Sunday, May 29, 2016

Will The San Francisco Zoo Secure Rhino Barrier or Wait For Tragedy?

I'm tired of complaining and blogging about this issue.  Its time for the San Francisco Zoo to Protect this Animal.

As noted in my last two previous posts, I have written about this issue for many years.  Its been exhausting, frustrating and painful to continually document this issue every visit, but I do.    I have been absent on posting for too many months, but the issue is never away from me.  That said, how much more do I have to write, for the threat to our Male Black Rhino Belozi to be taken seriously?

What happened in Cincinnati can easily happen here.  I see this parental negligence on every visit. Please search this blog for "barriers" to read past posts, learn the extent and see photos.

In case you haven't seen my video that shows the abuse to the barriers at Black Rhinos, please view.

From what I have been told, San Francisco Zoo Security allegedly has Shoot to Kill orders on any Animal, in any situation they think is Endangering a Human.  SFZoo allegedly no longer has a Tranq Team.  Allegedly that Team was discarded in favor of letting Security handle all incidents.  I don't know how many Zoos have armed Security Guards, but allegedly the previous Security company was let go, after our Director Tanya Peterson hired these armed Guards to ensure no Keepers "crashed" the Annual ZooFest.

So, any one of the multiple Visitors that hang their kids over the barriers, especially at Black Rhinos, is putting the life of Belozi in Danger.

The only viable solution is to make the exhibit breach free. There needs to be glass that runs the entire length of the exhibit.  At no point in the barrier should anyone for any reason be able to enter the exhibit from the Visitor side.

Black Rhinos is just a start.  Every Animal enclosure should be secure in this way, but that sadly, I realize is a Fantasy. That said, every Code Red Animal exhibit needs to be glassed in.  Polar Bear. Grizzly Bear.  The two viewing platforms at Gorillas.  Chimpanzees.  Asian Rhino, at the very least it needs a secondary barrier.  People are allowed to hang their kids over that barrier, even when Keepers are present.

Thankfully the second most breached exhibit, the home of the Giant Anteater, Angelo, has finally got a barrier, while not breach proof, does not allow for Visitors to sprawl out and flail about on.  That took three years of blogging about, and only when their AZA Accreditation inspection was upon them, did they do something there.  That inspection got a few other minor fixes, but why should the Animals safety and comfort, wait for threat of inspection?  

The only one that was ever taken seriously was Mandrills. After blogging about it for some time, glass was put up there.  Thankful for that, although there is a break in flow of the glass barrier, that can be breached with effort.  But at least the idiots who hang over the rail can't just fall in now.

The little efforts over the years the Zoo has made to put forth the message that, abuse of the barriers is not tolerated, has done near nothing.  I don't see a reduced amount of violators, in fact I see an increase.  I will write another post with suggestions in detail, because even Non-Code Red Animals need protection from Visitors.  

In addition to Visitors hanging into enclosures, they try to feed the Animals, throw things in the enclosures AND at them!  Animal safety needs to become a priority.  By allowing these misbehavior's, the Zoo sends a message that this is acceptable.  

I have a blog post in the works about this, but will add it here as a final note.  The recent renovation of two Bear Grottos for the upcoming Wolf Exhibit, has the barrier lined in glass.  SO, when the Zoo wants to do something, they do it.  

If no glass shows up along Black Rhinos, it will be because the Zoo doesn't want to do it.  Doesn't want to protect Belozi.

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