Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Joint Zoo Committee Meeting - Call to Action - Suggestions, Comments and Complaints.

Last month I literally wrote up the update from the previous Month Joint Zoo Meeting, on the eve of the next one.  Time sure does fly as here it is the day before the next Meeting again.  I posted the March Update on my Chimp blog, because I wanted to keep up to date on the development of that situation.  Just realized I never got back to a fuller Meeting report for this blog.  I hope to remedy that soon.

For the purpose of not only documenting my comments on the Joint Zoo Committee Hearings, but as a place to link the Zoo & the Rec and Park, when I put forth my comments to them.  Anything with suggestions I think is good to post here, as both "Offices" tend to ignore suggestions and keep on with their protocol status quo, which for me isn't working at the optimum.

I had gone to every Meeting for years, until I was slandered by Director Peterson and had my Membership revoked for near a year, before Zoological Board Chair David Stanton intervened and it was reinstated, with a year Complimentary from guilt.   That said, I have now started attending the Meetings again since my Crusade for the Chimps.

At the February Meeting at the height of the Chimp Crusade, I was happy to be present for the inaugural Keeper "Coalition" (I can't remember the exact name they are calling their group).  An except taken from my post:  

> Aside from the Awesome News of the Chimps Staying, I was very proud to see a large group of Keepers present at the Meeting.  Thank you to Dave, Corey, Dayna and Collette who spoke.  I was happy to hear they have formed a Keeper Group (I forgot the name, even though I asked Dave for it) that will bring up Animal Care issues to the Commission each month.  KUDOS to them for banding together and coming forward publicly to do what's best for the Animals.  NOT KUDOs goes to Rec and Park Commissioner Mark Buell who told them that while they would follow-up on these issues, he essentially reprimanded them for using the Meeting forum to address these issues.  Shame on him! I will be writing a letter to him.  Does he know how much guts it took for the Keepers to do this? Maybe he isn't aware that by speaking up they are often ignored, reprimanded, or fired for doing so. Its really disgusting that he felt he had to get that dig in.  People like that on the governing panel of the Zoo are why we have a Zoo with the issues it has.  ... I was disturbed by the issue that Dayna spoke on, that indicated the doors at Gorillas have still not been repaired!  What!?  ... and Corey spoke about a disease that is infecting a portion of the Lemur population, while the Zoo continues to bring in additional species of that Animal.  So awful his description of what is happening to them.  I will have to get the name of the issue and post it.  .. I am saddened and disappointed yet not surprised when I hear these things and I have to wonder, why aren't the Vets and Animal Care VP David Bocian speaking out about these issues?  <

At the March Meeting, Keepers Cheyenne, Corey and Tom spoke.  Once again I was disgusted to hear a "grumble" from the Panel.  Dr Spinelli, a Vet that has held a panel seat for many years, made it a point to "put down"  and almost reprimand, when while speaking Keepers addressed the panel as "the Board".   Dr Spinelli made sure they knew they were not the Board, and basically that the Panel has no voice on these matters.

At the April Meeting, I was disgusted that the Panel, seemed to rush through the Agenda, so to adjourn before any Keepers could be present.  In under the wire was Keeper Irene.  She brought up two issues, one in regard to the postponement of hiring an HR leader.  The previous appointment's duties included working as an Liaison between Staff and Management.  In the absence of someone holding that position there is no on-site person to do this.  The only person they seem to have in their corner is their Union Rep.  ... She also requested the Meetings be move to a start time of 5:30p as the Keepers clock out at that time.  ... My take from watching the faces of the Panel, is that they are annoyed to have to listen to Keepers, especially that of Rec and Park Commissioner Eric McDonnell, is that he didn't care what was being said and just wanted to move along and wrap it up.  Disrespectful and Rude.

After the February Meeting, I emailed Director Peterson, suggesting that with the addition of the Keepers now speaking at Meetings, the should look at Live Streaming the Meetings.  There is alot of information that is only available by being at the Meetings in person.  I closely followed the Meeting Minutes the years I did not attend Meetings in person.  There are people who just can't get out to the Meeting, but are interested.  ... I suggested the Zoo look at the fee free UStream as all they would need is a Webcam.  They already bring a Laptop to the Meeting for the Presentations.  

I always found that the Meeting Minutes were not complete and I inquired to the Rec and Park Commission and was told that the Zoo keeps the Minutes and submits them to the Commission and then they are posted to the Website.  

WELL!  Now it makes sense!  Below is the except in regard to the Minute documentation for the Feb Meeting.  

> Public Comments: SFZS animal keeper David Carroll stated that a “professional practice committee” has been formed by some of the SFZS animal keepers. Meetings are held on their own time not during work hours with keepers reviewing conditions at SFZ and coming up with suggestions for improvement. SFZS animal keeper Dayna Sherwood stated that two doors in Gorilla World are in need of repair (ED1 & ED8) and requested they be fixed with particular attention being given to ED8. SFZS animal keeper Corey Hallman stated concern on two issues in the Lemur exhibit: (1) repair the pump system or moat to allow for water recirculation rather than a constant inflow; and, (2) that the hotwire around the exhibit be raised to keep raccoons from entering and to not bring in new animals until this repair is made. SFZS animal keeper Collette Chiparo recommended that SFZ add an additional keeper to the Bird section now rather than wait for the new exhibit to open. Former SFZ animal keeper Ms. Sylvia Stewart complimented the keepers in attendance for standing up for the rights of the animals in their care. Commissioner Buell stated that he recognizes it takes courage for SFZS keepers to come forward with concerns but feeling this is not the forum for such and recommends that the Zoo Director report back to the Committee on the progress of these issues. SFZS Board Member < 

Looking at this, Members of the Public do not get a full picture of what goes on, and of the issues that are now being brought to attention.

This all said, I Call to Action the San Francisco Zoo and the San Francisco Recreation and Park to analyze to Joint Zoo Committee Meeting protocol. 

* Change the start time of the Meeting to 5:30p. allowing time for Keepers to attend and present their issues.   Anything earlier would be making a statement that you do not want the Keepers to attend these Meetings.  Therefore saying you do not care what they have to say.

* Provide a Supportive Environment for Keepers to present Issues.  If this isn't the Forum or the Panel as it exists can not be helpful, make changes.  Create the right Forum or have more Board Members attend, because right now, it just seems like a couple show up and these Meetings are all about paper shuffling and patting each other on the back.  Interest in the Zoo Issues should be part of the deal with being a SF Zoological Board Member.  Its not just about Cocktail Parties and making monetary donations.  There are some serious issues at the Zoo and everyone wants to cover their eyes and ears.  The Issues Keepers are bringing up have to do with Animal Care.  The Zoo is an Animal Facility, these Issues should be Priority!

* Have someone document the Minutes more accurately.  If they need to audio tape them and transcribe, then do so, but whats being put out there to date are not actual "Minutes".

* Live Stream.  The Commission Meetings when they were downtown were filmed, there is no reason why this can't be done, other than the Zoo wants as little Public as possible or just plain Lazy.  These Meetings need to be seen by anyone interested, either in real time or the archive that Streaming provides.

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.
Thank You for taking the time to read
about things that matter to me.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Endangered Species Day - Chimpanzee Exotic Pet Trade

Endangered Species Day was last Friday, May 15, 2015.  

I love all Animals, and so many I have come to know have special places in my Heart.   I have always loved Chimpanzees and my Zoo Friends are very dear to me. Many know I have crusaded for them recently and so I choose them for this post.

You can learn more about my crusade on my blog
or Facebook Group

You can read more about the Endangered status of Chimpanzees here:

As a child of the 60s, it wasn't considered taboo, nor was it illegal to have or want a Pet Primate. Today, there are still Humans who want them as Pets, the only difference is, in the past Fifty years, many of us have learned why Primates, especially Chimpanzees, and other Wild Animals, not only do not make good Pets, but should not be anything but Wild.  

For my 3rd Birthday,  we had a Clown who owned different species of small Monkeys.  I remember my Mother and I went to her apartment, and the Monkeys were wearing diapers and jumping all over the place. When they came to my party, they were dressed in different outfits, ranging from a Tarzan suit to a three piece suit.  ... A friend of my Uncle's had a Squirrel Monkey that visited our house and swung on the chandelier!

I also remember my Dad asking me if I wanted a Chimp. My Mother veto'd the idea, but it certainly was in the realm of possibility. ...  I recently found out that a guy in our neighborhood had one.

So, Primates were a common Pet when I was a Child.  Just as common, was the presence of Chimpanzee's in Entertainment.  

One of my favorite shows growing up was Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp.   It aired in 1970-1972 .   It was all things wonderful of the time.  Talking Chimps, bright and groovy Fashion, and Music. Awesome!  I thought about this show often and then while on vacation in 1987, sitting in a hotel room in Ft. Lauderdale (on the way to Disney World), I turned on the TV and there it was! My boyfriend at the time probably wasn't keen on spending the rest of the evening watching a marathon of Chimp TV, but there was no way I was passing this up! Screen-Cap

Many years ago, when I was learning about the San Francisco Zoo Chimps, I was told that our Cobby had his own TV show in the 60s.   I tried to research it online a few different times over the years and only a couple years ago did I find one mention of it, but even that mention didn't yield much information.

Over a year ago, I was contacted by a fan of Cobby's show! Cobby's Hobbies (American made) aired in her native Australia, when she was a Child.  Now, a filmmaker, and having found Cobby, she set out to make a Documentary on his life.  

The research journey has formed the Film into a circle of life for Chimps in the Exotic Pet Trade. Little did we know as Children that Chimps like Cobby and Tonga the Chimp who played Lancelot Link, were taken from their Mothers in the Wild and used for Entertainment, Research, and as Pets. Some fared better than others.  This Film will show the plight of these Animals who we share the closest DNA match to.  A tragic situation that still goes on today.

While helping with research, I thought it would be a great idea to include "Lancelot Link" as he was to American Children, what Cobby was to Australian Children.   I found Tonga, now named Charlie Chuckles living at Wildlife Waystation Sanctuary in Southern California. A wonderful place, they were gracious to not only be interviewed, but allow the Filmmakers to come and meet Charlie for the Film.  I am very excited and happy that he is a part of this project!

Charlie Chuckles aka"Lancelot Link"
Photo Courtesy of Alyson Rousseau
Wildlife Waystation Sanctuary  Thank you!

The Film is pushing to a finish line and needs some help. Please visit, like and share both the Film Facebook Page and their CrowdFunding site. ...  Let's see our Friends Cobby and Charlie on the Big Screen, and help educate People with the Message this Film will put forth.

Cobby the Chimp Film Page

Pozible CrowdFunding Campaign for Film,  Cobby:The Dark Side of Cute Screen-Cap

San Francisco Zoo Red Pandas - All Three ReNamed!

Coming Soon  -  Going to write this post with all the new ones I'm working on.  It will appear as posted then.  See later posts.  Will link here after published.  Thank you for your interest.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Did the San Francisco Zoo Disrespect its Hippo AGAIN?!

First!  ... Happy Birthday Tucker!  ... Tucker turned 12 yesterday!  I posted his Birthday Greeting on my San Francisco Zoo Friend Facebook Page.  Check it out!  Learn more about Tucker and all the Zoo Friends!  ... I waited til today to post this, so not to take away from his Special Day.

I always try to wait til the end of the Day to post Zoo Friend Birthdays, mostly because I don't like to give the Zoo a heads up.  They rarely give Zoo Friends a shout out for their Birthdays and even rarer give them any special treats on their Special Day.  I'm repeating myself, but it seems like the ones they do give a shout out to, are those who can get them some attention, not because its nice, cool, right, respectful, ... to acknowledge the Animals that live at the Zoo, on their Birthday, but their way of pimping the Animals usually for Media attention or acknowledgement from local Sports Teams (as most of the one's they pimp are named for local Ball Players.

First I will say, for those who have missed this notation in the past, I Do Not frequent the Zoo's Facebook Page or any of their other Social Networking pages, because for the most part I don't support their efforts.  I do go there a few times a month to see what they've posted on, just so I can keep up with the irritating stuff they post.  That said, this Disgrace came to my FB feed via a third party, and I'm Outraged at the Disrespect this Animal has been shown since the minute he got here.

As soon as I saw this my Heart Hurt for Tucker, my Ears started to Pulsate and Words of Outrage started swirling in my mind and this is what came out.

SFZoo, are you F#%K-ing kidding me?!?!

Screen-Cap from SFZoo FB Page

I'm always surprised when I actually see which Animal rates a mention.  THEN I saw they are now calling him "Bruce Bochy"????!?!?!?!   Again, are you F#%K-ing kidding me?!?!   ... Wasn't enough you stole his Given Name from him at age 8, and ReNamed him after Giants Player Brian Wilson?! Now what, Brian Wilson is no longer on the Team, so you go and ReName him again after the Team Manager?  What's next in the chain of Disrespect of this Precious Being?  Un-F#%K-ing-believable!

That said, we all know that one of my biggest issues is the Zoo's Disrespectful Name Game.  My first post about this ReNaming crap was coincidentally in regard to Sweet Tucker.  

Please read the post at the link, as I can't repeat the whole story of Disrespect to this Animal and others.  Seeing this Bruce Bochy shit is making my ears pulsate, if I have to reiterate too much, my head might explode!

I know this sounds extreme, and I think this is one of the few times that I've spouted off in this way, but the amount of bullshit that comes out of this place is so upsetting.  I have so much Passion for these Precious Animals to be Respected both by the Zoo and the Visitors. Speaking of the Visitors, and again, I have a longer post in the works about this (Visitor Misbehavior), but in regard to Respect, and reflective of the Zoo's own signage about Respecting the Animals, How can we expect the Visitors to Respect the Animals, when the Zoo doesn't even Respect them?

I'd like to see the Staff rename themselves.  Rename their kids.  Why doesn't Zoo Director Tanya Peterson rename her kids?  THAT I'd like to see.   If I had funds to spare, and it were an option, I'd donate to change Staff names, just to show them their Identity means nothing, because that's the message they send by doing this to the Animals.

Tucker is one of my favs.  I was so happy to hear he was coming here.  Anticipated his arrival.  Just overjoyed to see him.  When the series of Disrespects started, it really hurt.  I love this guy and it makes me sad that these things go on at the Zoo.  He doesn't know, but I know.

A Few Facts about Tucker and his journey to SFZoo.

He was Born at the Disney Animal Park in 2003.  Given the Name Tucker.  Trained and Responds to Tucker.

He moved to the Topeka Zoo in 2009.  I have a Friend who worked with him at that Zoo.  She said he knows his Name and Responds to it.

He was crated at Topeka Zoo on a Tuesday early afternoon, for his move to San Francisco Zoo.  He traveled over 34 hours (in the crate) by truck and plane. ...  I was told by the Security Guard who was at the Zoo and sat with him all night,  that he Arrived at 8pm.  ... The SFZoo Staff did not uncrate him until the following morning.  He was left in the crate, in his feces and urine, an additional 12 hours.  I saw the photos.  Truly Disgusting and Disrespectful.

Once uncrated, his Name was not ever used again.  It would be over 4 months before the Zoo Staff would refer to him by name, and then it was "Brian Wilson".   Tucker, the Name he carried his whole life was discarded and never used again, not even those who care for him.  Truly Disgusting and Disrespectful.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

San Francisco Zoo Animals Names - Given versus "ReName"

Posted 5.19.15

Apparently I started compiling this over a month ago and work got busy and I totally forgot it was near done and laying in Draft.  I'm Publishing now, as I have a related post that will follow, that I must publish today.  I will be updating this, so check back.

In Draft 4.14.15

OK the long (awaited?) in the making list of Zoo Friend Names.  Many people I know ask me all the time, the Names of the Animals, so I know people like to know.  ... Hope I have your Fav Friends listed!  If not, let me know and I'll find out.

Most of the Animals came here with Given or Established Names.  That means these are the Names they have in Studbooks.  A Name they carry for life.   A Name they know and respond to.  They are not unnamed Newborns.  Sometimes they are up to 10+ years old and STILL the San Francisco Zoo strips them of their Identity.

The Animals who have not had their Names changed, probably came here (or were born here) before the current reign felt disrespecting has a price.  =  Money changed hands.   Sometimes Names are also changed for what they will garner in Media Attention.  Same as Money changing hands, it has a "value", something the Zoo does not put on the Animals as Individuals.  Sometimes an Animals Name is changed just because they feel like it.  Money, Media, Donor, whatever, its all really disgusting in my opinion.

As noted in previous, this would be acceptable if, their Given Names were still used behind the scenes and by their Keepers.   Otherwise its not only disrespectful, in my opinion it messes the Animal up.  

Animals know their Name.  You switch that and they don't know what the hell is going on.  For instance,  Amur Tiger Shastyuh came to the Zoo at age 11.  For Eleven years this Cat had the name Shastyuh. Then she comes to the San Francisco Zoo and SFZoo Officials think its just fine to auction off her Name (she's not the first or last) to the highest bidder and she becomes "Martha".   Makes me sick, because this should never happen.  Zoo Officials should be presenting different ways of raising money, in this case and others like it, sponsoring the Animal and putting a plaque up saying such with the Donors name on it would be more respectful. So, in comes the check and all was fine while Keeper Barb Palmer was there.  Barb made sure to use all the Cats Given Names.  Then after 17 years at the Zoo, Barb left.  Then Assistant Carnivore Curator Debbie Marin (now head of Training and some other nonsense title) insisted on using only the Donor Name, and poor Shastyuh started being called, Shastyuh Martha, eventually losing her Shasyuh identity all together.  Just Awful!  It breaks my heart, because she knew her Name, after so long not hearing her Name, she probably only comes to the sound of a familiar voice now, as she probably has no idea why she never hears her Name anymore.  Except when I greet her, as I refuse to use any of the Renames.

For example, in Shastyuh's case.  If (as I'm pretty sure she will be staying in SF for life), she was transferred to another Zoo, her transfer information would reflect her Studbook info, which states her name is Shastyuh.  Yet, in SF they screwed her up calling her Martha for years.  So the new Zoo would have a problem if they wanted to stay true to her Given Name.  ... When Sumatran Tiger Bali/"George", was done being used as a "stud" in SF, he moved to Point Defiance Zoo.  That Zoo had a contest that let the public choose which Name to use.  His Given Name Bali won by a great percentage over the Name SFZoo gave him "George".  Thankfully, his Keeper was Barb and she always called him Bali.  Like Shastyuh, Bali is a Name that is reflective of their Species Heritage. Bali's Brother's Name is Java.  They were named after two regions in Sumatra whose Tigers have gone extinct.  Their Name have meaning.

In the Zoo World, names other than Given Names are called "House" names, but in SF, they just get changed all together.  I'm calling them Rename.

You can read more about my opinions about Name/ReName by searching that subject on my blogs. Here's one of my posts of outrage, prompted by the changing of Tucker the Hippo's Name.  This was the first time that I heard, Given Names were not being used by Keepers.

This Key to Names will have the Given Name/"ReName" 

If there's an *** , that means I will revisit and post more information on the Name.

If an @, that means this Animal was born at the SFZoo.

If an #, that means this Animal was Wild born.  Either having a name when they got here or named by SFZoo many years ago.

If its blank, that means I don't know the names, or I knew and am brain fading.   Will try to remember to find out and update!

Chimpanzees - 
M Cobby  #
F Minnie  #
F Maggie  #

I will note straight off, in an effort to raise money for a new Exhibit, the Zoo had better not try and auction off the naming rights to the Chimps!  

Gorillas - 
M Oscar Jonesy (who the Zoo calls OJ.  I call Jonesy, out of respect for not associating him with a Criminal.)  Named after his Father Oscar and his Mother Jonesie.  ... He did have a ReName of "Rich", at one point, but its unclear if it was ever used by any Zoo.  
F Bawang
F Zura
F Monifa
F Nneka @
M Hasani @

Giraffes -
M Sam/ "Floyd"
F Bititi
F Willow/ "Barbro" (she is now the 3rd/4th they have Re/Named this?  ahhh WHY?  Is there some obnoxious, narcissistic deep pocketed Giraffe fan? ... Her given name Willow means Slender and Graceful.  If you've seen her you know this is the perfect name for her)
F Amani/ "Eve"  (Amani means Peace in Swahili.  Again, a name that has meaning and native meaning at that.)
F Erin @
F Sara @
M Bobby @

M Jesse 
F Lulu @

Patas Monkeys
M Patrick 
F Ginger  
F Winnie  
F Emma
F Freida @

Emperor Tamarins  

Pied Tamarins 

M Storm
F Mindy

Squirrel Monkeys

Howler Monkeys
F Baya/ "Lincecum"  @  Baya was born on Thanksgiving Day and her name is Spanish for Berry.  I was told it was a nod to her Heritage and the Day  ...  ReNamed after a Male Ballplayer = STUPID/DISRESPECTFUL
M Benjamin/ "Robin Williams"  No disrespect to RW RIP,  I liked him, but I hate the naming after Ball Players/Celebrities and really hate the first/last name thing.  It would be fine for newborns if fitting and only one of the names.
UnNamed- Gender Unknow Infant

Francois Langurs
F Mai Lin  
M ballplayer @
F Jing Jing @
F Kathleen @
M Issac
M Chan - Infant 
I think there is one more, will check.

Colobus Monkeys

Black Rhinos
F Elly #  -  Elly was Named many years (I think when she first got here) after a Zoo supporter.
Belozi/ "Boone" ***  Outrage on this ReName.  More later

Greater One Horned Indian Rhino
M Gauhati

F Amanzi
M Jahari @
F Sukari

Sumatran Tigers
F Skylar/ "Leanne"
M Taymor/ "Larry" ***  Outraged, more later.
F Jillian @

Siberian/ "Amur" Tigers
F Shastyuh/ "Martha" ***  Outraged you read about it above.
M Bronevik ***  Has been ReNamed and I've blocked it out.  Outraged of course!

Snow Leopards
M Rigel
F Niya (Krishniya)/"Kelly"  ***  Outraged!  Second Animal to be ReNamed Kelly.

F Sable/ "Kelly" *** Outraged! 
M Trent

M Inti

F Kiwi
M Rocky

M Crackle

Giant Anteaters
M Angelo
F Evita

F  I know the names, just not sure 
M  I am spelling them right.  ***

Black Swan
White Swan
Cosaroba Swans
F Bella
F (blanking)

Sea Lions
M Silent Knight  #
M Henry  #

Polar Bears
F Ulu  #
F Pike (pronunced Peeka) @

Grizzly Bears
F Kiona  #
F Kachina  #

Peccaries (unclear how many there are now, after multiple births last year and inconsistent sightings)
M Habanero
F all 
F three
F renamed

Bald Eagles
F Sureshot
M Gordon

Brown Pelicans
M Hook
F Tink
M another Peter Pan name

White Pelicans
M Devil 
F  Wendy
M another Pan name
M another Pan name
M another Pan name

F Slash
M has two names.  can't remember off hand, as they aren't familiar. ***

M Boomer



Komodo Dragon
M Flacor/ "Big Daddy Bahasa" *** OUTRAGED!!!  More soon!

Ground Hornbills
M Wilbur
F Winnie

Great Hornbill
M Hercules

Bird String...

Winkled Hornbills
M Rip Van Wrinkle
F Lena Hornbill

F Reese
F Jiffy

Red Pandas Outraged at the ReName of all these Animals.
F Grace ***
M Kodari/ "Tenzing"  *** 
F don't know ***

If I missed any from main Zoo will add asap.

As well, will add in Children's Zoo and Family Farm.