Monday, June 12, 2017

SFZoo - Who's The Real Worst

Since I don't know what Zoo Management will come up with as a reason for denying my Membership, I gotta say a few things about my conduct at the Zoo and things that I've done to help the Animals.

When my Membership was revoked in 2011, it was purely based on Zoo Director Tanya Peterson trying to silence me. She didn't like me knowing anything that was going on there, and therefore being able to stand up for the Animals.  By taking away my membership and forcing me to pay each time I visited, her goal was to limit the amount of time I spent there, therefore limiting the amount of information I would gather. I didn't work there, so she couldn't fire me for being a Voice for the Animals, keeping me out was the only way.  

Someone told me they read Director Peterson's words after the Presidential Inauguration, welcoming President Trump and hoping he will take care of our wild things!  ... Is she kidding?  Did/does she support Trump?  How could anyone think that man and his murderous spawn would care about anything wild?  ... I relay this because I was outraged when I heard this.  I have never thought Director Peterson was someone who cared about the Zoo or the Animals.  She has proven that in many of her decisions in the near ten years she has been Director.  Now that we have lived through several months of this Presidential Administration, I see parallels in the was people are treated. She has run the Zoo as a Dictatorship.  Banning press.  Trying to silence those who speak up.  And firing those who don't play the game her way.

I feel like taking my membership is equal to firing me, because that's the only way she can control me.

So, let's list a few things I've done at the Zoo in the past nine.half  years.

I've shared my knowledge about the Animals with other Visitors, Volunteers and Staff.

I've made Enrichment Toys for the Big Cats and on occasion Bears, when Staff being paid to provide these items did not.  In fact two Bear Keepers called me a day before the Teddy Bear Festival and said no one made Enrichment Items for the event could we.  So after spending 25+ hrs each on Big Cat Toys for that week, both Lee and I made Bear Toys as well. For a Zoo sponsored event.

I've identified numerous Animal Health issues and report to Staff.  Including witnessing a Bear have a seizure, to which the Zoo allegedly tried to cover it up even to the Bear's primary Keeper.  ...One time I called in about an Animal bleeding, and after the Keeper came round, Director Peterson showed up in the area with a group of people, put both her hands on my arms and shook me, incoherently yelling, "He's going to bleed".  I felt assaulted.  I was later told by a Security Guard that she retold this story and said I ran up to her and grabbed her radio off her hip to call for help about the Animal. If that were true I would have had my membership taken away at that time, which was a year before in 2010.  She also told Staff I was Unstable and to keep me away from media at events.

I've identified numerous Animal Welfare issues and reported them to Staff.  Including people sitting over and standing on barriers, throwing objects at the Animals, feeding the Animals non-diet food, actually sitting on small Goats at the Farm (often while certain Staff have stood by and watched). This action could end those Dwarf Goats life.  ... If these were direct threats to Animal Safety, I of course asked the offender not to do whatever it was they were doing.  On several occasions within the last year I have been sworn at by Visitors, and when Security finally showed up, between them and Management, nothing was done.  Those offenders were allowed to stay. They were not asked if they had memberships to which could be in jeopardy.  One set of rules for me, another for everyone else.

I've posted many ideas via my blog, hoping the Zoo would use them, as they failed to think of things on their own many times. ... Many things were implemented, to name one, the Polar Bear expansion was an idea posted in my blog. They also fixed a dangerous build in the Snow Leopard training platform that I noticed. Whoever built that should have known better, as should the Animal Staff who put it there and use it.

I've documented via blog, many issue points that were not being attended to by Management.  

These are only things that I can think of off top of my head.  There have been countless things I've done and reported to help the Animals.  But to some, I'm the enemy.  And to Management, the Worst Member in History.  Unbelievable.  Yet, not really when we have a Management Team there that constantly makes decisions that are not in the best interest of the Animals, covers things up and gets rid of anyone who speaks up against the wrongs.  

In the past nine.half years there have been too many things that have been questionable, curious, concerning and just plain wrong at the Zoo.  All that come to mind have been Management decisions and these decision came down from protocol put forward by Director Peterson.  Director Peterson herself  has been in the News too many times regarding some bad press issues. 

One of the first things I will take issue with, goes hand in hand with an issue still happening uncountable times a day at the Zoo.  In 2009, two years after the Tiger event, a visitor made their way into the Grizzly Bear enclosure.  You can read the specifics online, but the issue points are such that this should never have happened.  Two things.  After the Tiger event, all Code Red Animal Exhibit Barriers should have been upgraded to prevent breaching by Human or Animal.  And my first question after hearing this, Why, is the Zoo open til 5p when the time changes?  I immediately sent an email to Director Peterson, saying the Hours need to be changed when it starts getting dark early and asked if she was waiting for another Tiger Tragedy?  She adopted it as her own and requested the Joint Zoo Panel agree to the change.  Second, the forever issue of Barrier Breaching.

After that it has been a long string of building new areas to entertain Humans, and bringing in new Animals, building them new enclosures, while Animals who have lived there for years live in outdated enclosures.  ... Many times her new and shiny toys, didn't even get the homes they were promised, as allegedly funding was never in place for it to begin with.  She just moved onto the next thing. Case and Point, the Komodo Dragon.  This poor Animal was promised a new enclosure within a year.half after arriving.  Three years later he was still living in the Terrarium he had outgrown. He developed spinal issues the Zoo alleges are genetic, but many think is because he has not had the room to properly grow. ... It is no secret to readers here what happened with the Chimps.  You can search my blog, as I was the one to feed this story to the media.  In short, allegedly Director Peterson didn't like the Chimps, and wanted to ship them out without attention, in favor of bringing in Orangutans.  Things have changed but WOW to have a Director who cares so little about the Well Being of Chimps who have lived near 50 years at the Zoo, is really disgusting.  

While on the subject of Apes, another tragedy that got media attention was the situation that led to the infant Gorilla Kabibe losing her life.  Many to blame in this, and of course Director Peterson allegedly in the mix.  ... Another Primate story, recently in the News, about the young Patas Monkey and his terminal illness which it was allegedly Director Peterson's word that prolonged his suffering.  This all happened during a time when the Zoo didn't even have a full-time Vet on Staff (for almost two months), because we have a Director who allegedly cares more about getting rid of people (both Vets) who disagree with her, than having Medical Staff for the Animals. 

There's been a long string of Animal deaths that have been questionable.  One that I think of every time I see the Black Swan at the Puente.  This poor Lady had a Sister.  They were moved all around the Zoo because no geographically suitable place could be found.  They landed at the Puente.  Why couldn't they just stay there?  Oh no can't have that.  They were moved to the part of the lake where the White Pelicans used to live.  Allegedly this was a place where bacteria in the water was known that could be harmful to them.  Well it was, and one died.  Now the lone Lady is back at the Puente.  

The Zoo is old.  Many of the buildings have lead paint.  There is a protocol for removing lead paint. Do we think the Zoo follows that? No!  Allegedly the paint sanded at the male Anteaters home was not properly handled and there were sanding chips all over the ground.  Note that this Animal was moved from Puente because he was eating the dirt.  So here he is now, possibly eating lead paint chips mixed into his ground covering.  I pray for him and to never find out he had lead poisoning. ... Paint has been chipping from the Chimp House for near twenty years.  You think they could paint it? Seal it?  Something?  Even the AZA did not cite them for this?!  I have seen the Chimps sticking their fingers in the chipped part and then putting it in their mouth.  

Let's go on barriers now.  First, the lack of signage about this is insane.  ... Will mention the Anteater since I just talked about him.  Even though this is not a Code Red Animal, no Animals home should be breachable to the point where someone could hang over, sit on, stand on or cross the barriers with ease.  I have written about so many of these offenses its ridiculous that nothing has changed there. Even a Docent I know wrote Director Peterson about people laying across this poor Animals barrier.  Only when the Zoo had their AZA Accreditation inspection was a barrier deterrent put up.   That said, nothing has been done to deter at the hot spots, Black Rhinos and Hippo.  Polar Bear was included in this but with the recent loss of Ulu, this is not an issue now.  The Black Rhino and Hippo have people constantly hanging over into their enclosure.  One slip and these Animals are shot dead.   No one cares.  I've talked about it for years.  

Visitors run wild through the Zoo and do all kinds of behaviors that disturb and harass the Animals and the Zoo lets them.  Breaching Barriers, yelling at the Animals, pounding their chests at the Apes, Howling at the Wolves, banging and kicking windows, throwing things at the Animals and into enclosures (several Animals have had to have surgery because of this), feeding them non-diet food (one Animal was recently really sick, even losing his sight and hearing because of this),  there have even been people assaulting Birds in the Aviary because no one cares to watch the free roaming Animals in there.  Its all happening at the Zoo and no one cares.  Management allows this.  They say they don't , but there is very little to caution not to, and when you report it, either no one comes or when they do they let people continue on their way.  Last year someone threw rocks at the Tiger to get it to move for them, and they were allowed to stay!  Outrageous!  That is a physical assault on an Animal and nothing.  Same thing when I reported people throwing stuff at a Flamingo while it sat on its nest, on its egg!  Offenses all over the place and that's okay there.  Going back to 2007, You know if the person who saw the Dhaliwal's tormenting the Lions before getting to the Tigers, had reported it and they had been ejected, Tatiana would still be alive.  Oh and I'll end this by noting that I'm sure if the Dhaliwals wanted to get a Membership , they could!

Is your head spinning yet?  Mine is and its dinner time.  This list could never be complete, but I think I've put forth enough to illustrate my point.

All these Animal issues, together with the long list of Director tyranny against Staff, and I'm branded the worst thing to happen to the Zoo?   The whole thing makes me sick.  We need a Zoo leader who has the Animals best interest in mind.  Can work together and respect Staff who have experience and care. For that matter, respect anyone who cares, because its those who care who are going to keep the Zoo thriving for the future.  

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Comment from Zoo Member Lee ... Is She Denied too?

I've had two Comments on the blog to my original post about the Membership issue.   I appreciate all the Comments and encourage anyone with one to add it.  Remember you can use the Anonymous option.  Thank you to all who take the time to Comment.

I am posting the comment by Andie aka Lee, one of my friends who I was sharing a Membership with.  I think its important for anyone involved to have their voice heard about this, because its wrong and shouldn't be happening to any of us.

Here is the other comment left, which sums up a bit of why things happen when dealing with Director Peterson.  Thank you to whoever this Anonymous poster is.


Membership Posts and Why It's Important

I apologize to those who read my blog to learn what is going on at the Zoo, for what will probably be more than a handful of posts on the subject of my membership issue.  This blog has the most traffic, so I must post about it here.  I guarantee it will not be pity me posts, but documenting the situation and putting forth information about Zoo Management that reflects the situation, so it will still be about the wrongs at the Zoo.

Every weekend I sit down to attempt past posts in progress, and except for a few entries, I haven't kept up on posting here about the things that just aren't right at the Zoo.  Its very weighing on me to think about these travesties, and energy zapping to organize thoughts to post about them.  Some are the same old topics, like the on going barrier safety issue, which is at the top of my list, as I see barrier breaching issues every visit and fear for the Animals lives.  Some of it new stuff that comes up unexpectedly, like the Patas Monkey tragedy, that I had to write about, there are other awful things that I just never get to, that don't get media attention.

Last weekend I started a post that I abandoned.  The post was meant to reiterate for those who don't know me and/or are new to this blog, a brief history.   I had run into someone I've known along time, someone who knows the Zoo, Management and Politics.  Someone who knows me and what the Zoo Animals mean to me.  The subject of the Zoo always comes up.  They ask and I always rattle off my frustrations and how behind I am with putting all my thoughts to paper here on my blog.   I was encouraged to get it all out.  I try every weekend, both to free it from my mind and most important, as a Voice for the Animals.  For me, it has always been about the Animals.

So much that isn't right goes on at the Zoo and I used to be able to write about everything, then it became overwhelming. Each time I don't put something out and document it here, I feel like I'm failing the Animals.  I am without a doubt, the only person outside the walls of the Zoo who pays attention to what goes on there, and is a Voice for the Animals.  I never used to identify with labels, but I am an Advocate for those precious Zoo Friends.   Inside the walls there few, as most Staff including Security who pays zero attention to what's going on, and those who do are reprimanded, and often fired.  Its a sad and frustrating situation for anyone who cares. 

I am a San Francisco Native, life-long Resident of the Richmond District.  I grew up going to the Zoo and have been a Member most of my adult life.  As a teenager, my Mother sent me and my friends to the Zoo in the 70s for Summer Volunteer Orientation.  Learning that we wouldn't immediately have hands on experience with the Animals, but instead cleaning, we opted to continue our goals of meeting teen idols instead.  I believe everything happens for a reason, but in hindsight I wonder if I had chosen the Zoo as a teen, would I be in Management by now and having a hand at making the Zoo the best place it can be.  Who knows, as there are some who have worked there and still do, who started as teens and made the Zoo their life career choice, because they care about the place and the Animals in their care.  Sadly things haven't been easy during this current reign for those who care.  

In 2008, I started to visit more often and learn more about the Animals, both from the Keepers and my own online research.  I wanted to share what I had learned.  I started my first blog to do that.  I was there on Christmas Day the year before and was heartbroken over the events that took the life of Tatiana (Tiger).  I was also bothered by the dark cloud it left over the Zoo, a place that was dear to me.  Part of sharing my knowledge was to hopefully endear people to the Zoo Animals and change peoples minds.  I wrote to the Director Tanya Peterson and put forth that goal.  I also included other suggestions, as being there so often, I could identify things that were in need.  One Keeper warned me that the Director didn't like suggestions/comments, and I'd have trouble.  As I became more involved emotionally to the Animals and privy to other things that went on, I felt there was so much the Zoo could do to be better.  I continued to share those ideas regardless of the warning.  Director Peterson always replied and thanked me for my suggestions.  I had also been lucky to have my idea to make Enrichment Toys for the Big Cats accepted by the Keeper and Vet Staff.  My friend Lee who was a Docent at the time, and I made toys for most of 2010.  In October politics played into it a few times and we finally opted out of continuing under the impossible guidelines the Zoo decided to put forth in order to squeeze us out of something we created.  By Feb 2011, Untruths were fabricated and Director Peterson revoked our Memberships.  Six years later,  its happening again.  

When this happened in 2011, my friend Lee was given a reason via email from Director Peterson. Untrue as it was, it was a reason.  That reason had nothing to do with me.  So, why did I have my Membership revoked?  Over eleven months, I contacted the Zoo, including Director Peterson and Zoological Board Chairman David Stanton, requesting a reason and was never given one.  After my second letter to Stanton, I received a condescending letter from him, noting that I had been given reason, and listing several untruths, all from the mouth of Director Peterson.  I responded that had I got a reason I would not be continually seeking one.  I let him know that he had no idea what goes on there, since he or anyone else on the Board ever goes there, only taking Director Peterson's word for everything.  I then asked him if he wanted to be the face of Director Peterson's words?  ... Our Memberships were reinstated within a week, complimentary. 

Now, again I have been given no reason other than, "past circumstances".  Since "past circumstances" were based on untruths, what exactly does that mean?   This came out of nowhere.  I had not been warned of any misconduct.  So,  I am waiting for the answer.  Tuesday June 6, 2017,  I sent an email to Steven Haines, VP Strategic Growth and Marketing.  I relayed that I had been advised not to speak to Management and requested my Membership Fees be mailed to me, along with a letter, detailing the reasons for denying my membership renewal.  I noted I had not received one the last time and I have been told it is their responsibility to provide me with that.   I said I would be expecting that by next week.  Once I receive that I will post it here.

Monday, June 5, 2017

My SFZoo Membership Revoked AGAIN!

So yea, once again I am, I guess, branded the Zoo's Worst Member.  If it wasn't so disturbing the ridiculousness of it might be comical.  And, once again I have been given no reason.

For those who don't know the story of the first time Director Tanya Peterson revoked my Membership,  you can read all the details here:
In short, Director Peterson sent my friend Lee, who had also been a Zoo Docent, an email accusing her of calling in a "false alarm" that resulted in a Code Red alert.  Further noting that her Membership was being revoked.  A couple weeks later, I found out my Membership was also revoked, but never received a reason.  This is in no way throwing Lee under the bus, but fact,  If I was to go off the reasoning given to Lee, since we were together at the time this "false alarm" was allegedly called in, then it had nothing to do with me.  I didn't make that call.  But, grouping us together was consistent with rumors that Peterson didn't like that we were that involved at the Zoo, that we had opinions, and suggestions, and frankly we were privvy to too much inside information.  I later found out that in addition to the "false alarm" untruths, Peterson had spread other untruths about me throughout Staff. Peterson's goal in revoking our Memberships, was to force us to pay per visit admission, financially limiting the amount of time we spent there.  It didn't.  ... I spent eleven months, writing letters to City Officials and the San Francisco Zoological Society Board Chairman.  Eventually we got our Memberships back and complimentary, which I read as an admission that the whole thing stunk.

In 2011, Lee and I had been the only people in the history of the Zoo to have their Memberships revoked.  Now, not sure if there's been anyone else, I doubt it, because there is a list of people who the Zoo watches, and one of them is a Member who continually feeds the Animals and goes into unauthorized areas.  She's been asked to leave a few times, and as far as I know, still is allowed to have a Membership.  So, this may make me the only person in the history to have theirs revoked twice.  

That brings us to today.  I share a Membership with Lee and another friend Michael.  Our Membership expired 3.31.17.  I renewed on my next visit, I think it was 4.4.17.   Our temporary cards were issued, expiring 5.31.17.  Today I went into the Membership office at the gate, as I had not received the hard copies yet.   The gal (I've seen her often but don't know her name),  said that there was a notation on the account that said, "deactivated, deceased".  I said what?  I was most upset by it saying "deceased", seriously?  I asked her if it said that under all our accounts and she said yes.  She pulled up each name and repeated it.  They called the Membership Dept and someone said they would be down.  Fuming at the "deceased"  notation, I asked this gal to print  it out because I wanted that documentation.  She went to ask someone and they said they can't do that.  They also couldn't take a photo of it, and when I tried to get her to repeat that's what it said on camera, she refused.  I made a pretty big issue of the "deceased" notation, which I frankly take as a threat of sorts.  That is no mistake, someone deliberately wrote that on each one of our accounts.  I'm sure the Zoo will deny this, but why would I make something like this up?  They have probably deleted in an effort to cover-up it was ever there. 

After waiting about fifteen minutes, I called the Zoo Main number and had them connect me with Membership.  The guy I spoke with Wes, said he would come down.  After several more calls and a total of forty minutes, Lamar and Nicole, Membership Manager, who I met for first time today, showed up.  Nicole introduces herself, shakes my hand (are you kidding me?), and then says, "The Zoo is "exercising their right to deny my Membership".  I asked why and she said all she knows is its based on "past circumstances".   I asked for more detailed reasoning, she said that's all she had.  So here once again is someone in a role of authority and they claim to know nothing.  She handed me a card to call a guy named Steven who is VP of Marketing and,... and he would then take it up with Tanya.  I asked if Tanya was there. No.  I asked for the Deputy Director Joe, not there.  I asked who the Manager on Duty is.  Nicole didn't know.  I asked Lamar, he said in his usual I don't know nothing response, I just deal with, ... naming his depts, like that's an excuse for not knowing who the Manager on Duty is.   So, once again as usual, no one has any answers, no one knows anything, its all smoke screens in that place.  ... I asked for my refund and told there was going to be some further delay, so I said I need to go, I'll be back tomorrow, have the check here. ... I called the Steven guy and left a message.  A couple hours later, I left another message that I would be there to pick-up my refund tomorrow and I would like a written detail of reasoning for them "denying' my Membership. We'll see if I get that reason, since I still never got one for the 2011 crime.

I seriously can not figure a reason that they can give that would be an honest one.  I have no idea what the issue point would be.  If I get a reasoning I will post it, and respond to it, because unlike Zoo Management, I have no problem with transparency. I can't imagine anything that would be justifiable to denying me Membership, but then so many unjustifiable things go on at the Zoo, and Director Peterson gets away it it all.  Why?  Because there are no checks and balances within the Zoo Management structure.  Director Peterson is both Director and President, creating a dictatorship.  As I understand it she is responsible to the San Francisco Zoological Society, who is responsible to the San Francisco Recreation and Park.  Not one person from the Zoological Society or Rec and Park, have any hands on dealing with Managing the Zoo, even though I think that's how its outlined in the Lease agreement.  All parties take Director Peterson's word on everything.  I don't know why, but nobody in either, really cares about the Zoo.  The way the Zoo works within the walls is, its either Director Peterson's way or you're out.  Director Peterson has wreaked havoc through Staff since she got there.  Forcing longtime Employees to quit or firing them, for a variety of reasons, mostly for having opinions that differ from hers, or speaking up when something isn't right.  Most recently, the Zoo went through a period of two months without any full-time Vet on Staff.  The two full-time Vets allegedly battled with Director Peterson in regard to Animal Care.  They have license and experience, she does not.  She allegedly fired one, and allegedly old the other to either retire or get fired.  Both left at the same time and the Zoo had no Vet on Staff.  There were outside Vets called in to fill the schedule, but days  there allegedly wasn't even a Vet on the grounds.  I haven't gotten to writing about this, but in my opinion, its really bad when you have over two hundred Animals and no full-time Vet on Staff.  Once the News Story about the sad Patas Monkey situation aired, the Vet who was fired was all of a sudden back.  Rumor has it, it was quick damage control on Director Peterson's part. 

Personally I think not having a Vet on staff at a Zoo is a bigger crime than anything I may have allegedly done.  Its curious the string of scandals over the past nine and a half years of Director Peterson's reign, and she is still there.  That's just one example of someone getting away with too much.   Over the past many years, I have been very vocal about the lack of Management and Security attention to the barrier breaching situation, as well as visitor misbehavior towards the Animals.  I call every time I see an issue.  If its a direct situation that could endanger an Animal, I often say something to the offenders (as well call), as Security never gets there in time, and frankly, an Animal can lose their life if someone falls into an enclosure.  I mention this because it amazes me how things are handled there, which directly relates to how I'm obviously still perceived as the "Zoo Enemy", when other members of the public constantly put the Animals in Danger and nothing happens.  Last year, Visitors threw rocks at one of the Tigers and weren't kicked out.  I was outraged, as was Security, but that was what was dictated by Management.  During Flamingo breeding season, I caught a drunk from the Zoo Oktoberfest Event, pick something up and throw it at a Flamingo Parent ON a nest!  I tried to stop them and they swore at me.  I called Security and reported the incident and that I was sworn at, and according to the rules posted, that is cause for ejection.  Afterward, I spoke with Bob Cooney who was Manager of the Day.  They were not ejected and he cited it as a "judgement call".  I was outraged.  A few months later, someone had their kid hanging over a barrier waving a stick at the Animals.  I told them they aren't supposed to be on the barriers.  The Mother told me to "Fuck off".  I called Security.  No one showed up.  As I was leaving I saw this Mother again and also Staffer Walker and reported the incident as well being told to "Fuck off".   I watched as Walker spoke to the Mother.  He was friendly and laughing.  You would think they were having a casual happy conversation.  No indication this was a serious incident and swearing at me was a violation of Zoo rules.  Afterward, when I saw the Mother not get ejected, I talked to Walker and he said, "It was a judgement call".  Are you kidding me?  I note these things, because, here I sit, I guess Public Enemy Number One for some reason, yet these people who put the Animals lives in danger and swear at other guests, get away with it.  They don't even get asked if they have Memberships (that could be revoked, or at the very least notated as a warning).  I guarantee you, there are different rules for different people.  If I had sworn at these people, I'd have been ejected and my membership revoked on the spot.  I will further note that Walker also told me that people get three warnings.  I have also heard this in relation to Membership revoking.  In 2011, neither Lee nor I got any warnings.  You can't really get warnings on untruths, but you know what I mean.   This time, no warnings either.  No one has said anything to me about anything.  

The other outrageous thing about this, evidently my Membership was "deactivated" on 3.3.17. There must have been an oversight that allowed me to renew on 4.4.17, but regardless, Director Peterson knew about this on 3.3.17, three months ago and at no point was any reason sent to me in writing.  As well, its been two months, since I renewed and at no point were my membership fees refunded.   The whole thing is outrageous.  Furthermore, where does that leave Lee and Michael?  They don't even come to the Zoo but maybe a couple times a year.  Are they "deactivated and deceased" in the eyes of Director Peterson as well?

Some people would say, why does this matter so much?  It matters because I'm tired of Director Peterson bullying everyone.  And whatever her reasoning is going to be about this, I will bet its going to boil down to an untruth, based on my opinions about something.  I can have whatever opinions I want.  I can be vocal about them.  That is not reason for denying Membership.   If it was anything more than being vocal, then why wasn't something said to me?  If it was anything more, I would be banned, but yet I'm allowed to buy a day admission.   I'm tired of being targeted when all I do is go there and care about the Animals and their Welfare.

I'll post an update when I have one.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Another News Piece on the Young Patas Monkey

I wasn't prepared for what came through on my News Alert today.  I'm sick to my stomach by the photos shared by Jesse-Patrick's Keeper Dayna.   I feel like crying.  It sounded awful when described in the first article 4.23.17, but these photos are shocking and heartbreaking.  I visit that Patas Monkey's near every visit, and I'm not sure how I missed this.  It has been raining, and I remember several times looking into the exhibit and not seeing them out.  Somehow these few weeks went by and I've felt guilty for not knowing, since I first heard about this.   Now,  I feel it would have broke my heart to witness this

You can read the article and view the video containing photos, and Keeper interview here:

I'm going to post my personal Memorial photo of Jesse-Patrick and one of his Family.  After seeing those heartbreaking photos in the news story, you must see him in happier times.

                                          Jesse-Patrick at six months old

                               In December at one year old with his Mama Winnie and Sister Freida.                        

I sit here trying to organize my thoughts through sadness for this poor little Soul and his Family.  I feel awful for Dayna to have to watch this develop and hope for an end to Jesse-Patrick's suffering.   

When I wrote my first post about this tragedy, I was heartbroken, I still am that this little life was cut short.  As I often do, I write posts with peripheral information.  Reading it back now, I realize there was so much of that (because there's a lot of wrong at the Zoo), and wasn't enough about the specifics of Jesse-Patrick's situation.  Maybe, I feel that way in hindsight because of how powerful what Dayna has now shared is.  

I also call attention to the follow-up post that I wrote, right after the first one.  I hesitated to post it and then didn't get back to it.  I posted it before writing this one, in light of today's News story.  I want to reiterate something that I wrote in that post.  ... The Keepers at the Zoo work in fear of losing their jobs if they say anything about what goes on there.  That said, a lot that goes on, stays secret.  If this story is being made public,  all details, information, accusations, everything, are true.  Sadly.  

That said, I trust Dayna's observations, compassion and that she knows these Animals.  She would not make a claim to end an Animals life, if it wasn't the best thing for him.  Unfortunately as I've noted before,  Management does not value the knowledge that the Keepers have in regard to the Animals in their care.  Keepers are the core of Animal Care, yet at the Zoo, a facility that supposedly cares for Animals, they (Keepers) are pretty low on the totem pole.  Its not right.

In my previous post I wrote about the Director, the Zoological Society and the SF Recreation and Park and how that all plays to the highest levels of Management.  Let's also take a look at a couple of the "players" in Animal Care, Management.  I'll note here that these are upper level positions and allegedly will always side with the Director over the Keepers. ...  I'll start with Jason Watters who was interviewed in this news piece and sided with Director Peterson.  I'll start by saying, I have never met this guy, I've seen him maybe three times, and I've heard nothing good about him.  So, who is he? He's the head of the Wellness Dept.  Let me say something about the Wellness Dept.  While I don't know everything they do, I've had a problem with the word "wellness" since I first heard it used at the Zoo in 2012.  To me, Wellness is a given.  I assume its part of the Animals expected health care. I feel like they pulled out this word to pat themselves on the back, and then developed a whole Dept. Anyway, I rarely see this guy, so what's he doing all day, since he's full-time?  I have seen the Wellness Interns observing the Animals.  I think that's a good thing.  Anyone else in that Dept, not sure what they do.  David Bocian, haven't seen this guy around in months, but I know he's still there and I think still the head of Animal Care.  Personally,  the conversations I've had with him, I haven't learned anything, if you get my drift.  So, in this particular situation, the Animal Care Management team seemed to be Watters and Bocian, who then conferred with Director Peterson.  If they wanted to keep their jobs, they did what she told them to do, because that's how the Zoo is run.  ... In my opinion, the Animal Management Team needs to value and support what their full-time Keepers tell them about the Animals in their care.

Two more things that are very bothersome about Jesse-Patrick's heath situation.

The USDA came out and found that there was "no non-compliant" issue.   ... I assume that means they felt all decisions being made by Management were in accordance?  ... I contacted the USDA on a previous serious issue and never got a response.  So, my faith in them is not the highest.

The AZA said that it requires Director's to make final decisions on Animal's lives.  ... What happens when the Zoo has a Director with no Animal knowledge?  and a fear of looking bad to anyone outside the walls?  Because she doesn't care how she looks to her own Staff.  Not well liked, yet she stays. ... Again I have contacted the AZA on a couple serious issues.  They don't follow-up with you, but since nothing changed in those situations, I assume they didn't care.  My opinion of the AZA is that they will do minimal to "push" a Zoo to do right things, because that could influence their monetary intake in a way that doesn't line their pockets.

Lastly, I 100% believe Dayna when she says Jesse-Patrick's life was held hostage based on what Director Peterson thought would be public perception. .

I know there are other Animal Welfare situations that are not tended to for the same reason.

I'm Sorry Precious Little Jesse-Patrick.

Monday, May 1, 2017

What Needs to Happen, To Replace Director Peterson?

I second guessed myself in posting this, originally written April 23, 2017 as a follow-up to my last post regarding the passing of the young Patas Monkey Jesse-Patrick.  In light of today's news article regarding JP (and the post I will write about that), I feel like putting forth all my thoughts.  What I know, gives a better picture of what goes on at the Zoo.  I am the only one outside the walls who seems to know anything and/or cares enough to make it public.


I feel like crying about this whole situation with the Patas Monkey death.  I am beyond frustrated with things that go on at the Zoo.  And then there are things like this, that are just heartbreaking.

How many troubling incidents involving Animal Welfare, have to happen, before we can get rid of Director Peterson and get a Director who actually cares about the Zoo?

I know it sounds odd as I write "we", since I don't work there, but I'm very involved emotionally with the Zoo Animals and therefore the Zoo.  The Zoo is City owned and therefore is owned in a sense by all San Francisco Residents.

Anytime there is a news article, I can't help but read the comments.  Even though I start by telling myself I'm not going to.  I'm compelled and then I just get upset.  I'm defensive because I care about the Animals, and I care what happens to their home.  I care that a place I've gone to my whole life, continues to thrive for the future.  I have grown to think of alternative ways Zoos should exist, but keeping the Zoo healthy in all aspects benefits the Animals, current and future.

It started with the Tiger event in 2007.  Then I didn't know anything about the inner working of the Zoo, all I knew is that I was there that day and Tatiana was not agitated or underfed as many said.  I know that I stood in front of that enclosure my whole life and never felt unsafe, and would have done it again the day after the attack.  I knew the difference between a recommended and required wall height.  I felt I had to defend the Zoo, often spending hours responding to comments and trying to educate people.  I continued to do so for the next two years.  As I learned more about the Animals, I continued to try and endear people to the Animals, hoping to clear the dark cloud from the Tiger event.

There are not many people outside the walls that know what really goes on at the Zoo.  Yet I hear and read comments based on I don't know what.  It makes me mad.  I don't claim to know everything, but I do know alot and contrary to what some think, I only write about things I know about.  I'm also the only one I know of outside the walls that is a voice for these Animals.  In the case of Director Peterson trying to kick out the Chimps, I'm the only one, who cared enough to help them stay in their home, a place they have lived for over forty years.  Not one person who even works there did anything.  They could have called attention to this move, and done what I did, but no one did. 

The comments I read on today's article, had many defending Director Peterson's caution for delaying to end the Patas Monkey's life.   The reason I do not believe this to be true is I have myself questioned decisions that I thought may have ended lives too soon.  So I suspect that may be something that happens.  What I do know, is that Staff is very apprehensive in letting anything outside the walls for fear of losing their jobs.  So, if they went this far, to make this public, I believe there is truth to their claims.

So, this brings me back to the question, how long before we can get rid of Director Peterson?  Here's the problem.  The City relinquished managing to the Zoological Society.  The Zoological Society is made up of rich society folk, who have no interest in the Zoo past writing checks and throwing cocktail parties.  The City appointed the SF Recreation and Park to oversee the Zoological Society.  The Rec and Park, have no interest in doing that beyond the monthly meetings, where they push papers, pat each other on the back and take Peterson's word on everything.  So she would have to be removed by one of these groups, the City, the Rec and Park, or her cocktail buddies at the Zoological Society.  In a 2011 letter to the Zoological Board Chairman (at the time) David Stanton, I stressed there were no checks and balances, no interest from the Society, and unrest between Staff and Management.  Nothing has changed, its only gotten worse.   So, who exactly will fire her?   

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Terminal Patas Monkey Allowed to Suffer (Allegedly)

Juvenile Male Patas Monkey "Bernardo" (originally named Jesse-Patrick) has passed away.  His recent death is the subject of a today's news article.  

I haven't been posting consistently to my blogs, for various reasons, mostly because its emotionally draining.   I just read the above article and I'm sick to my stomach. Heartbroken about this loss, and a bit shaky from rage, because I know too many things, and sadly poor Jesse-Patrick is not the last victim of disrespect at the Zoo.  

Hopefully Zoo Staff along with their Union representative will finally band together and make sure every little thing that is wrong at the Zoo, is reported to proper authorities and made public.  Too many things, for too long have been kept inside the walls.  I know if Director Peterson hears about them talking,  they lose their jobs.  I know she has allegedly "made life miserable" and "threatened" Staff who go against her.  I'm sorry these things happen, but these are lives of Animals who depend on Humans there, this stuff can't continue to go on.  

For anyone who has followed my efforts on behalf of the San Francisco Zoo Animals, you know that I started out posting on every little thing I find questionable.   My main points of issue are Animal Welfare, Barrier Abuse, Animal Disrespect, and lack of Enrichment.  Every time I visit the Zoo, I encounter the later three. I take photos, make notes and rarely get to posting.  

The Barrier Abuse issue is out of control.  I have posted for over six years about this.  I've called to action via a Petition for the Zoo to take this Animal Endangerment issue seriously.   People constantly hanging their kids over Barriers into Animal Enclosures, including those of Code Red Animals.  I tweet photos of offenders to the Zoo and AZA every time I'm there.  Nothing changes. Security is rarely around to handle the incidents, Management lets people off get away with this behavior, and does nothing to deter it.  I have a longer blog post about this in the works, so so now I will leave this subject, and let you search this blog for more if you're interested.  Use search word "barrier".

I have also been documenting issues with how San Francisco Zoo Director Tanya Peterson manages the Zoo. You can also do a search using her name on my blogs. 

When I first became aware of things that weren't right at the Zoo, I addressed them with Driector Peterson.  I formed at open and valued (at least I thought at the time) correspondence with her.  I expressed my concerns and submitted suggestions to help the Zoo, as seen from a Visitor's perspective.   At the time I was told by many Zoo Staff that she allegedly didn't like "people with opinions" and that wasn't going to work in my favor there.  I am not one to keep things to myself or shy away from difficult conversations.  I continued to put forth my thoughts.   It turned out, what I was told was accurate and I eventually had a major situation at the hands of Director Peterson, who slandered me and tried to keep me away from the Zoo because she allegedly didn't like that I knew too much.

Under Director Peterson, the Zoo has had many problems.  Mostly kept internal issues, some that have gone public.  You can do a News search using her name for more.  The internal issues stem from Management being a dictatorship. Director Peterson is both Director and President.  There is no checks and balances.  What she says goes.  The Zoological Society, plays no real role in the Management of the Zoo, although they are listed as the Managing group. The San Francisco Recreation and Park, while who the Zoo is responsible to, plays no real role in Management.  In fact it appears they and the City just don't care.  Once a month, Members of the Rec and Park and Board of Society meet for the Joint Zoo Committee Meeting and basically listen to what Director Peterson says and takes that as word. Within the Zoo Staff, whoever says anything against her rule, gets fired, or has their time there made so uncomfortable that they quit.    Over the past couple years the Zoo has seen too many long time and good Employees leave, because of one of these reasons.

In a facility that is based on the lives of Animal Residents, one would assume that those working in Animal Care, the Keepers, would be one of the highest regarded positions, expert to the primary part of the Zoo, the Animals.  If you assumed that, you are wrong in relation to the San Francisco Zoo. Management under the reign of Peterson, does not value the knowledge, observations or opinions of the Keepers.  As a result, there have been too many Animal Welfare related issues.  Some public, most not.  The Chimps were vulnerable to losing their lives because of her.  Kabibe the Gorilla did. While I also blame several on the Animals Care Staff, Peterson was allegedly well aware of the issues with doors and shifting staff.

I noted that there is no checks and balances with the Managing groups.  I want to also note that often National Organizations like the AZA and USDA have ignored concerns.  I have contacted them in regard to a few issues in the past, only to still see these things an issue point. The article I posted in regard to the recent death of the Patas Monkey, notes that both the AZA and USDA have become involved.  Maybe they will take notice and start listening.  

Zoo Management needs an overhaul.   For one, Director Peterson needs to be demoted to Fundraising if anything at all.  She has no Animal background, lucked into this position because of Social connections.  She is Not an Animal person.  She has No Regard or Empathy for the Animals that live there, their position, or their history. That is growing in evidence for years, culminating with her decision to kick out the Chimps.  She should not be making any decisions on when to end an Animals life, yet she has final say.  As noted in today's article, that was not in the best interest of this Patas Monkey.

Additionally, there needs to be a Director and President.  Otherwise we have the Dictatorship that we do.  As well, any Zoological Society Board Members need to be active with the Zoo and knowledgeable about what goes on.  There also needs to be Recreation and Park officials who do the same. There is serious problems at the Zoo and no one has paid any attention to what really goes on there for years.  

As the article also mentions, the lack of Animal Care Staff.  This is one Department that needs full staffing, yet has been the Department most slighted.  I have known for sometime that they lost members of the Vet Staff.  That is just unacceptable.  The Keepers are stretched thin.  This is a facility that is home to living Beings who depend on the best care possible. I'm not saying they aren't getting good care, I'm saying that the department is run on the most limited Staff, yet has Staff in Animal Care Management employed full-time that does hardly anything to contribute to actual daily care.  If you are going to commit to having Animals, you must commit to providing care for them.  

I understand that Zoos are businesses, but they are foremost homes to living Beings who need attention, compassion and respect.  If you can't provide that to the Animals, then you should not be running this as a business.  The current Management is failing to put the Animals well-being before the dollar.  It has been apparent in so many things.  From the lack of improvement of Animal enclosures (homes of the Chimps, Komodo Dragon, ...) Barrier upgrades Zoo-wide, Signage to deter misbehavior towards Animals, Security to recognize misbehavior, Management to enforce repercussion of misbehavior, the building of areas for Humans before Animals, Bringing in New Animals before taking care of Current Animals, all these things and more, are big issue points in Management fail, and contribute to the Well-Being of the Animals.

I often say, when I win the lotto, I'm going to buy my way in and fix the Zoo.  Some may think that's comical, but frankly I think I can do a better job at running the place than most of the Management Staff. At the very least I can identify issues on a daily basis, I have empathy for the Animals, and I can listen to those with  expertise in their departments.  Too much stuff that goes on there is a joke and sadly, many Animals have lost their lives because of it. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Chimp Update - Series Part Three of Three

I was told, the Chimp work would start the day after the Flamingos were done.  I was anxious to see, and I was completely surprised, as that is exactly what's happened!  Work on the interior of the Pachyderm Building started February 15th!

A couple months ago I heard a few ideas about what was going to happen, but a few days before construction started, I got details as to what exactly was going to happen in this first phase of the project.  I was So Happy! for Our Chimp Friends, I cried after hearing the plans.  I'm just so happy that they are here and they will get this new experience, because I was able to be their voice and didn't give up on them.

I made a video on the spot, that will walk you through what the plan is.  

In the video you will hear me say, "a few years" in reference to how long it would be for the current phase of the Project.  I may have been confused with that timeline.  I had just gotten this clarity of the plan, and I decided to make this video on the spot.  I was working out the timing, as I was narrating, considering past timelines for Sifakas, as well the previously predicted start of Chimps, and how those estimations were pushed farther out. So, I really have no idea how long it will actually take, but in hindsight, I'd think the estimation for the whole project, both Pachyderm inside/outside and Triple Grotto renovation, shouldn't take more than three years.  That is providing the Zoo does not (and should not!) acquire any new Animals that will require new Exhibits.  If they do continue that trend after finally getting to the Chimps Needs, then there is something seriously wrong with their compassion for these long-time Residents.  There will be no excuse.  The only excuse I would find acceptable would be for a simultaneous build of the much needed new Komodo Dragon Exhibit that was promised to him within two years of his arrival, which was over three years ago and/or a Rescue that had no other option than being Euthanized. 

So, as I understand it, this is a Three, possibly Four Phase Project.  
First, Pachyderm inside remodel.  Visitor Viewing and Indoor Playroom.  Multiple Room Housing.
Second, Sky Trail from Pachyderm into North Grotto exhisting Housing..  
Third, Pachyderm outside (pending).  Possible outdoor area, along west side of Pachyderm.
Fourth, Triple Grotto Renovation.  

Sky Trail envision.
Pachyderm Bldg to North Grotto Housing.
(behind tree ;)

I'm no artist in drawing, 
but I thought I'd do an ariel view of how 
I imagine it will be from the info I got.

So there it is folks, FINALLY!  After exactly two years today, something is happening that will ensure these Precious Babies will be able to live out their lives in the only home they have ever known.  They will have new Friends, and new Environments.  So much to Enrich their lives!  I can't wait!  ... Tearing again!


I tried to post links to all three parts of this Update Series, but for some reason they didn't work. They were posted in succession, if you are new to the story, please check them out.  Thank you for your interest. 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Chimp Updates - Series Part Two of Three

So, what has taken so long?  What's been going on at the Zoo in the past two years?  I'll tell you.  A whole lot of nothing, ... for the Chimps.

I realize that there has been no update for over a year.  The reason for that, other than the energy it takes to write about every issue point, is that there really hasn't been anything to report as far as Our Chimp Friends getting what's been promised to them. ... Till now :)

For the sake of keeping in somewhat Chronilogical order, since I'm a bit obsessive about it, I'm going to post the link to the Timeline I wrote in July 2015.  I just found in my notes additions to it that I hadn't added. So if you've already read it, you may want to read the new entries, starting in July 2015.

So yeah, here we go.  So let's recap.  At the February Joint Zoo Meeting, after the airing of the News Story and public outcry, Zoo Director Tanya Peterson committs to keeping the Chimps. She showed a photo of an exhibit that would cost $10 Million and no money for it.  She noted adding Sky Trails to Pachyderm Building as a start to creating more space, which would be needed to bring in more Chimps, which as we know is key to the situation. She admitted (as I had been posting about) that this was a time sensitive situation, in regard to our group size being a factor point.  She further noted they would be launching the biggest fundraising effort they've ever done (for her 10 mil dream of grandeur). ... Shortly after this Meeting the Zoo set-up a Donation page to Help the Chimps.  This page was only promoted by the Zoo once, and side mentioned a second time. From what I've learned, allegedly no other great efforts towards the Chimps Needs was taken, even though there has since been two ZooFest fundraisers. ... Director Peterson came into the March Meeting with words of encouragement and diagrams of plans.  Yet when I questioned her on a timeline, there wasn't one, and when asking if our group number reduced, were the remaining two secure, her response was first no, they could be sent away, or yes, they could rescue additional Chimps.  The later would mean they would possibly lose AZA accreditation. ... Over the next couple months, I read 250k had been marked for upgrades to current Grottos, yet nothing much changed.  One old structure got repainted, one got repaired.  Both not an upgrade, but over due maintance. ... By the July Meeting, there still was no further mention of the Chimps. I asked at the Meeting what the timeline was for the Pachyderm/Sky Trail expansion and was told it would be done in Fall of 2016.  ... Upset and Frustrated with that timeline, I questioned Director Peterson at the August Meeting as to why the Chimps were on hold while building for new Animals when they are current Residents in need.  She had no valid answers.  

Ever since she said if our numbers reduce the remaining two could be sent away, I have not felt secure in their place, being able to live out their lives here.  Knowing that she was trying to kick them out basically in the dark of the night, in favor of allegedly bringing in Orangutans, I wasn't convinced she wasn't "waiting them out".  I hate to think that, but let's look at the above facts, together with her descison to bring in new Animals and build them new Exhibits, before starting anything for the Chimps.

By October 2015, with still nothing different for the Chimps, I wrote a detailed letter to the AZA, as the Zoo was up for an Accreditation inspection.  It was not as an intention to prevent them being accredited, but to alert to certain things that go on there, as well as call attention the needs of the Chimps, as well as the poor Komodo Dragon.  I will write a post soon about him.  It will be posted to my other blog, please look for it there.  ... My letter included noting that their home has chipping paint and hasn't been painted in over a decade if not two, their lack of Enrichment, and links to four videos I made that included suggestions to expand/improve the Chimps Environment.  Doable solutions to the situation.  That being, the need for the Chimps home at the Zoo to be secure, need to add more Chimps, lack of large funding.  In my opinion, grandeur is uneccessary at this point.  The Sky Trail/Pachyderm Expansion and my other ideas, including painting their home, would be sufficient to give them what they need.  Sure more would be wonderful, but my main concern has always been securing their future and bringing more Enrichment to their life.

Here are the links to the videos I made:
San Francisco Zoo Chimp Expansion - Sky Trails to Pachyderm Building
San Francisco Zoo Chimp Triple Grotto - View and Idea
Idea for Expanding San Francisco Zoo Chimpanzee Home 
Fabricated Structures at San Francisco Zoo - Chimp Content

Between Fall of 2015 and Summer 2016, I continually asked most of the people I know, in various departments, about the Chimp plans.  Every said, "It's happening", but no one knew what or when. And there were allegedly no work orders for the Chimps yet.  Very upsetting as time ticked on.

Someone asked me, what happened to all the money that they got for the Chimps and why it was taking so long for them to get what they needed.  I said, I don't know.   Its been two years since the News story and the launch of their Help the Chimps donation page on their website.  There has been no updates coming out of the Zoo.  They have not even provided an update to those who donated to the Chimps via their website.  In my opinion they have an obligatation to keep people in the loop.and I find it really irresponsible to the donors not providing updates and I find it irresponsible to the Chimps for not taking care of their needs in a more timely manner. 

In June, the new Exhibit for Mexican Grey Wolves opened.  In August, the new Exhibit for Sifaka Lemurs opened.  Don't get me wrong, I love these Animals and feel lucky to be able to experience them and any new Animal.  That said, I do think there are ways to prioritize that our Director and Management team do not consider.  I think considering the Chimps have lived at the Zoo almost fifty years and have been waiting thirty for a new home, are the longest and oldest Residents at the Zoo, that should count for some position of priority.  One they have shamefully, never recieved.  When I questioned this, I was told that a donor came forward with money specifically for Sifaka's.  Basically they took the money and said Yes, and made it happen pronto.  Me, I would have said, Thank you, we would love to have Sifaka's but we have a current situation that needs immediate attention, after that, we will plan to add Sikafa to the collection.  Same with acquiring Wolves.  I don't know for a fact, but I can only guess their fast tracking of them was to use the Exhibit area that was left vacant after Polar Bear Pike passed away.

Last Fall, 2016, a crew started working in the side path entrance to the Pachyderm Building, the site where the new Chimp Rooms are going to be built.  Finally it looked like something was happening. At the same time, barriers were being renovated at Flamingos.  The side path re-opened and the Pachyderm Building doors were closed, and crews gone.  It wasn't until the week the Flamingos were to be done, that I would get any further information about the Chimps.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Chimp Updates - Series Part One of Three

Today marks two years since the News story on our Chimpanzees aired.  If you aren't familiar with what led up to this, my first in the series of update posts will synopsis it and include some links.

The San Francisco Zoo is my hometown Zoo.  I grew up going to the Zoo.  In early 2008, my handful of visits a month, turned into a handful of visits a week.  I made aquaintance with Staff and through that and my own extensive online research, I learned as much as I could about the Animals as individuls as I could.  I started my first blog to share what I was learning.  I became further endeared, I became involved in Enrichment, I became a champion for them.  If I saw something questionable, I asked about it.  I had an open dialog with many there.  That changed in 2011 and at that point I started documenting those questionable points in another blog.  

I was behind in updating my blog, and had several posts about the Chimps in the works.  They had been slighted by the Zoo for decades.  Their home was in desperate need of a make-over.  They sat in the same structures for almost thirty years.  Paint chipping on those structures and their night quarter building.  They had little Enrichment.  They were the longest living Residents of the Zoo and basically got nothing.  My heart broke for them everytime I saw them.  I grew up with these babies and they are special to me.  

In the later part of 2014, I was contacted by Filmmakers from Australia who grew up watching our Cobby Chimpanzee's television show.  After extensive talks, they decided to make a Documentry about his life and planned a trip to visit Cobby.   I didn't want to call attention to the Chimps in anyway, until after their visit, so I held off posting about their situtation.

By the New Year 2015,  after I published my posts, I got wind that the San Francisco Zoo Director Tanya Peterson was kicking the Chimps out, allegedly in favor of hoping to bring in Orangutans.  I was outraged and sickend that these babies who had lived at the Zoo their whole lives, nearing fifty years!, would be darted, crated and wake up in surroundings they were unfamiliar with.  They shouldn't have to, they gave the Zoo their Life, the Zoo needed to give them what they deserved.   

One Staffer asked me point blank, What are you going to do about it?  I said, "Everything I can, because these babies are not leaving on my watch!"  If it turned out they did, it would have not been without the loudest Roar I could make.  I'm crying thinking back to that moment and what it would have meant if they had to leave the only home they ever knew.   I felt they would not survive a change and journey like this.  One Staffer later thanked me, "You saved their Lives."

What I did:  

I posted all information to my blog
In addition to their prior situation, as I saw it from the prespective of a caring visitor, I learned that a factor in their current Chimpanzee social groups consist of varying ages, to maintain soical diversity and longevity.  In 2013, we lost our beloved Tallulah, leaving the group at three. With them all being seniors, would present a senario that have seen the group reducing to a single Chimpanzee and that would not have happened as they would have been removed at two, but the thought of a social Animal like Chimpanzees reduced to that, is heartbreaking.  Was this their fault?  Should they be punished for the governing managements of The San Francisco Zoological Society, San Francisco Recreation and Parks, and the City of San Francisco failing to give them them what they needed?  Hell No!

I tweeted, I flickr'd, I youtubed, I reached out to media.

One of my contacts, had a contact at KGO (SF local ABC affliliate)  and they were interested in the story.  I gave them all the information I had, and people to contact for interviews.  I was interviewed for the piece as well.  

The exposure of the News Story was invaluable to Saving Our Chimps.  I am the only Member of the Public that is a Voice for the San Francisco Zoo Animals.  I am a pretty loud voice, but the Chimps and I, needed this outreach to create public pressure.  

If you haven't, please review the post list and read what interests you for more information.  I put alot of energy and time into my blog posts and really worked hard on this crusade.This was just a short synopsis for those who are reading this for the first time.  If you only have time to read one post, the Timeline I did was praised by some as being concise.

The plight of Our Chimps at the Zoo illustrates a trend that continues there.  The San Francisco Zoo continues to have a habit of slighting current Residents in need, for bringing in new and shiny pets, before taking care at home.  Thankfully, I was able to be the foundation for Our Chimps finally getting what they deserve, a future with the Security of living out their lives in the only place they know as home, and that home bringing them, new Enrichments, new Environments, and new Friends.

Thank You for your interest in Our San Francisco Zoo Chimpanzees. 

Stay tuned for more update information over the next few days!  You won't want to miss it, I guarantee!

Links to both the News Stories.

February 24, 2015 - Original Story

February 26, 2015 - Chimps Saved!