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?   

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