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.


  1. Sounds like Tanya,is a very insecure and petty person!

    1. @Anonymous - Thank you for your comment. Yes, you have interpreted the character of our SFZoo Director correctly. Very insecure, in that she has allegedly and obviously spent too much time and energy over the years, concerned about what I might say, than having confidence in what she is doing there at the Zoo. ... Petty, indeed! Along with other Zoo Staff over the years, letting personal feelings about me get in the way with doing what's best for the Animals. If Zoo Management spent more time on running the Zoo properly than worrying about me, and what I may be saying or doing (none of which is against any rules), there would be less Animal Endangerment there.

  2. Thank you for bringing this issue up to the membership office, which is quite pitiful and scared to death of Tanya Peterson. Now, I have "deceased" on my membership too. (anyone reading this, I am the Lee mentioned). I havent been to the zoo in months, so why am I now banned from the zoo also, without an explanation. Where's my reason and refund which will I am sure be a lie. The zoo management is like that. Also, people should not be banned because they speak their mind. I am anxiously awaiting your response from the membership office. I hate that "deceased" is mentioned with my name also.

    1. @Andie - Thank you for your comment. It is important that you have a voice in this as well. Who knows what will happen. As you pointed out, you haven't been to the Zoo in months, as Michael has not either. I fact I think both of you have used your Membership only a couple times in the past year. It will be interesting to see if you both are affected as well? We know that the last time, only you were given a reason and I was affected in connection to that. At least that is what we were to assume, since the Zoo Management hides behind Director Peterson and upon numerous attempts I could not get a reason from her. ... I will correct one thing, as I assume this is very distressing to you and you confused your words, we are not banned (although I am sure this is something they hope to do in the future). I was told MY Membership was denied. Membership office has told me I can buy an admission ticket. Further inquiry or letter with refund will reveal the status of you and Michael. ... You are so right that Zoo Staff is scared of Tanya (Director Peterson) and will do anything she says, even if wrong or based on lies, just to avoid her wrath and keep their jobs. We saw it the last time, how most Staff treat us like criminals and were not nice to us based on her slanderous words. You are also right, no one should be banned or denied Membership because they speak their mind. As far as I know we are still living in a free speech Society. And any speaking of my mind I do is in connection to Animal Welfare. ... I too hate the use of the word "deceased". I know whatever others write has no connection to my life, but still what an awful thing to put forth and you know it was on the word of Director Peterson. Know one would have come up with that on their own. That is her way of branding our names as forever being out of the Zoo system. Shame on her. With that she has added to the list of her Karmic offenses.

  3. I know this a lot to stomach, and to have to endure. For all the information the zoo proclaims to foster public knowledge of importance of wildlife and to claim being counter culture to our greed and dominion over life, Zoo directions actions are indeed
    opposite what the zoo should be! Given this fact I would present are your material an mail a package to the AAZPA board to present your case. Clearly given the San Fransisco Zoo directors actions it is warranted to take action above her head. I would also present a material package to Parks Board San Franscisco, the Better Business Bureau, and the American Civial Liberties too! Excuse me but if she thinks she can make it I don't exist time to call in friends and remind her. Cause clearly she has lost her mind! All 3 of you guys are due lifetime memberships!

  4. @Junglejim ... Thank you for your comment. Very much appreciated. As you noted, it is alot to stomach and endure, and because I've done this once before and am tired of dealing with bullshit, I have slacked in contacting those above her. Last time I was on it right away, but this BS grows tiresome. That said, doing so has been on my to do list and will get done! Thank you for the suggestions of BBB and ACL, will add them to the contact list. Thank you for your support and encouragement. Cheers Kim


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