Wednesday, January 28, 2015

San Francisco Zoo Director Kicks Out Senior Chimps!

I apologize ahead of time at the length of this post.  This is a real Passion Issue for me and because of the nature of it, I feel its necessary to be very clear on all points.  If you care about our Chimps, please read in full.  Thank you.


Outrageous News out of the Zoo.  Well, not really "out" of the Zoo, since the Zoo has made no public mention of this, I guess just another thing they hope to keep secret.  

San Francisco Zoo Director Tanya Peterson has given the boot to the Family of Three Senior Chimpanzees who have lived at the Zoo for over 45 years!

Where are they going?  To Florida. I'm still not completely sure exactly where.  I've heard a Sanctuary, yet the only place I've heard the name of,  I don't think falls into Sanctuary category.  

As noted, the Zoo has not made any public mention of this move, so I guess its all being done on the hush and those of us who love these Chimps will just show up one day and they will be gone?  

This News makes me sick.   I am not the only one who loves these Chimps and is heartbroken at the thought we will never see them again.

As well, I am not alone in feeling this is wrong.  Our Chimps are aged 57, 45 and 45.  These Chimps should not be put throught the trauma of a move.  The reality if you picture it will be such:  They will think everything is going routine in their life, til they are darted and tranquilized.  They will be flown across the country, wake up in a cage in an unfamiliar place, with unfamiliar people.  After a quarentine time, they will be intergrated into established Chimpanzee groups, all with an already established Alpha Male.

Imagining them put in this situation is heartbreaking.  What happens if they don't intergrate?  What happens if Cobby has a hard time?  He has been the only Male in his group.  Will he be banished to live alone?  Separated from his Girls?  Sent off to another place?   I already know that Cobby had a really difficult time when he came to the Zoo in 1968.  I am friends with one of his first Keepers John Alcaraz (1968-1986).   John, an established SFZoo Ape Keeper started working with Cobby a couple months after his arrival, when the new Keeper hired to work in the new Triple Grotto (that went up in 68 as well) couldn't hack it.  Upon meeting Cobby, he found a frustrated, upset and out of control Chimp, yelling and screaming.  Cobby came to the Zoo after living in someone's home and being used in Entertainment.  When he arrived at the Zoo, the new Keeper did nothing to help him transition to Zoo life.   He was thrown in with other males and they beat on him.  John worked with him to get him comfortable living in captivity and with other Chimpanzees.  He has said this took sometime because they had to develop a relationship of working together.  This was 47 years ago.  The Girls, both Maggie and Minnie came to the Zoo as infants together 45 years ago and only know the SFZoo as their home.

How can this be happening you might ask?

The current situation as I have come to understand it is such.

The AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums)  has a "loose rule" that requires Chimpanzees to live in groups of four minimum.   Less than four they are required to add the the group, to bring it to an ideal social size that resembles how they would live in the wild.

The problem with doing that with our group comes with questions.

Would the AZA allow the Zoo to bring in more Chimps?   Is that not an option unless enclosure upgrades are made (which has come up for other Zoos)?  Did Director Peterson just take the easy way out and opt to just send them away?

Would the Chimps be in this position if their home had been at the very least, upgraded?  OR would they still have been booted out by Director Peterson, in favor of bringing in more "new and shiny" Animals?

As I've noted in previous posts: 
Please read if you haven't, to get full understanding of situation with SFZoo Chimps.

There has been a steady stream of new areas built both for Humans and New Animals during Director Peterson's reign (several this past year) and the new continues to flow with rumors of new species, needing new homes built, already on the agenda.  ... This week I saw construction begin on building yet a new childrens's play structure next to the current playground.  Are you friggin' kidding me?  More for Humans?  

As well, as incoming, I have seen many Animal species get transfered out.  At first I thought it was for better management size, then new ones just came in to seemingly take their place.  So, basically what appears to be  happening is theres a personal agenda in place and some Animals are more desirable than others. ... That said, allegedly Director Peterson has a plan to bring in another species of Ape and of course then, they will need to build a new home for them.  If this is true, I can literally feel the SLAP in the face for our poor Chimps.

I did some investigating in regards to the AZA position.  I still haven't heard back from them, but I called several of the Zoos that were listed in the 2012 Chimpanzee Studbook as having 3 or less Chimps.  I spoke at length to the Director at one Zoo, whose group of 3 is in the same situation.  Valuable information  was shared and makes me question in regard to our Chimps, Is moving them the only doable option?  I believe HELL NO!  is the answer!

*The Zoo Director I talked to said his Zoo has had only three Chimps for near five years.  We lost our Tallulah in 2013.  We have only had three under two years. 

*The AZA would prefer Chimps not being transefered out and are "willing" to work with Zoos to keep them.   

Considering those two statements, I'm led to believe Director Peterson  just doesn't want to try.   But WHY?  Is the question.  

Has the full picture (as I'm describing it) been shown to the Recreation and Park, and Zoological Society?

If so, how can they be caring of the Animals if this is allowed to happen?

AND if they say its better for them, then they might as well send every Animal at the SFZoo away, because that's saying something about the care there.

This other Zoo has recently been given a timeline, as their situation mandates that they upgrade the enclosure before they can bring in additional Chimps.   If they can raise money to upgrade the enclosure, they can keep their Chimps.  ... They are currently running an online campaign outreaching to the public for help. ...  They WANT to keep their Chimps.

Does the San Francisco Zoo WANT to keep their Chimps?  OR are they on Director Peterson's hit list of Animals to send out in favor of bringing more in?

Has the AZA said they can't bring in additional Chimps to enlarge the group?  OR Has the AZA said they can't, unless they upgrade the enclosure?  OR is this just the ticket Peterson needed as an excuse to send them packing?

While their life at the SFZoo is not the best it can be, it certainly isn't the worst.  They deserve to live out their lives in the only place they've known as home.

Doing everything that can be done to keep them there to live out the duration of their lives, should be the priority.  ... WHY?  Isn't it?

The biggest disgust and crime, is that this move might not have ever been necessary if the Zoo had not disregarded the Chimps for the last 17 years.  If we are going with one assumption, that its an enclosure upgrade issue, then there is no reason these Chimps should be traumatized because the SFZoo has slighted them.  Thats not their fault. ... Its not their fault that the last upgrade to their enclosure was in the mid 80s.  Please read my post: for full details ...  Its not their fault that the SFZoo misappropriated money in 1997 from a City Bond that was voted in with a designation for a new Great Ape Forest.  For more information please read my previous post:

In addition to the two posts I've linked, I also wrote one with a idea for expanding the group.
Both my suggestions for upgrading and for expanding the group would Save Our Chimps.  BUT thats only if the Zoo actually wanted to and again, that's NOW the real question.  

San Francisco Zoo do you want to Save Our Chimps?

Sadly, because of the years of disregard I think I know the answer, but that doesn't mean the SFZoo shouldn't be made to do better by these Chimps.

I have done a tremedous amount of complaining about the SFZoo.  Its because I care, and I want them to do better.   

In light of that, one could ask, do I think they could get better care at another facility?  Who knows.  And that could then be a questionable concern for every Animal at the Zoo.  

Does that mean the San Francisco Zoo Team, Management and Officials should get off easy, with a convinent send off,  for the disregard they've shown to the Chimpanzees?  Hell NO!

Should the SFZoo continue to be allowed to bring in more New Animals before taking care of the ones already there?  Hell NO!  THAT is the main issue.  

As I've written before bringing in New Animals (which does not include those in need of rescuing),  to enlarge the Collection, based on personal agenda and gate sale greed, is a disgrace and disrespect to every current Resident Animal in need.

Allegedly the San Francisco Zoo has to answer/get the okay from the City of San Francisco, the San Francisco Recreation and Park, and the San Francisco Zoological Society.  That said, those "Offices"  of authority should take a better managing position. In doing so they should:

*Put a STOP to this move.  The Chimps SHOULD NOT LEAVE the San Francisco Zoo.

*Put an indefinite hold on any current and future plans that include bringing in New Animals, that require new exhibits to be built.  ... Zoo should be forced to take care of "home" , before anything else. 

*Find Funds (because I know they are there) to upgrade the current Chimpanzee enclosure not only for them, but to accomodate any assumed AZA issue in regard to expanding the group.  ... Upgrading they could bring in two new females that wouldn't change the current dynamics too much.

*Find Funds/Fundraise for the construction of a New Chimpanzee Exhibit.  ... They could then complete a move and add more Chimps to expand group, after a decent integration time. 

THIS is the only way to respect these wonderful beings who have given near half a century to the San Francisco Zoo.

My head is spinning over this whole situation.  So, In closing (for now), I only can keep asking myself, ...

How does the San Francisco Zoo (Director Peterson and others who have supported this Motion to Move) think this is a good idea? ...  I'd bet as noted, they don't really and this is just an easy out for them.  The Chimps aren't being sent away for their own good.  As well, Director Peterson will probably be praised for this, as the public hears the word "Sanctuary" and thinks its the best thing for all Animals.  While this possibly might have been a good thing 20 yrs ago, at their age now its not. Its even more disgusting because of the disregard and apparent discard circumstances.

How does the City of San Francisco, the San Francisco Recreation and Park,
and the San Francisco Zoological Society, (the governing agencies the Zoo answers to) think that this is a good idea?  ... My bet is they have not been given the full picture, and/or don't care.  Definitely its per usual, just go along with whatever Director Peterson says.  They take the easy way out as well, never questioning anything, never getting involved, never anything that has to do with the place they are supposed to be "watching over".  

Over the next week, I do plan to make more noise about this.  If you are outraged as well, please check back for my next post which will include contact information for letter writing, as well, I may have some other ideas to Save Our Chimps!

Until then, please feel free to contact San Francisco Zoo Director Tanya Peterson.

As with all posts,
please expand comments
for additional insight and information.
Check back as I reply to all comments.
Contact the San Francisco Zoo Director Tanya Peterson
if you want your voice heard.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

2014 Holidays at the Zoo

Zoo Friends in Rain on Xmas Eve

I visited the Zoo Friends on Christmas Eve Day.  During my visit it began to rain.  Since we have been having usually cold weather, I was more pissed than usual to see so many of the Animals forced out on exhibit.

The Zoo for years has had a sign at the entrance that notes that all Animals have access to the inside.  That has always been a flat out lie.  Many Animals are locked out on exhibit all day.  I investigated this several years ago, when my Precious Tapir Friend Goober, with terminal Health issues was allegedly by Management orders forced to be on exhibit.  I was outraged about this, and one day it came to a head when it was raining and there he stood in the rain staring at his bedroom door.  

As I went around the Zoo in the rain, giving Holiday Greetings to the Friends, I was really upset to see so many out.

 44 year old Elly, staring at her door

 Tucker, sleeping as usual under water, no choice but to

 Lions seek shelter

Indian Rhino Gauhati's door is always closed

Zoo Lights Lite

Busy and/or Sick the last few weeks, I finally got to Zoo Lights tonight, the last night.  Two words, Big Fail.  I hate to pick at things especially at this time in my Zoo passion issues, which are concentrated on the Chimps, Animal safety and proper living environments, but after seeing the Komodo Dragon still in a barren home (see previous post),  I'm once again bothered at the Zoo just seeming to not really give a shit.  Its either that, collaborative inemptness and cross the board laziness.  Either way you look at it, too much is left to Mediocrity.  

The Zoo has done this Event for three years now.  The first year they had some technical difficulties, but the attempt was decent and the part I saw was impressive and we had a great time.  Read my review here: 

Last year I had high hopes, as so many Zoo's were putting on really great displays and our Zoo seemed like it was trying.  I thought it fell short in light display, seeing as it is a "light" Event.   I thought the craft vendors and food truck were a great add. 

This year, Friends who had gone early in the Event said they were really disappointed.  After seeing some of the displays up prior, I had a feeling the effort to do a good Event wasn't going to be there.  Sadly I was right.  

I feel bad to hate on these little trees that could, but seriously, these poor little tree's deserved to be pretty.  Where did they get these decorations and who decorated them?   Even the Gulls were outraged, as I got a photo (I can't find) of them screaming at one.

And, I think the Zoo has lost sight of the fact that this is a Light Event, which means, don't go lite on the amount of lights.  Does anyone look at other Zoo (Point Defianace) Displays?   Are they aware that there is a whole TV Show (Great Christmas Light Fight) based on this?    The Show now in its second season has had two Marin based contestants.  The Zoo needs to get their number and get some help if they plan to do this again.  If you are not going to Wow people, dim the lights and get out of the game.

Here are some photos.  Again the Snowflakes on the ground were the best part.  Thankfully I took the photo of the three lit Animals at the Entry going in, because they were out an hour later when I left.   I was told they "shorted out".   Each year there has been electrical issues and parts of the Event blacked out.   If the Zoo can't handle keeping lights on, then don't have an Event that is about lights.

So yeah, not enough lights, and hardly any food.  The food options were pathetic, especially for an Event that takes place during the Dinner hours.   No Food Truck, only the Lemur Cafe had food and not even full Menu they usually have. I'm pretty sure there were less than ten menu items.   We left after an hour to spend money elsewhere on food.

One right thing they did was have Keeper Nancy out at Koalas sharing her knowledge and photos.   As well she was after doing the same at Giraffes, but we had to leave to seek food.  AND of course the Reindeer.  I love seeing them.

In hindsight, I'm not even sure Snow Flurry machine was on that night.  I think I would have noticed.  So, possibly no Snow, no real food options.  If you can't put on full experience as advertised, dont do it.  People are paying to get in as well some paying more than entrance fee to park.

If I was in charge of this Event and only had the amount of lights in use, I would concentrate them into a smaller area.  Having parts of the Zoo open when not many Animals to see ( I knew this and was not expecting more) is a waste of light space, especially when nothing else is going on in those areas.   Condense efforts, by reducing and changing the areas open during the event.  This would make the "light" portion of the event appear to be more.

I think the Event would be better off if it were only open at Entry Village, Playfield, a portion of the Childrens Zoo.  I think the Craft Vendors and Food Trucks (plural) should be a part of it always.   As well that awesome video display from the first year.  What happened to that?   There is much unused space beyond the tent, in front of the Mothers Building.  Even if they can't figure out what they are doing with the MB, they can at least do something with the area instead of closing it off.  I think it should be a Zoo History House with Memorbilia, but I hear that the Zoo threw out alot of the historical photos and video.  Allegedly no one found value it in.  More disgrace.  But I digress.  Keep the lights concentrated to Entry Village and the path to the Playfield.  Vendors and Food by Mothers Building.  I mentioned the CZ.  I think they should open the right side path, open the ARC (which is rarely open now) and allow people to have a chance to see those rarely seen Animals and have a portion of the Farm viewable.  I say viewable because I don't think crowds of people should be in the Farm after hours, but I do think they should take advantage of putting together a Manger scene in the first corral and having some of our wonderful Farm Friends involved.  They also need to build on the festive as there was none.  I don't remember hearing any Christmas music and I'm not even a fan of it.  But, at an Event, I think its a must.  Hire Carollers, something.  Hand out Candy Canes.  Something.  The two costumed Characters were the only interactive festive elements to the Event.

My Friend pointed out that there wasn't even one Security Guard visable.  In fact the place was void of any Zoo Staff.  Why is there never one Zoo Official at any Event other than ZooFest or another cocktail party type event?  Not that I think its a good idea for our Director to be out at Events, but at least it would show a sense of care if she were, as well other higher up Staffers.  She didn't even make an appearace at the Flamingo Day Event (which I stil haven't reviewed) and those Flamingo Chicks shoudl have gotten major recognition since they were the first in four years.  She just doesn't seem to care about anything.  And what about Bob Cooney, head of Visitor Experience?  What's he doing that he can't be out at Events greeting Visitors.  The Zoo often just throws Events together and no one from the "team" is there to be interactive with guests.   

That all said,  I'm also bothered by things in the past that weren't done again this Holiday Season.

Animals Get No Presents 

A Christmas time Event that stopped when the Zoo opted instead for Zoo Lights, was an Event of Gift Giving from one species of Animal to another.  Like the Otters would give to the Lions.  So then the Lions would get Christmas decorated boxes.  Toy Enrichment "presents" filled with treats.  Again everyone knows I'm a big fan of Enrichment, and especially love seeing the Animals get Holiday/Birthday themed toy items.  With the elimination of this, the Zoo is down to only giving the Animals this type of fun during the Halloween Event and even thats gone iffy, OR if a randon Animal rates a Birthday treat.  

Speaking of Birthday treats.  (chk which year 2012 or 2013)  For several years the Polars got Snow, donated by the San Francisco Ice Company.  Understandable if there was no donation, and I have no idea how that comes about.  Just saying that I miss it and the Polars loved it.  Reason I'm bring it up is more because of the Birthday Fail.  The Zoo (outside the Family Farm) rarely, recognizes the Animals on their Birthdays, whether it be a Facebook shout out or a special treat (both should be mandatory).  I can't say never, because there is that rare occasion for whatever reason (usually media attention) one Animal will rate something.   One of those occasions was when they turned the last Snow donation, into an "Event" to pimp out the Polars Birthdays for Media attention and to attract Visitors.  A sign was posted at their homes for a couple weeks wishing them "Happy Birthday".  I hate that the Animals are used in that way, but if it gets them special treats, whatever.  I will say it was the last time they got special attention for their Birthdays and the only other time before that was when my Friend Lee and I made them and the other Bears Birthday Enrichment Toys in 2011.  This year, both Pike whose Birthday was November 25th and Ulu whose Birthday was December 19th got no mention and no special treats.   In fact while I was there on Pike's Birthday, I was bothered to watch Ulu get thrown treats (but happy she did) while Pike got none and it was her Birthday.   Neither got a mention on the Zoo's Facebook Page.

Our Polars are two of my fav Zoo Friends.  I love these Girls!  Happy Birthday to Pike who turned 32 and to Ulu who turned 34!  Both Bears have reached milestone ages, with Ulu being the oldest female in captivity in a North American Zoo.   The Zoo should not only be celebrating the Animals on their special days, but especially our wonderful Seniors who have given so many years of joy to people.   Elly the Black Rhino will turn 44 January 1st!  Sadly she will most likely not get any mention or special treats.

HOT TOPIC! - Top 10 Zoo FAILS of 2014

These are all Fails in regard to Animal Care.  The only bigger Fail is that the Zoo built new areas for both Humans and new Animals, before they successfully tended to the Animals currently living there.

These are only the issues that I can personally witness.

Chimps -  Obviously the lack of attention to their Home is at the top of my list every year.
Please read my recent post:
There are also two immediately following this one, if you are inclined to learn more.

Female Black Rhino -  Still doesn't get oiled regularly.  They wait until she is chalky white and then often slop it on her, often getting it in her eyes, or they just don't do her face.  .. You can search my blog for many notations on this.  It has gotten better but still isn't the best it can be and certainly not in comparison to her Grandson Belozi.  You can see this photo from last week and from her shoulders forward she is getting chalky.

Black Swans - We had, yes had, two Black Swans.  Now one of the Sisters is alone.  The Zoo has screwed around with these poor girls for over two years.  First moving them to the Puente,  from a path they decided to close. Then moving them to the old Grey Seal Pool.  Then back to the Puente.  Then to the big lake where the White Pelicans live.  So much moving, sadly one ended up dying from related circumstances.  Now the surviving one is back at the Puente.  If the Zoo had left these poor girls alone and at the Puente the first time they moved them, both would still be alive.  The Zoo is more concerned about Geographical segregation than keeping the Animals in the best homes for them.   Yes, that is the reason they moved them out of the Puente so many times, because they didn't fit into that area in natures geography.  Ridiculous.

Falcor - Komodo Dragon's home has been void of any vegetation landscaping for over four months.  Read my post here:

Lion House -  No Heat for Six Months!  This one is a two-fer, involving both the Cats and the holding area for the Tropical Building Animals.
My recent post:

Capybara - This poor little guy makes me want to cry.  Crackle is the newest Capybara.  A young male he came to the Zoo to be a companion for a female that has since passed.  They Rheas and Guanacos chase him, so he is always stuck cowering in this same spot.  At one time the Capybara used to spend the day in a side yard, yet that yard is now closed?  and poor Crackle has no choice but to seek refuge in this "creep" space.  He shouldn't be living in fear.
keeping an eye on the enemy


Great Hornbill - Hercules is a huge Bird, he deserves a decent sized home.  He can never really fly as his wing-span is near the same size as the width of his home.
Lear more here:

Polar Bear Grotto B - It was my idea to expand the Polar Bear Grotto, but while taking cue from me on the idea, the Zoo failed in execution of the Meadow.  Building a dirt mound in the center, instead of a flat surface area, Ulu who loves the dirt, is constantly covered in it.  She loves it but the point is, with so much extra and unnecessary dirt, she is never able to get clean.  The entrance to her night quarters is through the "meadow", so even if she goes to the pool to wash off, she must walk through the dirt to get inside.  Then she touches her eyes and they are often caked with dirt and sometimes closed.  The Zoo needs to flatten that mountain and removed all that extra dirt.  If they were smart the meadow would have been in the opposite Grotto, but ,...

Sea Lions - The Sea Lion Pool was "renovated" early in 2014.  It was a big project, with the Sea Lions relocating to the old Grey Seal Pool.   One would think they would have done a good job, considering how long it took.  Yet, the paint on the whole bottom of the Pool began peeling and coming lose soon after it reopened.  Good Grief.  Couldn't they get people who knew what they were doing?  I'm sure the paint that has come loose isn't good for the Sea Lions.

Photo to come

Chickens - So, a box of Six Chickens was left in the Zoo Parking lot.  The story goes as such.  The box was fumbled and they all escaped, fleeing in flight into the Zoo.  After being spotted here and there, an attempt was made to catch them, but it failed.  SO, the Curator in charge allegedly said they didn't care and the Chickens were left to fend for themselves.  OMG!  Unbelievable, that a Curator would actually say/feel this, but hey its the SFZoo and why am I surprised.  As well, one of the Security Guards who I was talking to about this one I saw at Polar Bears said laughing, "oh well, if it flies into the Polar Bears and gets eaten <haha>"

HOT TOPIC! - Heater in Lion House Out For Six Months!

This is really outrageous!

I walked into the Lion House last month and it was freezing!  This was at the tail end of the real cold snap we were having, so it wasn't even as cold as it probably has been.  

I asked the Security Guard if he knew what tempature the LH is supposed to be.  I knew he probably didn't know, but because I couldn't get a clear photo, I was trying to find out if he could check the thermostat for me.  He didn't have authorization to get to that area, but did say its been freezing in there since he started working there.  I asked how long that was and he said six months.  

I had only been inside the LH a few times over the past several months, and because it wasn't during the cold snap, I guess I didn't notice the low temp.  In hindsight, the Lion House had always been pretty warm, in fact sometimes, steaming up my glasses.  

I happened to see a non-zoo maintance worker, so I questioned him a bit and found out that he was there to install a new furnace.  SO, it wasn't that the temperature was just low, apparently/allegedly there has been NO Heat in the Lion House for 6 Months!   Are you kidding me?!

My concerns not only are that the Cats are in there freezing at night, but that when the "bedrooms" are washed down each day, they aren't drying and the Cats are then sleeping on wet floors.

AND the Zoo aquired Animals for the Tropical Building, even though at the time they aquired them the renovation on that building was over a year away.  They built a small exhibit to house them in the LH.  I have an issue with the size of this "home" but thats another story.  My concern is, these are Tropical Animals, which means they need a certain temperature.  The Zoo knows this and they don't fix a building heater for half a year?   Out-fucking-rageous!   

So, the Toucan was there in the freezing cold.  There was a mess of extention cords on the side, so I assume there is some heat going into the Anaconda's water?  Yet, the heat lamps above her were unplugged?  The Sloth was not in there, having been moved to the Hospital to keep it warm.  

I seriously am losing words to express the things the San Francisco Zoo does/doesn't do, that aren't just a string of swear words.  I'm so frustrated at the lack of attention to the Animals.  But hey, the City Officials thinks everyone is doing a bang up job there. Animals get killed (and not just Kabibe the Infant Gorilla).  There is no Heat and for some Animals not even proper shelter during the Winter.  Animal homes go without Landscaping.  Enrichment is near non-existant for many of the Animals.  All this and the City Officials don't question anything or anyone.  There is a list of Staff who should be under the microscope in regard to whether they are qualified and are doing the job they are being paid to do.

I saw the Director the same day I was there takinig in the disgrace of the Lion House and she was coming out of the Gift Shop with a coffee in hand and laughing it up with people.  I'm sure the Sloth wasn't laughing it up as it was freezing.  

Furthermore,  in my opinion, again,  when an Animals Safety or Health is of issue, what is the Animal Staff Management doing?   The Carnivore (Cats +) Curator Corinne MacDonald and Dominic, the Curator for the Tropical Animals, and the Curator above them, who I believe is still David Bocian,  should be the driving force to have made sure there was heat for these Animals.  

I repeat, the lack of Empathy and Compassion, that goes on at the Zoo really saddens me.  The Zoo is Home to Wondeful Beings and could be a great place if it weren't for all these people bringing it down, with laziness, bad descisions, and personal agendas.

HOT TOPIC! - Komodo Dragon Lives in Barren Dirt Pit

I had been pissed for months about the state of Falcor the Komodo Dragon's Home.  I was really enraged when I went to Zoo Lights and saw that the outside of the exhibit was fancied up with Christmas Lights, while the Komodo Dragon himself sit in a barren pit.  The gall of the Zoo is shouldn't, but continues to surprise me.  

Just another Disrespect of Animals by Zoo Management.  

As I said, this has really bothered me for months and I was hoping since I brought it up to someone there, that the situation would change, but it hasn't.  At this point its been at least four months (and I'm being generous because I've lost track) that Falcor has had not one bit of greenery in his home.  This is not only Disrespectful, its possibly (I haven't researched it yet) an improper environment.  

When Falcor arrived he was the "favorite son".  He got a fancy new enclosure with tons of greenery.  Hoopla ensued, Komodo Dragon this, Komodo Dragon that.  

First they disrespect him by changing his name, a name that his previous home, the Memphis Zoo where he was born (hatched) told me he responded to.  At near two years old when he arrived at the SFZoo, he was given the name Falcor soon after hatching.  Named after the Dragon in the movie The Neverending Story,  some dumb donor tried to be "native" I guess, using the word Bahasa which means Language, literally the word Language in Indonesian, but then also had to be an ass by adding in Big Daddy.  SO the poor little guy was disrespected with the name Big Daddy Language, and par for the course, Zoo Officials could care less what anyone names an Animal as long as the check clears.  Now the poor guy has been here over a year, and he sits in a home that is barren of any vegetation.   The statue outside has more landscaping than he does.  

Poor Falcor just sits and stares out at green. 

I hear there was a change in Curators (from the one I talked to) for this string of Animals.  I don't know who the new person is, but I can say this, the guy straight off isn't doing his job.  If this new guy can come in and not see that this is a problem that should be a priority to fix, then he isn't qualified for this job.

Falcor is also quickly outgrowing this habitat and plans for his new home that were supposed to be in motion soon after his arrival, to be started for a move-in within two years, have been back burnered because of all the other new additions to the Zoo's collection.

I guess everyone is too busy building 2nd and 3rd tree houses for the Red Pandas who continue to be the "favorite sons", literally since only the male Kodari who they renamed (Tenzing) is the only one to get any fanfare.  The male has a sign with his new name, while the female Grace doesn't doesn't have a sign.  I'll also note that Grace, who is over ten years old, had her name ripped from her as well.  Kodari also got a Birthday party, and Grace didn't.   

Falcor is one of my fav Zoo Friends.  I love this guy and feel awful that like too many others, he has been disresepected and slighted.  Its Sad, Disgraceful and downright Embarassing.

San Francisco Zoo, get this poor guy some greenery!  Give him a proper environment and get started on his new home.   Stop bringing in more Animals and take care of the ones you have.

I got no problem with the Zoo prioritizing building homes for Animals in need of Rescuing. My issue is, bringing in more Animals just to grow the Collection and/or try to pull in extra gate sales by doing so, is a Fail unless you take care of the ones you've already committed to giving a home to.

Please view my video taken a couple weeks ago
that shows the whole habitat.

Also, one taken shortly after his arrival

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Future Blog Posts

Thank you to anyone who has read the posts I've been able to publish today.  

I hope to publish more of what I have in draft next week.

If you comment on todays posts, please keep in mind I cannot reply too timely.  

I hope to have the at home Internet situation remedied in the next couple weeks.

Future Blog Posts include:

Disrespect to Komodo Dragon- Without Landscaping for Months

Lion House Heater Out For Months

Barrier Breaching - Call To Action

The Lack of Enrichment

Top Fails of 2014

Zoo Lights Review

Rescuing Research Chimps? Would Be An Awesome Zoo Move!

My brain is always working.  I admit its mostly working on ways for the Zoo to do right by the Animals.  I love Animals and these Zoo Friends are one of the biggest passions in my life.  Especially the Senior Friends, who have given so much to everyone.  Their life has been the Zoo and they deserve everything.  The Chimps and Elly the Black Rhino have been there over 40 years and the Polars over 30.  All have been disrespected.

I heard rumor a few years ago that the Zoo didn't plan to get more Bears and were not doing upgrades because they were waiting, ....   I assume the same of the Chimps.  To me, that is an unexceptable way of looking at something.  Giving them best lives possible without disrupting their current living situation because of their age should be optimal.  

In the first post of this Chimp series, I noted ways to bring upgrades to their current home, much like I did for the Polar Bear Grotto.  In addition to those upgrades, I have an additional thought, that the Zoo should look at "adopting" > literally!

This plan took shape as an more doable version of my own Lotto Win Fantasy.  Because of the Zoo not making any upgrades to the Chimps in near 30 years,  I formed a fantasy idea to build a Chimp Sanctuary for our Chimps and the UCSF Chimps, that I would call Tallulah's place after our passed Lady.  This of course, pending one of the SFZOO Keepers who has taken care of ours, came on board to be with them. The facility would be a two-sided house with night quarters where all could see each other and an outside area that had a partition with a "howdy" fence so the two groups could meet and hopefully be slowly integrated.  

There are 2000+ Chimpanzees in reserach facilities.  Research using Chimpanzees from what I understand has been suspended and these Animals are waiting to start their life of freedom.  Many Chimpanzees have found homes in Sanctuaries.  There aren't enough Sanctuaries to house them all.   The Companies who used them didn't provide fore their retirement , most likely because they thought they would die in the research facility.  

Chimpanzees are an Animal most everyone has a fondness for.  We have grown up seeing them in Zoos, and in Entertainment.  In Zoos they are one of the most popular attractions.  I have seen students more visits than not, observing the Chimps behavior, documenting and sketching.

It would be a wonderful thing if Zoos started giving homes to these Research Chimps.  Rescuing them and giving them forever homes.   The San Francisco Zoo has rescued other Animals, including a large group of Squirrel Monkeys from Stanford.   They should look at rescuing the UCSF Chimpanzees who are waiting for a home and are allegedly currently still living in the research facility in the Zoos own neighborhood.

Not sure why I hadn't thought of this before, but in light of our Chimps getting up there in age and the loss of the Family Matriach Tallulah in 2013, rescuing the UCSF Chimps and at some point possibly intergrating the two groups would be a wonderful thing.  This would give the research Chimps a much needed home and never allow for one of our Senior Chimps to be left alone.

A plan like this would be good for both our own SFZoo Chimps and the UCSF Chimps.  

Several years ago it went to City Ballot whether to change the Zoo into a Rescue Zoo only.  Obviously it didn't pass, and I wasn't in support of that at the time, as I wasn't well informed on all things SFZOO, and I didn't think an across the board mansate should be made imposed.  That said, now, there is something to be said for that in part.  I think the Powers that be, whether the City, Rec and Park, whoever, should put a halt to the Zoo bringing in any new Animals, if they are not rescues, until all the current Animal Residents have adequite homes.  This includes back-burnering all current Master Plans for new Exhibit areas.

Don't know who has to approve the Zoo's Master Plan, or new exhibits, but I'll find out.  I think the Zoo should be forced to scrap the current long in effect plan for North American Region and put into priority action, a plan for a version of the Great Ape Forest that was supposed to be ... That way, our Chimpanzees get a new home, and the UCSF Research Chimps get rescued to a life of freedom.

It would be the height of an Act of Conservation.  Our Zoo needs to do something good in light of the recent past.  Giving the UCSF CHimps a home would be a good tribute to our lost Gorilla Kabibe.  A sort of an Ape for an Ape.

I have read the San Francisco Zoo allegedly has 40+ Million in reserve.  Not sure exactly what that means but sounds like they have money even thought they cry poor too often.  They do seem to find money when they want to build Tiki Huts and such.  

The Zoo should launch a fundraiser for this effort specifically, but since they already misappropriated funds designated years ago, they should not wait or count on those donations, yet use them for the future care ect.  

San Francisco Zoo Steals Money for New Chimpanzee Home

In 1997, the Voters of City of San Francisco Elected  a Monetary Bond,  for upgrades to the San Francisco Zoo.  Part of the Money was designated for the construction of The Great Ape Forest.   Seventeen Years later, no such Exhibit has been built.   Additionally, not one bit of upgrade has been made to the exisiting Chimpanzee Exhibit.  

When the Zoo opened the new Playground in Fall 2013,  the hypocritical Zoo Officials put out a TV Commecial, stating what has long been overlooked by the same Zoo Officials when making any descisions.  Boasting its "Our Zoo", meaning the Zoo belongs to the City and Citizens of San Francisco.   A truth that is non-existent.  What else is non-existent is that the Zoo should also belong to the Animals that live there, with them being a priority.  Instead the Zoo has become a  "pet project" of a mob of  Society folk.

In the wake of the KGO-TV Safety investigation, I think its time that some kind of investigation into what happend to the money for the Great Ape Forest take place.  Where did the Money go?  Who was responcible for the misappropriation?  Isn't this some legal issue regarding misuse of these funds?  Was it a Director at the time descision?  Was the Society involved?  Was the Rec and Park involved?   How and Why did the City of San Francisco let this happen?  These questions can start to be answered by asking long time Finacical Manager Wayne Reading.  When I first met him, he introduced himself as "The Money Man",  SO,  Mr Money Man,  you hold the check book,  WHERE?  is the money that the Citizens of San Francisco voted to be allocated for a new home for the Chimpanzees?  

I guarentee you, when the money was donated for the new Playground, not a penny went elsewhere.  In fact, additional funds needed to be raised.

Ten Years later, at the end of 2007, this news article was published.

Snips of relevance:

>"Meanwhile, plans were quietly killed for the Great Ape Forest exhibit, highlighted in a $48 million city bond measure approved by voters in 1997 to upgrade the zoo. And four would-be inhabitants - aging wild-born chimpanzees- are still living in a concrete grotto while their handler continues her lonely quest to make sure their rare and invaluable genes are passed on through breeding.

The chimps' longtime zookeeper, Lisa Hamburger, has occasionally appeared at monthly meetings of the Joint Zoo Committee, a city panel that oversees the zoo, to plead her case. As she prepared to speak one afternoon, Mollinedo got up and walked out of the room." <

Sadly Lisa left the Zoo and has since passed.  Her obituary noting her love and mentioning her Friends, Tallulah, Cobby, Maggie and Minnie, among her survivors.

Since Lisa, the Chimps have had no one champioining for them.  Not one of the Curators or Keepers since have cared enough to be their voice.

In the spring of 2008, this article was published:

Snips of relevance:

>"Flyers distributed to voters showed pictures of the primates' exhibits, which bond backers called "awful cement islands." Officials promised that two-thirds of the aging facility would be rebuilt, moving the zoo "from concrete to grass." Included in the list of projects was a new Great Ape Forest, a "natural habitat with climbing vines, trees, a stream and high nesting areas for these magnificent, intelligent animals." 

Eleven years later, the orangutans are gone, the chimpanzees are still living on those awful cement islands - albeit with a bit more shrubbery - and the lions and rhinos haven't yet been given their new digs. While the zoo has added new exhibits, including the African Savanna, critics charge that the zoo has placed more emphasis on visitor amenities than animal welfare. They also argue that the zoo has spent millions of taxpayer dollars on inadequate new exhibits."<

While the Rhinos did get a new home, even if with an odd layout and not much of a landscape upgrade to what the location was previous to the renovation.  The lions are still in the same place, but their homes are not of issue in my opinion.

What is of issue is the continued slight the Chimps have gotten.  Literally less than D-listed, they aren't even on a list of priority and apparently they haven't been for 17 years.  
The question is WHY?   

SFZoo Chimpanzees Need Some Love!

I mentioned this in a post about the Gorilla Death, but since this subject has been in the making for over a year, the following are the posts as I've intended.

In relation to the Gorillas, the Terry Maples rehire, and what I'm about to write about the Chimps and other Animals in need, please take a look at this post from 2012.

The Chimpanzees are the one Animal at the Zoo I remember most from my Childhood.  When I started learning about the Animals as individuals in 2008,  I learned they were the same ones I have visited my whole life.   I think learning this was initial to strengthening my connection to our Chimps, and since then, our Chimpanzee Family has had my Heart. 

I've previously wrote about the Chimps, but over the past near year, I didn't get to important issues about the Chimps.  It takes alot of thought and emotion to write posts of passion, and while gearing up these posts, something else came up and I delayed further.  I held off because of a Filmmakers dream to make a documentary on our Male Chimp Cobby.   Since Zoo Officials act weird about so many things, I didn't want to shine the light too bright and ruin anything for that Project.  In hindsight, I wish I had done things differently.  I really feel like I've let the Chimps down by not posting a continuous focus on how the Zoo Fails them.  They are the oldest Animals there, they deserve to be a Priority.

I have two main issues in regards to the Chimps.   The continued disregard of attention to the Environment of their Home and to the lack of Enrichment they get.

Over the past two years, the Zoo has been bringing in new Animals, either building new exhibits, or renovating old ones, as well building "party" areas for Humans.   With each one, my heart breaks for the Chimps just a bit more.

The Triple Grotto where the Chimps live was built in the 60s.  Prior to that the previous Zoo Chimps lived in the metal cages across from them, that now house Birds.  Cobby came to the Zoo at age 10 in 1968 and Maggie and Minnie as infants in 1970.   

The Triple Grottos originally housed the Orangutans in Grotto 1, the Chimps in 2, and I believe Mandrils in 3.   The Mandrils moved to the Primate Center and the last Orangutan, a Female named Lipz, was transferred to another Zoo.  She is still there and...    The last upgrade to those Grottos was in the mid 80s when climbing structures and landscaping were added to the barren cement islands.

In 1997 a City Bond was voted in that designated funds for the Zoo, with one project being The Great Ape Forest.  Please read the following post for more details and News Article links in regard to this.

That money was misappropriated and the Great Ape Forest never built.  Not one Director since then has made upgrading the Chimpanzee home/enclosure a priority.  

I'm asking every one of them WHY?!

Why has money been spent for other Animals, including new, non-rescue Animals being brought in?   

I have enjoyed seeing new Animals, but I would have more enjoyed seeing the Chimps and other Animals in the current collection who are in need, get upgrades.  I have no problem with bumping some things to provide a home for Animals facing euthanasia, therefore in need of rescuing.  But, the shift back to the current Resident Animals need as a priority should happen.

In addition to new Animal exhibits, I should not walk around the Zoo and see things like a Tiki Hut being built so the Director and other mucky mucks can have Cocktail Parties and such.  I should not see a Safari Style Camp Site being built, so Humans can come and stay over night there on occasion.

This attention to Human need came to an all time high when construction started ont he new Playground.  While its been shoved down our throats that money was donated specifically for this, the issue is, WHY?  Doesn't the Director let Donors know what NEEDS there are?  WHY?  When over 3 million was donated for this playground, didn't the Director say, Wow thats generous, but we can make a nice playgound for half that, would you consider us using the other half for Animal upgrades?  NO!  That doesn't and would never happen!  Why?  Because I honestly do not believe the thought of the Animals ever enters Director Tanya Petersons mind. She let poor Wishbone (oh YES I will bring how they killed him up every chance I get!)  pound his bones to a literal death, living on concrete his whole life.  They, the Director, the Board, the Rec and Park, two Donors specifically, they all knew this for over a year before his death.  How do I know this?  I personally sent them post letters in regard to this.  Please read my blog for more info .. link

I can go on about several Animals in need, but I will make a separate post as I know this one is already getting lengthy and I appreciate the time readers take to hear my voice for the Animals.

SO, what we do know at this point is since 1997 the Zoo has not made any plan to build a new Home for the Chimpanzees.  They have not even made a plan to upgrade the Chimpanzees Home.   

Their current home includes a main building with peeling paint.  A structure (Grotto 2) that is rusting with peeling paint.  A rusting twigging box (used to "fish" out molasses and honey.  Regarless of any other upgrades, these points are a disgrace.  

Since I mentioned "plans", let me digress for a bit and question to anyone out there, were there ever drawn plans for the Great Ape Forest?  If so, please let me know and if they can be obtained.

Continuing on.  I have not kept an eye on any other Administration, so yes, I will focus on the current one.  As I mentioned Director Tanya Peterson has failed to highlight any of the current Animals in need.  Instead, focusing on raising funds for new Animals.

Not one ZooFest since Director Peterson's reign stared in 2008 have been to raise funds for the Chimpanzees.   Nor have they been on any recent Master Plan.

SO, let's talk about the Chimps.  My precious Zoo Friends, Cobby, Maggie, and Minnie.   These incredible beings have lived at the Zoo for over 40 years.  

Don't the Chimps deserve to be a priority?

Over the past seven years, I have had so many ideas run through my mind at how their home can be made better.  Over the past couple years, I've tweaked that a bit based on their age and how sensitive Cobby is.  I once witnessed construction on one of the Bird cages across from the Chimps and Cobby was so upset by the sound of the saw on metal, that I thought not too much can be done, at least not for an extended amount of time, but that doesn't mean there aren't things that could be done.

It isn't all awful, but they need stuff done for them.    There is no room for them to run and play.  they go out and up to the structure where they sit all day.  There is no big grassy area.  It can be made to resemble other grotto style exhibits.  Its just no one has put the Chimps at the front of the line.  Sadly, I don't even think they are in the line.  

Leave the first grotto as their familar, public foraging and lounging area.  change the second and third grottos into a large grassy area, that they can move about in, instead of the small island that they go out to, climb rusty bars with peeling paint and sit.  They've been sitting there for 30 years.  Its time for a change.  

A few years ago, one of the structures in the far Grotto (I call 3) had to be taken down for safety reasons.  For along time they didn't even have access to that area and even now I don't know that its available to them all the time, although after a huge tree trunk was added, I have seen them on occasion in there.  A new structure was not built, but in not doing that it does provide them with some extra movement space, which the other two Grottos having structures do not because they take up most of the island ground space.  This I like.

When I saw the construction of the Bobcat and Anteaters new homes, with man-made tree and feeder mounds, I wondered WHY? Something like this has never been done for the Chimps?  I'm sure the Chimps would love some natural feeling trees to climb on instead of the rusted metal jungle gym they have now.  I'm sure they would love to have a fabricated structure for Twigging, rather than the old rusted metal box they have now.  I'm sure the Chimps would love ANYTHING!

anteater forage mound

(misplaced photo of bobcat tree structures, will post later. but these of the playground banyan trees are comparable)

The new Favorite "sons" the Red Pandas keep getting additions to their home.  I'm adding this in as only in the past few weeks have I noticed that they now have three tree houses.  I'm sure the Chimps would love even one.

Like wise when I saw the construction of the Playground, again with the man-made trees with the addition of rope made swings, I pictured Cobby sitting in one of those swing seats and it made me smile.  WHY? hasn't something similar been made for the Chimps?  The (noisey?) construction for the base of those trees could be done off exhibit and securely added and then built up around that with not much noise.   These are upgrades that could be done Grotto by Grotto.  

Making upgrades revitalizes an old area and the Animals life.  To me that should be a priority.  Why hasn't it been?   It wouldn't be the cost of a new exhibit, but would at least bring something new and enriching into their lives.

I noted the noise issue because of what I previously stated, yet it illustrates that the Zoo continually lets Visitors upset Cobby, which makes me think the distrubance while my consideration is not the root of the issue here.  I think the current Management just doens't put the Chimps at priority status.  Its really sad because they haven't been a priority there since the 80s evidentially.  These are Animals who are most closely related to Humans, with thoughts linear to ours.   WHY? Can't they have more?  

Additional thoughts on upgrading the existing exhibit.  While thinking over the past few years about how to upgrade the current enclosure, because of noise factor my original thoughts have changed a bit.   My main thought was they needed to make a larger movement area, that could only be accomplished by demolishing the islands in two of the three grottos or filling in the moats.  Any demolision would be too noisey at this point in their lives.   The later is not only the least noisey, but would also provide a viewing area for Visitors.  The only things it would require are A- Take down the existing structure in Grotto 2.  B- Build a "bridge" for the middle and far Grottos (2 and 3) to become a connected flat surface area.  C- Fill the moat.  Possibly extending the surface area, if possible to create different barrier.  D-Landscape the surface.  E- If possible, build up the surrounding walls using both probably using both concrete, but mostly glass, and possibly some fencing?  I'm not a professional, so I don't know what kind of non-moat barrier would be needed.  This would not take much construction, could be done in shifts to lessen disturbance.  After the trees, swings, and twigging mounds could be added.   Obviously I'm just throwing ideas out there, but at least I'm thinking about the Chimps, which is less than Zoo Officials have done in near two decades.
 two views of Grotto 2 and 3.  Much unused space 
could be connected to form large grass area

The Zoo needs to stop being lazy and disinterested in the Chimps.  More Visitors than there are ones who harass them, Love them.   For many, like me, they have been there my whole life.  They are the one Animal at the Zoo that almost every visit I see students observing.  Because of their use in Entertainment, Chimpanzees are probably one of the most Personalized Animals in Zoos.  And while there is a whole other message in that last sentence, the point is, Chimps are well loved Animals, and the San Francisco Zoo Needs to Show our wonderful Chimps Some Love!

There is no reason these types of upgrades can't be made.  There is no reason they can't be kept inside most of the day on weekdays while this gets done.  They can be kept busy watching movies, painting,whatever other inside activities and entertainment they are provided. 

The Enrichment issue Zoo-wide has been a passion point for me for years.   When I learned what Enrichment was and I was able to participate in making "enrichment" Toys for the Big Cats and Bears,  it became one of the things I focus on.  I have a post in draft about Enrichment specifically, so for now I'll just note that while there is several different aspects to Enrichment, I can obviously only write about what I can see and that is the Enrichment that is put out while the Animals are "on exhibit".  That said, exhibit hours make up most of the time the Keepers are there, which is basically the same time frame, so in my opinion, what we see is probably mostly, what they get. 

In regard to the Chimps specifically, the Keepers routine is to clean Grotto 1 and put their Enrichment Items out.  To me, the offerings are most often not so much.  They only get fun and different stuff for the Halloween Event and if the Zoo can use them for a Media pimp.   Each Holiday goes by and they get nothing new, even though stores like Target and Michaels have inexpensive themed items that could be given to them.   I know this because I fantasize about them having these things, everytime I'm in a store.   What they do get is the same Halloween buckets from a few years ago, weekly year-round.  They get disgarded glove and Keeper food boxes and grocery bags.  I wouldn't complain about these items, as they do provide a container for treats, but this has been the consistent extent of the effort for years.   I don't see them get Ice Treats very often anymore, and that puts a smile on their face everytime.   In my opinion, they get very little fun and a whole lot of bored.

Anytime there is something different than their normal daily "food" forage, (which I don't even list as Enrichment unless its presented in a different or challenging way), they are so happy!  They go crazy for fun stuff and they hardly get it.  When preparation is on for Halloween Event, the go insane with anticipation.  It is a joy to watch how happy they are.  WHY? Don't they have this more often?  They don't even get Birthday celebrations, which ironically have been noted by the Chimpanzee SSP Facebook page, which they do for al the Chimps in North American Zoos, often saying "I know your Keepers wil give you special treats.."  Well, not at the San Francisco Zoo they won't.  The last Birthday celebration was in 2009 when Cobby had a Party only because I shamed them into it when my Friend and I wanted to make a Card for Cobby.  

Chimps whose brains are very close to humans, and in my experience,surpass that of many humans.  They should be provided with daily mental stimulation and yet they aren't.  In my opinion it shows a lack of compassion and care, in addition to severe laziness on the part of the Animal Management Staff, specifically Primate Curator Corinne MacDonald.  In my opinion any fails in the Animal Dept.  falls on the Curators.  They dictate to the Keepers what can and can not be done for the Animals.  So, if a Keeper isn't doing something, its because of the Curator's word or from laziness.  If laziness, then again that falls on the Curator, who then doesn't manage their Team properly. 

Gorilla Tragedy Wrap-Up - Why No One Apparently Cares

So, now that all is said and done one the subject of the Gorilla Tragedy, I think its a good idea to evaluate further why this happened.

The Zoo Staff is made up with too many people who just don't care.  Who think its just a job.  This is a job where almost every decision made is connected to the Animals that live there.   Their life, their safety, their environment, and the respect they deserve.  I have written endlessly about all, so will try to keep on the topic of this post.

The off site "Officials" who are or should be watching over (checks and balances) what the in house Officials are doing, include the San Francisco Zoological Society and the San Francisco Recreation and Park.

I meant to post these when I first saw them as I was appalled.  Maybe a greater power held me off from posting them directly after the 2014 ZooFest.  Maybe they will make a bigger statement in the wake of this Tragedy and my maintain that the Zoological Society Members and Zoo Donors have no real care about Animals.

I have written that there is no checks and balance s from the “governing board” of the Zoo, the Zoological Society.  I have written that the make-up of these people are not those that are true Animal people.  I would wager that none of these people are even regular Zoo Visitors or even go to the Zoo once a year if that, other than when theres a cocktail party.

One of my main issues is Animal name changing and Donors just write checks without questioning about the Animals as individuals, therefore giving money to change their given names, instead of just contributing to their care.   There was also one Donor who I believe is also a Society Member, who donated a Million Dollars at a ZooFest years back, allegedly with no stipulation on how it was to be used.  I just wish that those who have the luxury of helping these Animals, took a better look and participation when donating.

That all said, and I’m sure there’s more but my brain is about to burst on the subject of non-caring that goes on at the Zoo,  check out these screen caps I saved from the News Article about last years annual ZooFest Fundraiser. ... Who wears Fur to a Zoo Fundraiser?  These people do!  WTF?  And these are just the ones who got in photos.  Disgusting.  There is no disputing these are not Animal Compassionate people.  Yes, I admit it, I'm profiling.  I just don't think this is a group who wears faux.  

Additionally I want to note that it is not surprising that the Rec and Park doesn't care enough to check or question anything the Zoo does further than surface things at the Joint Zoo Committee Meetings, for which they take Director Tanya Peterson and other in house Zoo Officials at their word.

I am active in the issues surrounding my Park Friends as well and have corresponded with the Park Manager, so I know there is a lack of care in regards to safety issues for the Animals who call the Park home.   ... Not as direct a threat to Waterfowl and Wildlife Safety as other issues I have approached the Park about, but trash is a big deal in certain areas.  I have seen the same pile of trash sometimes for weeks, even though I've alerted them a need for pick-up.   It amazes me the lack of care that comes down from General Manager Phil Ginsburg because allegedly the man makes a call if the Gardening Staff doesn't keep his morning run route clean.

With such non-caring people as our Director, the Zoological Society Members, Recreation and Park Officials, how is the San Francisco Zoo ever going to be run right and be all that it can be?