Tuesday, October 20, 2015

HOT TOPIC! - AZA Accreditation Inspection - The Fixing Frenzy in Full Swing! - Anteater Barrier, Signs

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?

If anything you read moves you,
Please contact the SFZoo Director
Tanya Peterson

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