Well, it happened again. Honestly I'm always surprised that I'm not reading San Francisco Zoo in the headline. Thankfully!
Much like two other incidents in USA Zoos that I wrote about, one in Pittsburgh and one in Arkansas, a Parent drops their Child into an Animal enclosure. .. The only difference is the Cleveland Zoo is pressing charges against the Mother. Bravo to them for holding her responsible. Finally someone has some balls to go after a Zoo Visitor for misbehavior and endangering their Animals. This would never happen at the SFZoo.
I wrote extensively about the previous ones in these posts:
You might ask, How does this happen? What I've seen with my own eyes, People love to hang their kids over the edge of the barriers. Plain and Simple. I'm sure the thought never crosses their minds that they could lose grip and drop their kid in. The arrogance and/or stupidity of that is mind boggling.
I have written extensively about this. Last year I started yet another post, that I never finished. It included a Go Red Campaign suggestion. Painting all the exhibit barriers Red as a Warning not to cross. Its an upsetting and long issue to document, so it lay in draft.
Every Visit I see this at multiple exhibits. I photo it everytime. If you search my blogs for "barrier" you we see only a fraction of the photos. Barrier Breaching at the San Francisco Zoo is out of control.
I care for two reasons.
With a Code-Red Animal, if any Human, for any reason enters an exhibit whether voluntarily or by accident, in most cases that Animal will be Killed. I am no humanitarian, so I will say it right here, the Animals life is the only one I care about. People should no better and not misbehave. There would be no accidents of that nature then. If you misbehave, which leaning on or over an barrier is, then that's on you. Sadly, your actions do not end with your tragedy, but that of the Animal most likely losing its life. If its a voluntary entry, then even more that Animal should live. In my opinion no Human who enters an exhibit on their own deserves to be extracted at the expense of the Animal. But, that's just me. Society loves its Humans.
Thankfully, the Grizzly Girls lives were spared in 2009, when a guy voluntarily entered their enclosure. They were not aggressive towards him and they went to their night quarters when called in. Today that would be a different story. After the hiring of gun-toting ex-Military Guards last year, their orders are allegedly, shoot to kill any Animal if a Human is in danger. So if you're an idiot and hang your Kid over a Barrier, a Zoo Friend will lose its life. If you want to deliberately kill yourself, a Zoo Friend loses its life. If you're an Asshole and want to enter with a sinister action in mind, a Zoo Friend will lose its life.
People, please think about your behavior when you are viewing the Animals. This is their home. It should be respected and their windows and doorways, aka Barriers should be respected. If you wouldn't want a stranger standing on your ledge or hanging through your window, respect the Animals space and spare the accident of anyone losing their life.
Note: There will be updated Barrier information in following posts.