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   http://savesfzoochimps.blogspot.com/
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.
http://savesfzoochimps.blogspot.com/2015/07/san-francisco-zoo-chimpanzee-timeline.html

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! 




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