Sunday, June 5, 2016

San Francisco Zoo Takes no Steps to Ensure Safety of Animals After Gorilla Tragedy at Cincinnati Zoo

I visited the Zoo three days after the Gorilla Tragedy at the Cincinnati Zoo and found nothing different.  There was no extra Security.  There was no extra signage.  Visitors still hanging their kids over the Barriers.  I wasn't surprised, but really bothered that I'm always disappointed in the lack of effort in so many ways.  

Gorilla Harambe losing his life, is a big deal.  The circumstances surrounding his death are serious. The lack of attention to how that could easily hit home, is puzzling and frustrating.  As well as being disgusting, shameful and sad.

If I was in charge, at the very least, I would have had additional Security. Signage on sandwich boards, printed and laminated attached to railings, reminding People to be Respectful of the Barriers. Docents posted through out day at all Code Red Animal exhibits that are vulnerable to trespassing (Black Rhino, Hippo, Bears, Chimps).  In my opinion its irresponsible to not have taken steps to deter similar behavior.   Granted the Kid in Cincinnati was not dropped into the exhibit, but rather fell, really makes no difference.  Both are negligent actions, both end with the Animal losing its life.

I just don't understand.  A whole lot of People working there, and no one thought to take any action in favor of deterring misbehavior to prevent Tragedy?  Again no real surprise. I've complained about it in person and in writing for years.  That's part of what's scary.  

So yeah.  I spent an hour at the Hottest Spot in the Zoo, the Black Rhinos.  If you haven't read my other posts, please do, I link to two videos showing offenders here.  In that hour, I saw Security breeze by on their bike, never looking at exhibits.  What's the point, if not even going to try to ID misbehavior?  No Docents, No Staff.  What I did see was a Visitor with her Kid over the Barrier.  I wasn't surprised, but was very disappointed.  Harambe lost his life Three Days before and this Woman thinks nothing to hang her Kid over a Rhino Barrier.   This Barrier neighbors the Hippo, who was sleeping right below the Kid about four feet away.

Me: Excuse me, Lady with your Kid on the Barrier.  Why would you do that?  Did you see the News about the Gorilla that lost its life because a Kid fell in the enclosure?  
Offender: Yes.
Me: Then why would you hang your Kid over a Barrier with a Hippo right there?  
Offender: Ok.
Me:Wonder if you drop your Kid?  That Hippo will die.  Use better judgement.

Then again yesterday.  

Me: Excuse me, You're not supposed to have your Kid over the Barrier.  Why would you do that after that Gorilla got killed last weekend? 
Offender: Don't start with me.
Me: I'm just asking you a question.  I'm not being argumentative.  I'm just asking you a question.
Offender: None of your business.
Me: Oh, none of my business?  So what happens if she falls in and that Hippo loses its life?
Offender's Granny: We're not like those other People, we're watching...
Offender: Don't start with me.  

In both instances the Parent removed the Kid when I said Excuse me.  They had no idea at that point what I was going to say, yet they retreated because they know they are wrong!

This is the Mentality of the Zoo Visitors who Abuse the Barriers and Terrorize the Animals with other bad behavior.   They think they can do whatever the hell they want.  It may be hanging over or standing on the barrier,  heckling the Animals, throwing things at them, hitting the glass of their home, or some other offense.   ... What is wrong with People?  All of these actions are Disgusting.  The Barrier Abuse can get Animals Killed, and the other stuff is not only Bullying, but Evil Minded.
.... One day last week, within minutes of each other I witnessed two different groups of Visitors hitting the glass of the Komodo Dragon, while the video plays in the background about him recuperating from a medical procedure.  Same day a group was hitting the window in front of the eight week old Anteater.  Seriously, What is wrong with People?  

Many years ago I wrote that all the exhibits with glass should have Do Not Hit, Tap, Rap, Bang, ect, noted on them.  Some time after, the ARC window where the Alligator and Turtles are viewable, has such a sign.  I thought, finally!  Not long after it was gone.  I was told Management made them take it down.  ... Last year I saw  similar words across the Anteater viewing window.  That is now gone.   No idea why, as I just noticed that day when People were hitting it.

Additionally I have written and repeated suggestions for more deterrents and nothing more has been done.  The signage that they do have is either not enough, too small in size, too much wording.  Why is it such a challenge for them to get the message out, that Barrier Abuse and other Acts of Misbehavior won't be tolerated?

Is the San Francisco Zoo Afraid to Offend People or Do They Just Not Care?

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