In case you haven't been following my blog dedicated to my Save SFZoo Chimp crusade, here is a screencap of recent posts! Including all the information about this wonderful News to come out of the Zoo yesterday after noon.
The San Francisco Zoo Chimps In Jeopardy of Losing Their Home.
If you have been following this blog since the start, you have read all the information on the situation that I have gathered from fact, third party, and research. There has been more since my last attempt at a synopsis, so this will be a full update, of the story so far!
Three weeks ago I started this blog, after hearing the disturbing news that Director Peterson was planning to move our Group of Senior Chimps.
The information I got was, they were being sent to a facility in Florida. Allegedly Lion Country Safari. Allegedly Director Peterson had been there to see the place. Allegedly the move is happening end of March.
Our Chimps are aged 45, 45 and 57. In my opinion they are too old to be moved to another facility. They have lived at the Zoo for near half a century. I think it would be traumatizing. Additionally at 57, Cobby, should not be integrated into an established group with other males. That alone could prove to be life-threatening. These Chimps should be allowed to live out their lives at the SFZoo.
Why can't they? THAT is the question! Two scenarios. One, the AZA guideline recommends social groups of four minimum. After losing Tallulah in 2013, we only have three. The AZA may or may not be willing to send additional Chimps, based on the current condition of the enclosure. The other senario is, Director Peterson, just doesn't want them there and is using this AZA guideline as an excuse.
From my research, the AZA would prefer Zoo's to keep their Chimps and they are willing to give generous timelines for fundraising, upgrades and/or new exhibit builds. So, the Zoo could be given the time, as well, I believe the Zoo has or has access to the funds. They recently broke ground on another play area for kids that is rumored to have cost over a million, but down from three! As well, rumors are there is plans to bring in another species of Lemur, and build a new exhibit for it. As well as the rumor that a version of the previously planned Great Ape Forest is still on, only not with Chimps.
If the enclosure is the issue, then there lies the issue of Zoo Management disregarding the Chimps for years. The enclosure was built in 1968. The last upgrade was made in mid 1980s. In 1997, City Residents voted a Bond in for the Zoo to build a new Chimp exhibit, the Great Ape Forest. That never happened. Nothing for them ever happened. Why?
The Zoo under Director Peterson's rule, has seen the Chimps home with peeling paint and rusted structures, while Director Peterson spends money bring in new Animals and building new exhibits for them. The only obvious answer for this is that she favors the New and Shiny over the Old and Gray. Is doing right by the Chimps and other current residents in need? Hell NO!
In an effort to fact find on this, as much as possibly considering, Director Peterson has made a statement in personal correspondence to several members of the public, as well as Zoo/Park/City staff.
In her own words, Director Peterson states "... there has been no decision to move them anywhere (zoo or sanctuary)." ... This is very interesting. Good to hear if true, but interesting as it differs from what Staff have heard. OR is it a play on words, as Lion Country Safari is neither a Zoo or a Sanctuary?
Additionally, the other day, they were building transfer cages in the Chimps indoor quarters, one Staffer said, "in preparation for when they move". .. Where does that fall into the "no decision to move" statement?
Something else that was curious in her correspondence was this quote to a member of the public, "...I too am not eager to see them leave."
? Director Peterson, if you are not eager to see them leave, WHAT are you doing so they can stay? Are you preparing to upgrade their current home so additions can be made to the group? Are you going to stop building new play things for humans and new exhibits for new animals and plan for building the Chimps the new home they were promised 18 years ago in 1997? Are you doing what it takes to keep them in the only home they have ever known?
The San Francisco Zoo has yet to make a public statement about their plan to Move Our Three Senior Chimps to another facility. That said, Staff have shared that there is indeed a plan and its no secret. Why do I want this stopped?
The SFZoo Chimpanzees have lived at the Zoo for 45 years +. All taken from the wild as infants. For two, the SFZoo is the only home they have ever known. They are aged 57, 45, and 45. At this stage in their life, I feel moving them would be traumatic.
In addition to it being Traumatic, it is also a Disgrace, as the San Francisco Zoo has let them down.
They have lived in the same enclosure since arriving at the Zoo. Starting in 1968, our Male arrived when the Triple Grotto first opened. There have only been two upgrades since. The last in mid 1980s. ... In 1997 the Residents of San Francisco voted in Tax Bond Money for the Zoo, one new exhibit specifically was the Great Ape Forest. After misappropriating the funds, the Chimps new home was never built. The money never replaced. The Chimps off the to do list.
During Directors Peterson's reign, we have seen her authorize to not only build party areas, but continue to and still planning to, bring in more non-rescued Animals and build new exhibits for them. The Chimps sit by an wait in a home with peeling paint and a rusted play structure.
Now, from what I hear the Chimps are faced with possibly being moved, because of possible group size and enclosure requirements by the AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums). If the San Francisco Zoo had done right by these Chimps all along, instead of ignoring them and favoring the "shiny and new", this would not be happening.
Some might say they would be better off if the above is true. In my opinion,that could then be said of every disrespected Animal at the SFZoo. Admittedly, if age wasn't a factor, maybe, but it is the foremost factor now. I also believe that Director Peterson and the SFZoo authoritative management (San Francisco Zoological Society and San Francisco Recreation and Park) should not get away with years of ignoring and be held responsible for this current situation.
This is a Call to Action for the San Francisco Zoo Director, to:
*Halt any plan to bring in new non-rescue Animals in dire need.
*Upgrade their existing home, so they can bring in two additional females.
*Build the new Chimpanzee home they and the Residents of San Francisco, were promised 18 years ago.
By signing this petition, I hope we can shine light on this situation and Stop This Move. SO, Our Senior Chimps can live out their lives in the place they know as home. Please sign, share and Help Save Our Chimps.
savesfzoochimps.blogspot.com ... also find us on Facebook!
Please Help the Chimps, by being their voice. Reach out to those on this list or anyone else you can think of. Express your opinion about Director Peterson's decision to Kick Out Our Chimps.
I am posting this as a Call to Action Letter Writing Campaign, although earlier discussions we batted about the idea of sending Bananas to the Zoo, to make a point. FYI for purists, I know Banana's are a symbol for Monkeys, not Apes, but it was the only relate-able item we could think of!
For those of you who want to write letters, I plan to write a post that is a synopsis of the information I've posted to date. You are welcome to use it as a guideline. Thank you for any effort you can put into this situation. Please remember that the Chimps are set to move sometime over the next month and a half, so this is a time sensitive issue.
Yesterday I started compiling contact information of people who are in an authoritative position over San Francisco Zoo Director Tanya Peterson. ... I do know many Zoo Staff and other Zoo related entities read my blogs, so if you have any other contacts (or corrected addresses or anything else for that matter) please comment or you can contact me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) with that information. Thank you.
I will start by providing again the contact information for Zoo Director Peterson. Since she has not made any public statement about her decision to move the Chimps, you may have questions for her directly.
Tanya Peterson - San Francisco Zoo Director
1 Zoo Rd
San Francisco, CA 94132
Robert Pedrero - San Francisco Zoological Society Chairman (unconfirmed address but worth a try)
c/o Golf Insider
3310 Baker St San Francisco, CA 94123
David Stanton - San Francisco Zoological Society Member and former Chairman
c/o Francisco Partners
One Letterman Drive
Building C - Suite 410
San Francisco, CA 94129
Mark Buell - San Francisco Recreation and Park President
P.O. Box 29921,
San Francisco, CA, 94129, US
Allan Low - San Francisco Recreation and Park Vice President
Eric McDonnell - Recreation and Park Commissioner
(Note I've seen this guy with Tanya during the Gorilla Tragedy, as well as a spokesperson in Media)
Meagan Levitan - Recreation and Park Commissioner
(Bio was appealing as a contact for this issue)
To tailor your appeal, bio's for Rec and Park Commissioners can be found at http://sfrecpark.org/about/recreation-park-commission/ ... There are more, I just picked two I thought were top choices for the reasons I stated. Many are San Francisco Natives, therefore most likely grew up going to the Zoo and like me, have seen these Chimps through their own lifetime.
Last but not least, the Mayor. The San Francisco Zoo is owned by the City, even though it is managed by the Zoological Society, it still must answer to the City via the Rec and Park.
Edwin Lee - San Francisco Mayor
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, CA 94102
Telephone: (415) 554-6141
Fax: (415) 554-6160
Other people who may be interested and/or have some pull: