Sunday, June 12, 2016

San Francisco Zoo UnSecure Barriers - Rhinos, Hippo, Bears & Chimps

I have posted a Series of Videos, showing the Barrier Situation at Code Red Animal Exhibits for Black Rhino, Nile Hippo, Polar Bear, Chimpanzees, One-Horned Rhino.

These Videos are not only for documentation purposes, but to Support a Petition I have planned, Calling the San Francisco Zoo to Action, to Secure the Barriers to these Animals Homes, by adding Floor to Ceiling Glass across entire length of Exhibits.

It is also Unacceptable that these Exhibits, have little to no Signage.  The Yellow Respect The Animals Sign, is too wordy to be useful.   Simple to the point Signs, need to be placed at least every Six Feet across Exhibit.  ... Until these Enclosures are Secure with Glass, these Signs need to be in place.

The Black Rhino is one Animal I have repeatedly been vocal about.  His Barrier is Abused Constantly.  My guess would be at least a dozen times a day.  That's a dozen times that this Innocent Animal dodges a Bullet a day.  It is my opinion that he is the most Vulnerable, because there is  No Secondary Barrier, the Wall into his Enclosure looks less than Six Feet tall and he can come right to it, even looking over the top of it.  You will see in the video, that there is No Secondary Barrier, and One Sign for the entire length of the Enclosure, which is well over Eighty Feet.   

The Hippo is another one I have been vocal about.  His Barrier is Abused Constantly as well.  The only difference is he has a Secondary Barrier, by Zoo Standards, but in my opinion will not stop anyone from entering his Enclosure, accidentially or voluntarily.  You will see that the wiring is primarily, if not exclusively designed only to keep him in.  There is only One Sign along this Barrier that spands over Sixty Feet.

The Polar Bear is another Hot Spot for Barrier Abuse.  As Vulnerable as the Black Rhino, as there are people constantly on or over this Barrier all the time, only difference is, there is a Moat and the time it might take for Ulu to get down there, could be the saving point for Staff to be able to call her in. That is not a given though, making this enclosure in the top three that need to be Secured by Floor to Ceiling Glass.

The exact lay-out is at the Grizzly Bears Grotto.  They are Vulnerable to same situations as at Polar Bears.  Although, not as often as for most of the Business Hours, the Girls are in the Gulch, which is Secure.

There was an incident in 2009, that had their lives on the line.  The Zoo didn't learn from that, and has continued to leave our Bears Vulnerable to date.  Please read my previous post for more details about that incident.

The Chimps Barriers have been of Issue for too long.   This enclosure is three Grotto style areas, with Moats, tall side walls and that's basically it.  Designed to keep the Chimps in, aside from the Roping, there is nothing keeping people out.  In the front of the Exhibit the Roping looks to range from about Six to Eight Feet from the edge of the Enclosure.  I have seen Kids cross the Rope Barrier many times, both while Parents are watching and while they aren't.  There is a viewing area off the Cafe Party Room, that has been breachable for years.  Please read my previous post from over two years ago. . The Exhibit side that borders the path along the Pachyderm Building is of extreme issue as the Enclosure edge is about Three feet from the Roping.  I think it being  tree-lined is why I haven't seen anyone hanging over this Barrier, but I have seen people cross it to get closer for photos.   This Enclosure is Rumored to be on the board for renovation, so I assume money won't be spent for a Glass Barrier (it hasn't even been spent to paint their house), but there needs to be a temporary fix to these Breaching Points, as well as additional Signage.

UPDATE:  I took the Videos posted during the week after the Cincinnati Tragedy.  Last week there were Barrier additions to the Chimp Exhibit.  There is now a Secondary Barrier across the front of the Exhibit.  A waist high fencing that runs across the front length of the Exhibit to the existing fencing that stems from the Cafe viewing area.  Whether it extends into the trees that pose a breachable point, I don't know.   This Barrier will keep out anyone crossing the Barrier, but not looking to actually enter the Exhibit.  It won't keep out anyone who's intent is to Enter the Exhibit.  There has also been added,  a Floor to Ceiling Bamboo fencing that runs along the side that parallels the Pachyderm Building.  This is a Secure Barrier.  They have added a viewing window, which I think is a good idea, as this was a very good place to view the Chimps.

The Asian One-Horned Rhino is a very curious set-up.  For being a Code Red Animal, he is out there front and center, with no Secure Barrier at all.  The Barrier that is there, will keep him In, but it in no way will keep anyone who wants in to easily access him.  This makes him high on the list of Vulnerable Animals.  The 100+ Foot Exhibit has a waist high Barrier of a Wooden Fence with heavy mesh.  Then there is a Flower Bed that stretches vertically about Eight- Ten Feet til it reaches the Floor to Ceiling Wire Barrier that keeps him in.  The initial Wood Barrier is Abused constantly and I've seen it a couple times even in front of Keepers.  First, I do think if anyone dropped their Kid over the Barrier,  because of the diastance to the Enclosure, unless the Kid was really a shit and not listening, it wouldn't reach the Animal.  BUT if the Kid was a shit, or it was someone who intentionally wanted to gain entry, neither of these Barriers would prevent that.  Also, in addition to the Respect the Animals useless signage, there are only two Do Not Cross Barrier type Signs, for the entire 80 Feet of the East portion of the Exhibit and Zero for the 24 Feet of the West side.                            

Added:  Will post more detailed look at Gorillas soon.  Someone asked me about the Barriers there. I didn't originally include them, as I don't think they are vulnerable to accidental breaches, so they weren't at the front of my mind when writing this.  The Gorilla viewing platforms that were built as open air, with just a singular Cement Barrier over looking the Enclosure.  A few years ago three or four of the five platforms were glassed in.  I haven't seen any Barrier Abuse since then. The other (s) with fencing indicating they were closed.  I have always thought that to be curious.  Those areas along with some landscaped areas are vulnerable to anyone wanting to enter the enclosure voluntarily.  One area may still be of issue.  Will take a closer look.

There are many other Exhibits that are victims to Barrier Abuse.  Patas Monkeys are one, I see too often.  The poor Meerkats and Prairie Dogs have people reaching into their homes.  Sea Lions, Kids Standing/Sitting on Rails.  Haven't seen much at Lemurs, but that one drops right in.  No signage about not being on Rails.  Pecarries, I see people sitting on that Barrier.  No Signs not to.  Puente, people hanging into that place where Anteater and Capybara are spending the most time.  Kangaroos. I'm sure there are others, but I'm getting overwhelmed.  I think I've gotten my point across.  I feel there needs to be a Message put forth that Informs Visitors that NO Barriers should be Sat On, Stood On, or Crossed.   Regardless of whether it is considered a Dangerous Animal or Not.  Having a Universal Message instills the basics that those acts are prohibited.   I personally feel like the Barriers are the Windows to the Animals Home.  How would you like it if a Stranger at any random time, hung over into your Home?

Please see my next Post (later today) that outlines my Petition to Keep Our Zoo Friends Safe.  Thank You.


1 comment:

  1. I agree with you completely and the barrier breaching. It's not "if something will happen" its a matter of "when something will happen" if the zoo doesnt address this issue immediately. I see this behavior every time I am at the zoo and watch as security just passes by on their bikes. Thank you for your tireless efforts in bringing this issue the the forefront. It's extremely importand and urgent.


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