they would have been shot dead, murdered because of some idiot and this time, Zoo stupidity, because they let the same attributes repeat.  

At the time I still had Tanya's ear and shot off an email, point blank asking if she was waiting for another Tiger event?  WHY was the Zoo still open til 5p during Winter months, when it gets dark by then?  Not brain surgery, yet she nor anyone else of authority never thought to change the hours? Next meeting, a few days later she posed changing the hours during the Winter months.  It was the first of many times I said to myself, Who's running the Zoo?  I don't mean to sound pompous, but come on, some of the things I suggested and have posted on my blog that have come to fruition, should be something someone of her authority and wage should be able to figure out.

To this day the Zoo still has many barriers that are breachable (which I've documented endlessly and see on each visit more than once).  The Zoo still doesn't hire enough Security Guards and the ones they do spend most their time in the parking lot while Visitors run wild all over the Zoo harassing the Animals.  The Zoo STILL has no outdoor Emergency lights.  Even if there was no ER during opening hours, if something happened there are night (much like when they were blindly searching for Tatiana), they'd be screwed.

After my experience with trying to inform/enlighten the San Francisco Zoological Socialites, <cough> I mean Society, I surmised that they all just don't give a crap about what really goes on at the Zoo.  They don't come to the Zoo unless there's a cocktail party.  Granted they are good with emptying their pockets, but being a governing Board they should be more involved.   As should the Rec and Park, another "office" that doesn't care.  I contacted two people within, so they were aware, and the guy on the News piece acts surprised.  They aren't surprised, they don't care.  I have caught many untruths come from the Zoo Management, some even given to the Joint Zoo Committee as fact and they just take it as fact.  No questions.  There are no checks and balances.  Director Peterson herself doesn't care about the Animals and I have documented that many times.  She has eyes on a City political career.  Why doesn't she just move on now and let someone who loves Animals and cares about the Zoo take over.  Let her fundraise, that's all she seems to be able to do successfully, Mingle with Money.   

The preamble to Fridays re-broadcast noted that many Staffers had planned to protest at that nights annual ZooFest fundraiser but called it off because there were signs of their concerns being recognized. Why aren't the Staffers banding together and calling for Director Peterson's resignation.   Her lack of ability to keep all safe at the Zoo seems to warrant it.  There are better options for Zoo Director within the walls.  Curator Eric Krussman and Penguin Keeper Anthony Brown are two top choices.  Both know the Zoo well and have dedicated many years to it.  Just like at the Oakland Zoo, whose Director is the Head Vet.  The person in charge should know about the Animals who live there and have their and the Staff who take care of them's best interests a priority.  THAT is not happening now and has not since 2008.  This News piece noted that the Staff has lost faith in her.  Prior to this piece, most Staffers would not step forward because they fear termination. Maybe something has changed now.  If so, now is the time to demand a change in the reins.

After the Code Red incident that we were blamed for, Director Peterson sent my friend an email in which she said, "you were involved in a false Code Red situation that put both our Staff and Animals in danger..."  That said, since she took our Memberships away for an accusation of endangerment, shouldn't she have her job taken away for endangerment of Staff and possibly Visitors as this News investigation revealed?

To surmise, the Zoo should be safe for all.  The Staffers, The Animals, and the Visitors.  Animal Care Staff should feel safe working with these Animals, who may not exhibit vicious manners, are still strong wild Animals and act on natural instinct.  The Animals should be safe in their homes.  The Zoo should take a better stance on keeping them safe, which I've documented many suggestions on. Bottom line, the Zoo needs to adopt a Zero tolerance in harassment of the Animals.  Its disgusting the lack of respect and empathy shown.  Just last week a Zoo Employee told me that some guy was torturing the Farm Animals and was told not to and he said, "I paid my fee."   Yet these Entitled, Evil Bullies are not asked to leave on most occasions.  They come to the Zoo and harass the Animals, and that not only puts the Animals in danger both from them directly, but if one falls in an exhibit, the Animal loses its life in order to try and extract it.  Those who have read my blog know I am no Humanitarian, I just have seen too much against Animals to be, but by keeping the Animals safe they keep the Visitors safe by default.

I have been slammed by some at the Zoo as being someone who wants to cause trouble.  Those who actually care about the Animals and know me know that starting with Director Peterson revoking my Membership based on lies, I have continued to keep my eyes open while on the grounds, documenting what I see because I want change, change for the better.  My blog posts have gotten some changes made, but they also provide the documentation if needed as proof of these faults in the event of another tragedy.  Of course I hope that never happens, but knowing how the current Management ignores the Safety of the Animals and Visitors by default and now it seems the Staff, I continue to do so, and apparently its necessary.