So, over the past few weeks I have noticed things getting done at the Zoo, some that have been an issue for months to a year. Some longer. My only guess is that the Zoo wants things as in top shape as they can be for their upcoming AZA Accreditation Inspection. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums does on site inspections every five years. I don't know what the guidelines are, but there have been upgrades to Habitats, Barriers, and Signage. Thankful for the fixes, but I think attention to these same issues should be shown in a timely manner and regardless of a Certification Inspection. Too many things have been left to disregarded for too long. Taking care of business should be a given, not something done under pressure.
So, some of the things that have caught my eye were, of course the Habitat upgrade for the Komodo Dragon and Capybara. Both are documented in stand alone posts. Those two things were a quality of life issue and both had been in need for near a year.
Another much needed fix that has been an ongoing issue for over three years! The Barrier Breaching at the Male Giant Anteater Exhibit. This deserves a stand alone post, but I didn't leave a spacer and planned to put it here as well.
Every time I'm there, someone is hanging over or sprawled across the barrier of his Home. Poor Angelo. I've written about it many times over the years. As well, a Docent I know personally wrote to Director Peterson, three years ago (when Angelo first moved in this exhibit) in regard to the continual breach going on at Angelo's Home, and she was told it would be looked into. Director Peterson's looking into something, is passing the buck and then exiting the situation. She never followed-up.
Collection of just some of the photos taken at the Anteater Enclosure.
Well, now that's FINALLY changed! Another curiously timed fix. We'll take it, but Why the wait? This problem was pointed out three years ago. Why only in the weeks before Accreditation does it get done?
Photos of the New Barrier Fence that went up last week. From Left, it starts at the Bobcat, and continues across the length to the end of the Anteater. Bravo! Not sure why it took three years. .. Hoping the staggered heights are enough to deter people from hanging over. This may be what is needed at every Enclosure. Especially Black Rhinos!
OK, this is a disgrace. These photos were taken over the course of at least eight months. They are so tattered that its embarrassing. This signage for a high risk warning at a code red Animal. Why wasn't fixing this a priority? ... My hand is in that one photo because I have had that longer post about Signage in the works and I used my hand against signs for size illustration. It will basically show that in regard to this, what should be a high alert warning, the size fails to compare to those of a non-animal issue.
This is the new Barrier Sign, that appears at several Exhibits. In my opinion its not enough of a message and there aren't enough in place. ... This message says don't cross over the Barrier, but does nothing to tell people not to sit on or hang over the Barrier.
More disgrace. The most offensive one is the top one. This sign at Black Rhinos, gives information about Our Precious Elly. It sat in this state of disgrace, weather worn and graffiti on, for at least a year. It was just removed a last month. Why did it sit out there like that all that time and only recently it gets removed? ... The second and third lines, also signage from Exhibits. These weather worn signs were like this at least 6-8 months.
So yea. I am happy to see these fails fixed, but have to wonder if they would have been, had an Inspection not been in the immediate future?
Since last year when the Zoo Acquired both a Male Capybara and a pair of Guanacos, poor Capy Crackle, has not lived life on the Puente to the fullest. In fact he has lived a stressful life, being chased by both the Guanacos and the Rheas. I doubt he has even used the pool, which is sad because Capybara's love water.
Well, when I visited Falcor for his Birthday on Oct 8th, I almost cried when I opened the door to see Green! I previously wrote about the state of nothingness in his Home. I did a pretty extensive post about it last month.
You will see that there is a mister in there now as well. Good to see that. I had been there one day while Students were observing him. They told me they were going to make that suggestion. I think its great to have more minds thinking of ways to Enrich the Animals, but I'm really bothered that the Zoo Staff itself doesn't not come up with these ideas. This poor guy, has been disrespected, since the Director's next New and Shiny pet arrived. I've lost track who that was, but it was Komodo this and Komodo that, and for two years now, he's gotten nothing. Aside from treats his first Halloween here, I've never seen any kind of Enrichment, and we know his Habitat was a disgrace for a year.
Also note that when he was Acquired, it was promised that he would a larger outdoor exhibit within two years. Instead Director Peterson keeps bringing in New Animals and building New Exhibits for them before taking care at Home aka Animals the currently live there.. Just like the Chimps were disregarded for thirty years. They were promised upgrades seven months ago and not only is there still peeling paint on their Home, but Director Peterson is bringing in Sifaka Lemurs and building them a New Exhibit, BEFORE taking care of the Chimps. That folks, is how she rolls.
In an effort to organize thousands of photos for my blogging catch-up, I saw so many photos of Barrier Breaching. I take a photo every chance I get when I see this. This is one of my big pressure points. I have been writing about it for years. You can search this blog for other posts on this subject.
There is a continuous stream of People/Kids leaning, sitting, standing, on or over Barriers.
A- What's wrong with them?
B- Why doesn't the Zoo take this more seriously.
Let's examine A- first. Doing this falls into three categories. Stupid, Care-less (as in they could Care less about the Animals), or Sinister. Unless you are trying to harm an Animal or yourself in doing so, there are two basic notes about this. 1-Its disrespectful to the Animal. These are their homes, its the same as leaning into someones window. 2- If you fall in or drop your kid in, the Animal loses its life in an effort to retrieve you or your kid. ... Now for those who think they have a grip on their kid when doing this, so did the Parents in the following articles. Anything can happen. Someone can bump you, you could mis-step or mis-handle. Accidents happen.
I posted about this one, you can search the blog for it. But, here'e the News link.
I had this one in queue and forgot to leave a space for a stand alone post on it. It would have mimiced the one I did on Pittsburgh, so its fine I'll just include it here for Awareness. ... Thankfully the Cleveland Zoo filed charges against the Parents in this one. It was time someone at a Zoo took a stand on this behavior.
Now let's talk about B-. I know the Zoo reads my blog, so why don't they take this more seriously? I will note they have made a few improvements to help deter, but nothing that has made a difference, as I still see it being done.
They added signs at one point, a couple years ago, so wordy that no one pays attention to them. My guess is they were not meant to deter, but to cover themselves. .. It was always curious that there were only two, one at Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros and at one Polar Bear.
Only since May this year have I seen any other efforts. One being added metal to the barriers at Hippo and Greater One Horned Rhino, the other graphic don't cross signs.
The little over one inch lip that was added to
the Hippo barrier, in the same color as the barrier.
I still see people hang their kids over this lip.
On the left you can see the sign placement,
which is behind where the people on the right are standing.
Oh, and hanging their kid over the barrier.
These in my opinion are both useless. A larger scale universal stance should be taken against this behavior. That said, since it hasn't been, you have to wonder if they actually care about the Safety of the Animals?
I attempted last New Years to post a Call to Action for a thought I had. A Go Red Campaign, where I had painted all the barriers red in photos. Time got away from me, I can't find the folder of pix,... Still I think its a great idea. Sure it won't stop all the fools, but it would do a lot better job that a sign that may not be in direct line of sight, or a metal addition that blends with the existing barrier. If people want to endanger themselves and their kids that's on them, I don't want to ever hear an Animal lost its life because of a situation like this.
This actually pissed me off quite a bit, so let me just write a bit about it.
In the Zoo's August Animail, they mentioned the Annual Member's Meeting.
I had never heard of a Member's Meeting so I sent an email to PRs Danny Latham to ask what this was about. I got no response. ... I sent an email to the RSVP address and got no response. ... I sent an email to Marketing Assistant/Membership Coordinator Susan Shafer and got no response. I called the Zoo and left a message on Danny's voicemail and got no call back. I called the Zoo and left another message on Danny's voicemail and got no callback. I called the Zoo and no one had any information, so they transferred me to Susan, who transferred me to Director Peterson's Assistant ?Anne Elefterakis who I left a voicemail for and got no call back.
Just documenting this as this is really bad Member Service. REGARDLESS of their opinion of me, I pay my Fee like anyone else, and someone should have responded.
I found this months ago while researching something. Not surprised after the Eavesdropping Radio News came out. I have long felt that Employers have really taken advantage of internet, in regards to the hoops you have to go through just to get a job. That said, its just plain bullshit when you can't separate your professional life from your work life if you want to. Employers should be concentrating on hiring the more qualified for the job, not reading their personal posts. Maybe this is why there are so many people who don't seem to be best suited for positions they hold. I am refering to the Zoo, but not limited to.
My advice to Zoo Staff, make sure you're settings are private. Use an email address that no one else knows is yours, as your sign in.
Trying to play Catch-Up again. For the purpose of some current things I'm working on, I need to get to related posts. So, I will be posting the ones I hope to finish at some point very soon, as I strive to keep things in as close to chronological order as I can. I think its better for documenting purposes, as well, it will bother me if its not in order. .. I apologize if Coming Soon posts are annoying. I'm annoyed that I haven't been timely.
You will notice or maybe you won't ;) 37 posts in Coming Soon! mode. I hope they won't be that way for long, I also hope they stay in order as I work on them (publishing them in this way is an attempt at that), otherwise I just wasted three hours and the three Valerian Root I had to take after the titling alone made my ears pulsate. Its been a very emotional last few days, since the passing of Shastyuh and my need to lift the weight of these posts is in over-drive. So please stay tuned, and check in frequently. Each post will also be Tweeted, so you can follow that way via Leo811