Director Peterson gave a presentation on the Sifaka Lemur Exhibit. Not the Primate Expansion, not the Chimpanzee Upgrade. Exclusively, the Sifakas.
Since I didn't get answers from Tim Wu and I hadn't been able to direct questions/comments to Director Peterson, at the last Meeting, I had to do so at this Meeting. Not something I wanted to do, but someone has to and that someone is me. I tried a few months ago to get an answer via email, but she refused and replied that I would have to bring it up at the Meeting.
I got up and addressed Director Peterson, who immediately looked down at the desk, never making eye contact with me while I spoke. Only when she replied did she look at me. Then when I responded, she looked down again. Very rude behavior for a professional head of this organization. But, I'm not surprised. Guess its appropriate, as she should be hanging her head in shame.
I asked, "Why was the decision made to build an exhibit for the Sifaka Lemurs, an Animal we don't even have, before following through with the upgrades for the Chimps?" She said something about it always being a (multi-primate, I think she even included Orangutans) area,.. and then said, that they were doing everything they could to make sure that the Chimps were comfortable in their existing enclosure. I really should've videotaped it because I just can't remember verbatim some of the exact words used by her, but there weren't many, and this is either exact or close to what she said. I started to speak again and she looked back down. I continued, noting that "the Chimps are a time sensitive situation. If we lose one of them, and I don't even like saying that, the remaining two will be vulnerable to still being moved away, because you've not done the upgrade that you said you were gonna do, which would have allowed for the extra holding area to bring in additional Chimps." She said, that "the upgrade didn't include extra holding areas." I reminded her that when I spoke to her at the March Meeting, she told me that the layout of the new upgrade would include an additional holding space".
The space I'm referring to is in the Pachyderm Building. You can read about it in this post.
When we spoke at that March Meeting she even mentioned that the Girls could be shipped out (her assuming that they would be the surviving two). I said, "No they can't. You committed to keeping them." To which she then said, they could look at bringing in additional Chimps. ... Readers, my ears are pulsating just writing this. This is why its hard for me to be timely on posts. They are very upsetting. There is too much BS being both said and done at the Zoo, it really is hard to deal with.
That said, I ended my words at the Meeting to Director Peterson by saying, "I think its very irresponsible to build new exhibits for Animals we don't even have, before taking care of the Chimps." Still she did not look at me. And I sat down.
A panel Member quickly ended the Meeting by saying, the Meeting was adjourned. I will note that it was 5:20p and time still has not changed to allow for Keepers to speak at the Meetings, since they get off at 5:30p.
Additionally, not one panel Member had anything to say about what I consider a serious issue. Not one curiosity as to Why they are building for new, while old are in need, out of any one of them. Shameful! What good is the Committee? I have never once heard them Nay anything. They seem to be Yes Mam'ers and agree with everything Director Peterson and Management says and requests. At this Meeting, David Bocian, VP Animal Care & Enrichment, noted that two Animals had died of Pneumonia. Did anyone question that? No. Not even Dr Spinelli the panel Vet. Good Grief. There really needs to be a shake up in this whole structure.
So, where does this leave these poor Chimps? No upgrade til Fall 2016. At the very minimum, that's Nineteen Months after Director Peterson committed to upgrading their current home and noting herself that this was a time sensitive situation. Not sure what that means to her, but to me, near Two Years later is not proceeding as time sensitive. She made a promise to these Chimps and is knocking them down on the priority pole again. THIS SHIT IS NOT RIGHT!
Last week Chimpanzee's received Endangered Status and this Woman is still back-burnering their needs. Its been Seven Months since her commitment to them and their home still has paint peeling off it. That right there tells you the level of Caring that is going on there.
Not sure what my next plan is, but I can tell you this, I will be a THORN in this Woman's side until she does right by the Animals starting with those Precious Chimps. She will not silently dis them, because they can't speak. I will be their Voice through this. She thought I was a peasant. Typical of her kind. Used me and my friend as her Scapegoat and thought taking our Memberships would get rid of me and my opinions. All she did was raise the beast. She picked on the wrong peasant. Bet she wishes she never got on my dance floor.
If anything you read moves you,
Please contact the SFZoo Director