Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy New Year 2013!

I have noticed some recent activity on this blog 
even though I haven't posted in sometime.   
Thank you to all who visit and 
have an interest in reading what I've written.

Please visit my blog where I post most often.  
This is where you will find all my current thoughts 
and musings about the San Francisco Zoo.

http://iamnotananteater.blogspot.com/

Cheers!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

September 6, 2012 - News Article, New for Today

I haven't posted to this blog for months.  After the passing of Andean Bear Wishbone, I made a final post to my blog dedicated to trying to get him some grass for his home, a soft surface to live on.  projectgetwishbonegrass.blogspot.com

I had since been posting my visit experiences and views on my main blog iamnotananteater.blogspot.com 

After the recent passing of my beloved friend Goober (Bairds Tapir)  I knew I didn't want to be involved with San Francisco Zoo BS any longer.  I know things are never going to change under the current administration, regardless of all the fluff they put out patting themselves on the back.  ...  I wrote a draft for a finale post, but was going to post it after I honored Goober with a RIP post, which I still have not been able to do.

I post today as this article just came via a google news alert for "sfzoo"

It basically goes over all the same plans the Zoo has for the future, which in my opinion (as I've posted about over and over) all in complete disregard for the Animals already living there.  ... Lending to why I think its futile to continue trying to make a difference there via my blogs.  Yes, I have seen changes that reflect things I've posted about, but I'm exhausted that over all not many people, and certainly not those in authority at the Zoo seem to embrace that a Zoo is an Animal Park.   The Animals should be the priority.

This all said, the reason I'm making this post is because the article writer included a paragraph that quotes me and links this blog.  

"So, new animals and humans, get bright, shiny, new and modern areas, while current animals continue to live status quo. I personally can not imagine being someone of authority in the Zoological Society and being able to sleep at night knowing I was forging ahead with plans that did not include helping the animals that already live there, before anything else," wrote a female blogger who goes by the name leo811 at the site http://sanfranciscozoofails.blogspot.com/.

I was going to comment on the actual article page, but it forces you to sign into Facebook, and then links your FB, which I don't think is relevant to my blog and public Zoo views.

I will say that, Animal Care VP David Bocian who is the subject of this article, has been at the Zoo well over a year, and for someone being touted as caring about the Animals, how could he (along with Director Tanya Peterson, Curators Corinne MacDonald and Debra Marrin, as well members of the San Francisco Zoological Society and anyone else who holds authority there) let Wishbone live on concrete with known back/bone/joint issues, letting him to eventually die from those issues?   

We all know (and if you don't, check my links and blog archive for related posts)  what I think about this and the future plans the Zoo has.  Anyone working in an Animal facility should want to take care at home before building new areas and bringing in new animals.  Doing anything else is disgusting.

As always, please expand the comments as they do provide extra information :)

Apologies once again I don't know why some parts post highlighted.  


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

SFZOO Director Makes Horrible "DRAG" Comment in Regards to Passing of Owl.


The disrespect for the Animals who live at the San Francisco Zoo, never stops, and what I read yesterday has to be the worst in regard to what is put forth in print.  The Public Relations Department continually issues untrue and disrespectful press releases, but Director Peterson apparently has no couth either.  

Director Peterson writes a "Director's Bulletin"  which is posted to the Zoo's website.   In a recent entry posted 4.27.12,  in reference to recently passed 50 year old Great Horned Owl King Richard, she wrote,  "..mid-way through her life, on the way back from a ZooMobile presentation, “he” laid an egg. Her drag career over, Richie regularly laid unfertile eggs..."   DRAG career!! Are you kidding me?!  To me, making a remark like that is completely disrespectful.  There has been alot of horrible statements come out of this place, but this is the worst.  Its just awful and heartbreaking to the memory of this lovely lady who brought decades of joy to Zoo visitors.  But, that seems to be how the San Francisco Zoo rolls under this management.

You can read the full Bull here:


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Do We Really Need A New Playground? NO!

The sting of Wishbone's death is still painful.  It hurts even more when I see stuff like this.  When I say stuff" I directly mean the hard proof of money being spent to create new areas in the Zoo, when Animals who live there, especially Wishbone, are living in exhibits that could use upgrading.  A majority of the Animals have  decent homes, but there are some that need upgrading, and in Wishbone's case, could have used upgrading decades ago and everyday since then. 

The Zoo Director and Management Staff do not fundraise for upgrading, they fundraise for new areas, new Animals.  I have written in prior posts here and on my Wishbone blog (projectgetwishbonegrass.blogspot.com)  about the Zoo's Master Plan that includes a new North American area that will bring in new Animals and about the new Playgrounds for humans.   So, new Animals and humans, get bright , shiny, new and modern areas, while current Animals continue to live status quo.   

I personally can not imagine being someone of authority in the Zoological Society and being able to sleep at night knowing I was forging ahead with plans that did not include helping the Animals that already live there, before anything else.  Leaving an Animal like Wishbone, (with known back issues) living exclusively on concrete, pounding his bones with every step he takes, is unconscionable at the very least.  ... Anyone who thinks this is okay, does not care about Animals and has no business running a Zoo or visiting one.

So, here we are, two weeks after the death of an Animal that was forced to live exclusively on concrete, I am force fed this display of the new children's Playground, newly on display in the Lion House.   The sight of it disgusts me.  There is absolutely no need for money to be spent this way.  The Playground already there is sufficient.  There is enough playground for the amount of playing that should be done at the Zoo.  This is an Animal Park, not Great America.  AND the ironic thing is that there is an artic looking area that is more natural than the Polar Bears actual living space!
  




The current playground.  Its sufficient.  Its a playground!
As well there is a huge grassy area behind it.
More grass than an Animal living there has, that's for sure!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

RIP Wishbone - SFZOO Bear Dies After Years Of Living On Concrete

please see my tribute video to this day-dreaming boy XO

Please read my final post (and expand the comments for additional info) on the blog that was dedicated to bringing attention to the issue that this precious Bear needed and deserved to have a bit of landscaping to the surface of his home.

http://projectgetwishbonegrass.blogspot.com/2012/03/rip-wishbone-sfzoo-bear-dies-after.html

Who's fault it is this never happened, all the attempts I made to help, its all there.  

Thank you.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What is wrong with San Francisco Zoo PR Staff?

This is a screen-cap from the Black Rhino Studbook. 
Official documentation on our Black Rhino's history.

Yesterday I was texted the news that yet another precious Zoo friend had passed away.  RIP Mashaki/Gene. This is the third one in five weeks.  RIP Tunya.  RIP Bubsy.  I have yet to post anything regarding these deaths, as well another Zoo friend Wishbone is fighting for his life (please pray for him), as he is hopefully going to recover from a recent back injury.    I will actually refrain from making too many comments regarding the actual deaths.  I am heartbroken at these losses, for myself and those who loved these Animals, especially their Keepers who I know form incredible bonds with the Animals in their care.

When I heard the news about Gene, so many things that I've had in draft form, were compounded once I actually read the reports from the Zoo regarding what happened to him.  The frustration vented here in this post is not concentrated on "what" happened, but "what was reported. ... I will say this as I was shocked by his death and that of Bubsy, both not considered old by standards I've read.  I sometimes fear Animal deaths get reported by simply stating "old age" related issues.  I think the Zoological Society or another governing branch should mandate outside Necropsies be performed.   I have read other Zoo's do this, I think at this point given the erroneous information that comes out of the Zoo, this would be a good checks and balance to institute.

The first thing I was directed to by a friend was the Zoo's post on their Facebook, in which they say, “Gene,” a gentle and friendly black rhinoceros, died yesterday at the age of 41..." ... Gene was not 41. ... I then I read the sfgate.com article, which must have contained information put out by the Zoo's PR and there were no correct biographical facts.  Most of what was reported was part of the Female Black Rhino Elly's bio.  

Some might wonder why this is so bothersome to me and that is because I'm damn tired of not many people (outside Keeper level) who work at the Zoo knowing anything about the Animals who live there and for whom they have jobs because of.  There is no respect.  Its disgusting and ignorant.  I love these Animals, it hurts me.

Gene, deserved to have a proper obituary, that contained the history of his life. ... The San Francisco Zoo male Black Rhino, Gene.  Born at the San Diego Wild Animal Park, July 12, 1987 and given the name Mashaki.  He came to the San Francisco Zoo in 1994.  He was 24 years old.

Why is it the Zoo put out a press release with the wrong information on it?   Yes they are notorious for getting stuff wrong and posting disrespectful words about the Animals.  Just this week, they posted to both their Facebook and Twitter accounts the wrong ages of  both their Polar Bears, as well there is a new sign on the Tiger exhibit window with the wrong age of the Tiger they are referring to.  What gives?  Do they not have a copy of their own Animal List?  More important is there no file kept on each Animal that lives there?  Good grief, I don't work there, but when I became endeared to the Animals, I did my research to learn about them.  That research I initially posted on my first blog,  gooberssfzoofriends.blogspot.com  I invite the Zoo Staff responsible for these errors to read my blog and learn something about the Animals you get paid to know about.  Isn't it part of the Zoo's Mission to educate?  To educate or be educated, that is the question.

The previous paragraph is based on the assumption that they release information in error, but wonder if in some cases its not in error?  I know for a fact that Management tailors information to form untruths.  I myself was a victim of that, so there is no denying it on their part.  I hate to assume theories but I have seen stuff that I don't make public and I wonder if things aren't sometimes worded in ways to deflect from other errors.  If errors as simple as not knowing an Animals documented history can be made, what other errors are being made?

UPDATE: 3.1.12  -  The past few days all the news feeds coming through with the error laden press released information was making me sick.  BUT today for some reason I clicked on one and the lead in was such:
Note:  Zoo Officials initially said Gene was 41.  They have since clarified that he was 24.  

Wonder where they got that information?    Good grief, why is it I'm not running the Zoo? Oh wait, it appears I secretly am.


I'd like to know if they gave a reason for the error <cough>  (sorry I don't mean to be snarky but this was a HUGE fumble on their part) and where they issued this clairification.

The article can be viewed here:
http://sfappeal.com/news/2012/02/sf-zoo-mourns-gene-the-rhino.php



UPDATE:  3.5.12 I'm sorry to be so picky, but I just need stuff to make sense, ... literally "add" up.  Regardless that the Zoo's official Animal List shows Orkney's Birthday (estimate) as June 1, 1962, I have always gone by the sign outside his enclosure (pictured).

Zoo Press Release has his age at 42 (which makes sense), and living at the Zoo for 32 years.  If he came to the Zoo at approx. One year old, that would be 41 years that the Zoo was his home.  I know I went to school in the San Francisco School District, but basic math I can do!

Miss you Orkney.  Yesterday was a tough visit not having you there to greet me :(

After seeing one article the showed six photos of Gene and only three were actually him, I made some Memorial video tributes for my Zoo friends.  I have so many photos of them I wanted to not only share them, but do something to celebrate their life.


RIP Tunya, Bubsy, Gene and Orkney XO.




Saturday, January 7, 2012

Bison Paddock Fence - Outrageous and Concerning CONTAINS UPDATE 1.26.12

In light of the tragic event less than 72 hours ago when a baby Bison living in Golden Gate Park's Bison Paddock died, I am concerned the fencing there is still not secure enough to keep further animal intruders out.

video

shorter version showing just where my foot fits under the fence here: 



(wide angle shows coyote sign (R) and across path perimeter paddock fence (L)

Last night (Thursday) ended with me wondering why, in all the comments on the sfgate.com article regarding the death of the baby Bison, was there only one person (who I quoted in my last post) who brought up the situation with the fence?  One!  Over 300 others seem to exclusively blame the Dog walker, while the Zoo spokesperson Lora LaMarca is quoted saying, "Zoo Officials are not blaming "anything" or "anyone" for the Bison's death."  

Well, I'm blaming the City of San Francisco Park and Recreation Department.

This morning (Friday) started with me compelled to investigate the fence situation.  The situation being, why, was this fence so easily breach-able?  Yes, the the Dog walker by being in violation of the Law, by having the Dog off leash in an leashed area, allowing the Dog to gain entrance into the Bison Paddock, was the catalyst in this tragedy.  Is the Dog walker to blame?  Most certainly!  Should she be fined and punished?  Most certainly!  Is she the only party responsible?  I say no!

I went out to the Bison Paddock today and walked the entire accessible perimeter, about three of the four sides. ... Fencing is about 8 feet tall, the bottom which borders the ground of mostly loose dirt on 3 of the four sides, is the bar across the bottom (noticeable in the photos).  There is no fencing into the dirt. 


After returning home and thinking no underground fencing was insane, I heard from a source that there has been instances at Zoo's, one in particular, where Coyote's are a problem in the area and that Zoo had to reinforce its perimeter fence by putting several feet of mesh below ground.


As a Richmond District native, I have been a visitor to the Bison Paddock my whole life.  My observations are in hindsight to this event, but I am not the person trained and paid (responsible) to think of these solutions as a preventative.   There were workers out there daily for a couple months prior to these babies arriving, building and readying the Paddock for them to live (presumably) safely in.   The fence as is, keeps the animals in. Which I think unfortunately when holding animals in captivity, those in charge mostly only think of keeping them in.  That fence  may be sufficient where there are no predator threats, but there obviously are here, so why were there no precautions to keep intruder animals out?


Both the Park and Rec and the Zoo know there are Coyotes that roam the area.  They also know there is an off leash Dog area (that reported measured at 50 ft.).  They also know that Dog owners do not keep their Dogs on leashes.  Canines dig, a fence that is breach-able in that way, is not secure.

In my post last night, I questioned who is responsible for making sure this fence is secure.  Today I have an answer from two sources.  Regarding the Golden Gate Park Bison Paddock, it is the responsibility of the San Francisco Zoo Animal Staff to care and feed the Bison & it is the responsibility of the San Francisco Park and Recreation Department to maintain the property.  


Because of that, maybe this post is not directly related to a SFZOO FAIL, but since it is related and its sister post is previous, I am posting here.  ... Although, where as I foremost blame the Park and Rec, I do believe as a daily care-giver for these Animals, the Zoo Staff should be held in some way responsible for the status of the fence.  They are there daily and should walk the perimeter and check for breaches and report them.  That said, the Park Staff should also make a stop there daily to do the same.  Its a hand in hand responsibility.

As seen in the video I have uploaded here, I have documented fence FAILS!  I found 36 points of breach.  8 of which were flimsy patched, leaving 28 areas below the fence that were clear of dirt to the other side.  14 of which I could fit my foot under, one if I laid down I could fit up to my thigh into the animal side of the enclosure!

In some spots there are actual holes that appear to have been dig sites, some as deep as about 7 inches.  These sites had flimsy patch-ups using materials like, leaves, pine cones, branches, stumps, cracked concrete, ect.  

This is outrageous!  Just 48 hours after this little Bison dies because an intruder animal breached the fence that should have been secure, there are areas where the crime can be repeated!  

The Park and Rec has signs posted through out the Park stating warnings of the presence of Coyotes.  There is one at the off leash Dog area across the path from the Bison Paddock.   

Prior to bringing these innocent baby Bison here, did the Park and Rec not think that Coyote's could breach this fence, since there is no underground mesh to prevent digging?   

After a Dog either dug itself an entrance or used an already started dig site, (by another Dog or Coyote), causing the death of one of these precious animals, did the Park and Rec not think that the fence would be breach-able to yet another Canine?

For me, it seems like common sense.  

That said, while I was out there, there was a guy walking his Dog off leash.  The Dog took a crap less than two feet from the Bison fence.  

Why, especially in the wake of this event and with so much focus on the Dog walker, was there no Police sitting out there looking for offenders to cite not only because its the Law, but to send a message to the people like the one I saw (I actually saw a few in the Park itself)?

Why, hasn't anyone from the media investigated the fence angle as I have?

Is this City waiting for another tragedy?


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This evening I read in one news article, that "Park officials said they plan to investigate how the dog got into the enclosure."    Maybe they will read this blog and find out just how, because one would have to assume that not one Park Official has walked the perimeter, because its pretty obvious just how this happened.

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Note that I have sent the link to the youtube video version, via Twitter to the Park and Rec, Zoo, City Officials and media sources.  I did not send this link as the post I made Thursday night went out with this url.  Also, providing the abbreviated version is enough.  If anyone truly cares they will follow the link to this site.  


The purpose of my blogging is to be a public voice to bring attention to dismissed matters of importance.  I've done that and now its up to the Officials in the matter to keep these animals safe.


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UPDATE Wednesday January 11, 2012


Its been exactly one week since this tragedy, and the fence had the same security issues that I documented last Friday. Additionally I also saw a new dig site the was about 16 inches across. ... I have heard nothing in response to the information I have posted, which was sent to many sources in city government and media.  I'm disappointed at the continued ignorance and negligence.  ... That said, I have two questions for the San Francisco Park and Rec.


Why are these animals still without a properly secure fence?


Are you waiting for another incident?


There should also be signage going up around the three sides that are closest to the off leash Dog area, as well at least one on the JFK Drive side.  These signs should be on the fence every 25 feet or so, as well at least one placed at the entrance to the Dog area.  Signs ideally should read, No dogs off leash except in corralled area.  No Dogs within 10 feet of fencing.


UPDATE 1.14.12  Today I saw the babies have been added into the main yard with the existing three ladies.  The sun was setting and the babies were running with so much excitement and joy!  It was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.  I just hope they stay safe and life a long life with such happiness!   You can view my video here:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_0iOBmklT0


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UPDATE 1.26.12  Its been two weeks since my last update.   I did walk the perimeter last week, and yesterday as well.  Wednesday's mark the weekly point of when this tragedy happened.  


There are still all the breach-able areas in the fence.  I just don't understand how this is not a concern to the Park and Rec or the SFZoo Staff.  To me, its a dire issue.  ... There are a few spots in the fence where it looks like fresh dirt /pinecones were used to fill-in dig holes. Lame! Hello LAME!  This is not a fix to the problem.  


There are now a few signs on the back-side of the fence that runs parallel to the Dog run area, as well one (interesting how I suggested at least one - see above) on the JFK Drive side, that state its an on leash area for Dogs.  


Despite posting a few signs, there needs to be action taken to add fencing below ground around the perimeter.  People can and will ignore signs.  People and Predators can't easily ignore more secure barriers.  


If you think this is insane and irresponsible, please contact the Park and Rec.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Tragic - Baby Bison Killed in Golden Gate Park

I am heartbroken and frustrated that once again there is an issue with safety regarding the Animals managed by the San Francisco Zoo, in association with the San Francisco Park and Recreation.

Whether its your first time reading one of my blog posts or you have before, you know or have noticed that one of my main issues with Zoo FAILS lies within Security.  

The event that happened in the past 48 hours, may not be directly related to the actual Security personnel, but Security = Safety and Safety is THE issue here.

Sadly I woke today to hear about the death of one of the Park's new baby Bison. In case you aren't familiar, the Golden Gate Park has a Buffalo Paddock which has housed American Bison for over a hundred years.  With the existing herd reducing due to old age, seven calves approimately six months old were added to the herd recently.  

They have been kept in a separate area from the older females, first for quarantine purposes, and now I believe until they are introduced.

I didn't have the complete facts at first, only what was relayed to me by a friend who saw it on the KTVU morning news.  I googled it and came up empty.  So, I went to the Park hoping someone would be there to fill me in.  NBC Bay Area was there and I spoke to reporter Joe Rosato, who gave me the specifics that were included in the Zoo's official Press Release, which by the way was the only form of comment on the story they were making.

I know media stories are out there now, but as a reference point for my post I will relay what I was told were the facts.  An off leash Dog (allegedly that of a Dog walker) had gotten under the fencing and scared one of the Bison into the electric fence, causing the animal to break three ribs (and I assume there was some injury from the electric fence).  The animal was treated, but later died from those injuries.

There are so many things that are wrong with how and why this happened, but all can be reduced to incompetence, lack of sense and poor management, both of the San Francisco Zoo and the San Francisco Park and Rec.

The main problem with the facts is that the fence was breach-able.  Who is to blame?  The worker's 
who worked on the fencing in preparation for  the arrival of the new Bison?  The Park and Rec who oversee the Park?  The San Francisco Zoo ( I would assume Hoofstock ) Staff whose care these animals are in?  Whose negligence was it to not check that this fence was secure?  Whose was it to not re-check it?  

It should not be that easy for a first time attempt by a lose intruder animal to dig its way into the area.  That fence should have been deep into the ground.  It is the Zoo and the Park and Rec Dept. responcibility to keep these animals safe, especially knowing that there has been an intrusion of Coyote incidents within the Park.  One would think that alone would be a concern for not only the existing residents, but the new ones being brought in.  

The whole event and facts of how this happened sicken me.

I continually blog about Security issues at the Zoo, how there is not enough signage regarding behavior towards the animals, as well there is no real reprimand or repercussion put upon the offenders.  This issue spills over to the Park, where I witness daily, not only dogs off leash, but visitors tormenting the animals.  

I have other blog posts regrading Zoo issues that I have in draft form, so I want to stick to this Park issue right now and that of the dog off leash.  

Yes, the fence should have been secure, but that does not let the person who had the dog off leash off the hook.  This person is who I first blame as they are the catalyst for this event.  I come across people with their dogs off leash daily.  My problem is, not only for their own safety is them being leashed the right thing, dogs run and terrorize the other wildlife that lives in the Park.  You would think that Dog owners would respect all animals, that is not the case unfortunately.  As well some seem to really have an attitude 
about it.  For one, in areas other than the off leash sites, Dogs are legally required to be leashed.  That said, I have seen people use the lakes where Ducks live to throw objects in and let their dogs retrieve them.  Run up to the Ducks (including babies) and scare them into the water. Chase Squirrels up trees, with a reasoning given to me once as "They need the exercise".  

Disgusting.  

So now, look what's happened because of someone who thinks its unnecessary to leash their Dog, and in this case Dogs (in their care).  They should be ashamed. The Park and Rec should also be ashamed as they are responsible for not making it more public by way of in Park signage and public outreach (repeated use of Twitter and Facebook are options) to drill in the guidelines of visitor behavior to the Park going public.  I was recently told by a San Francisco Police Officer whose beat is Golden Gate Park, that it is the Park and Rec who doesn't aesthetically not "like" signage and refuses to post more.  Part of the signage they refuse to post is also better street names within the Park.  This Officer said that there have been times when he needs additional Officers and he has no way to give them his exact location.

This problem of more signage and outreach is also a MAJOR problem at the Zoo.  Maybe this is another off shoot of a Park and Rec rule?  In either case, both City facilities where wildlife live need to start taking a more proactive approach to try and deter misbehavior towards these precious animals.   AND send a message to the public that harassment of these animals will not be tolerated.  There is a law to back this up, yet neither of these wildlife facilities make use of it.

That said, the same Managements need to provide better ways to keep the animals in their care safe.

This week alone, a Squirrel Monkey was stolen from the Zoo with questionable facts surrounding it.  There was also the unreported theft of a Rabbit and a Parrot from the Children's Zoo within the SFZoo, about eight weeks ago.  Now this tragedy.

When will these places be run with better sense for the sake of these animals? 

RIP precious little Bison girl.


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I have been reading the comments on sfgate.com article pertaining to this story.  I try not to but I get sucked into it almost every time.  There are several posters that say they walk their dogs in that area (back, near the dog park) and they have seen the space in the fence!!!  SO if these alleged remarks are true (and I may just take a walk out there tomorrow and see), WHY was this not fixed prior to bringing these poor little girls here?

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Still knee deep in those comments, but finally someone who gets the bigger picture, so I'm posting it so the Zoo/Park and Rec can see its not brain surgery to make sure Animals in their care can stay safe.  These suggestions and ones I've already been nagging about, are much needed.  If measures like this were in place, this tragedy might not have happened.  Same goes for the Banana Sam, Rabbit/Parrot abduction.


" I agree with the comments about the dog but the city now is put on notice, The paddocks for the buffalo (who ever heard of Bison Bill?)need inexpensive surveillance cameras so that the public can be given a decent explanation with proof when this happens and second, the paddocks need to have volunteers come in and dig in chicken wire a foot or two down around them and there should be an alarm system that alerts the police when anyone enters the paddocks. These are hard times and the last thing we want to read about is animal cruelty. And now the city is on notice to make sure that it doesn't happen again and if it does we have surveillence tapes of everyone involved."

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Well I have finished reading all the comments posted on sfgate.com article, as well a couple other news articles.  Its curious to me how very little is said about responsibility of the gate status.


Theft of Zoo Squirrel Monkey

This story out of the San Francisco Zoo is so curious, I'm not sure what the actual truth will turn out being.

Everyone knows I have major problems with the Zoo's Security System in the way that there are not enough Staffed and out patrolling, nor do they take what I consider appropriate action toward visitors who misbehave.  I am not sure either of those issues played a hand directly in the theft of Banana Sam.

Let me note now that there was an unreported event, I'd say about eight weeks ago that involved the theft from the Children's Zoo of a Rabbit and a Parrot.  Both incidents had the same MO, which had the perimeter gate locks snapped open with a bolt cutter type instrument.   SO knowing that, I had to question to myself and my Zoo going cohorts, how can this happen again AND who would do such a thing?   They batted around theories of disgruntled ex-interns in regards to the CZ incident and in regards to this most recent monkey incident, none of us even has an assumption to what the truth actually is.  What its not is that someone just happened to be walking in Stern Grove and saw Banana Sam in a tree in the dark!  and he jumped into a backpack.  ... I am glad that the Police now see the story as ridiculous and is now investigating.

Back to the San Francisco Zoo Security System facts.  There has been only one Guard on patrol, prior to the Monkey theft.  There are very few cameras on premises, I don't know exactly where they are, except for two I've seen, one at the Gate House (where they take the tickets) and the other at a corner of Big Cat Grotto A.  I also don't know if there are any monitoring the perimeters.  One would hope so.   This is something very lacking.  Lacking as well is an outdoor lighting system.  If there was ever an ER there at night there is no way to light up the place.  Finally, in my opinion based on actions I've seen by Visitors that goes unpunished (reprimand and thrown out), I think the Zoo sends a message that they will tolerate misbehavior.  That hurts me.  I care about the Animals.  I continually blog for better Management in many way, for their well being.  Having crimes against them continually perpetrated because of lack of (read back blogs for all my suggestions) is very frustrating and heart breaking.

Would any of the things I've noted here have prevented this theft?  Who knows.  I would hope better instilled and installed precautions and deterrents would help.  Humans are not a nice bunch for the most part.  

I read a news article that is lengthy, but goes to show, how insensitive humans are.  These are the same humans that visit the Zoo.   ... The humans that make-up phony Twitter accounts, Tweet out stupid, insensitive one liners, just a bunch of clowns who think they are funny at the expense of poor innocent animals.  It makes me sick.


I will also lastly note on the subject of Twitter and the Zoo's lack of proactive intolerance of the kinds of people who visit the Zoo, I have all SFZOO keyworded tweets on RSS feed.  Often there are people who tweet out that they are going to come to the Zoo and do harm to the animals.  I ask, why doesn't the Zoo's IT guy find out who these people are, and tell them to stay the hell home!  Out them for the fools they are and show that the Zoo will not tolerate such terrorism, whether a joke or not.  Who are they afraid of offending?


Thursday, December 15, 2011

one stop synop to all my zoo related sites

i have created a new blog that contains the information below, which is a one stop synop to all my zoo related sites. the direct url is http://mysanfranciscozooexperience.blogspot.com/

i am posting the information here in this post, as i've been told the way the address is linking isn't consistently working. I'm posting here as a back up so those who are interested in the san francisco zoo animals plus ;) will be able to access the blog/site of interest.

thankx for visiting! cheers!

if you've visited any of my other blogs over the past couple years, you know i have alot to say! most of it good, some of it not. all of it in the name of my past passion for the zoo and my forever passion for the animals who call it home.

as a native san franciscan, the sfzoo is a place i've visited all my life. as a young adult until earlier this year, i was a member. in 2008 i lost my kitty of 20 years and found some comfort from my tremendous grief in my zoo visits, which became several times a week. from those frequent visits i became endeared to the animals who live there. i learned more about them in several ways. i read every article in the sfgate.com archive, i read all the minutes from the past ten years of the joint zoo committee monthly meetings and i engaged keepers in conversation.

i wanted to share what i was learning, so i started my first blog and named it after my precious zoo friend, goober.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
june 20, 2009 - march 20, 2011
goobers sfzoo friends
gooberssfzoofriends.blogspot.com

october 17, 2009 - ongoing
youtube.com/user/leo811sf

the most zoo friend video's anywhere! i try to upload clips after each visit :)

january 16, 2010 - august 2011
goobers sfzoo friends photo site
gooberssfzoofriends.shutterfly.com

i started this photo site as a supplement to the goober blog. i had so many great captures of the zoo friends that didn't fit on the blog and i wanted to share them. i stopped updating this recently, but there are 99 photo albums, with thousands of great photos of all the friends!

august 6, 2010 - march 20, 2011
the big cat nip!
thebigcatnip.blogspot.com

for most of 2010, my friend lee and i were lucky to have the opportunity to make enrichment toys for the big cats and on occasion the bears. it was an incredible experience that provided priceless memories for us, the keepers, the visitors and most importantly the animals! for many months, the big cats had super fun, with tons of toys every saturday! see all the fun here!

november 29,2010
padang's 21!
http://tigerbirthday.blogspot.com/

almost one year ago, female sumatran tiger padang celebrated her milestone birthday when she turned 21 years old! she is believed to be the oldest living tiger of any species in a north american zoo. we wanted her to have a big celebration, so we went all out, so her and all her big cat neighbors could have a birthday blast! read about padang and see some photos here :)

november 29, 2010
padang's party photo site
http://padangsparty.shutterfly.com

see all the photos of padang and all her friends at the party here!

january 28, 2011
ulu turns 30!
bearbirthdays.blogspot.com

female polar bear ulu, also celebrated a milestone birthday in 2010, when she turned 30! making her believed to be the oldest female polar bear living in a north american zoo! with all the bears celebrating birthdays in consecutive months, we asked if we could have a collective bear party in november. so we made toys for all, andean bear wishbone turned 24 on october 25th, polar bear pike turned 28 on november 25th, ulu turned 30 on december 25th and the grizzly sisters kiona and kachina turned 8 on january 1st. there was zoo drama and the bear party didn't happen until january 22nd. no worries as the bears don't care what day it is as long as there's toys! read about there special celebration here, and visit the gooberssfzoo photo site and view each bears photo album from the party!

march 4, 2011 - ongoing
san francisco zoo crime
sanfranciscozoocrime.blogspot.com

sadly this blog marked the begining of my negative posting about the zoo. please note that when i say "zoo" i mean zoo management. after all the positive stuff my friend and i did for the zoo, management turned on us and spread untruths. a week after we reported someone over the barrier at the bear grotto, we both had our memberships revoked. if you want the play by play of this ongoing crime drama, this blog is the place to get it. i will make one more post to this blog at the end of this week.

april 25, 2011 - ongoing
project get wishbone grass
projectgetwishbonegrass.blogspot.com

prior to having my membership revoked i began privately seeking out how i could help get this poor bear some grass. after my membership was revoked i decided to make my crusade public. wishbone lives exclusively on concrete and has for years. this is not only unnatural, its inhumane and disrespectful. i have done alot of outreach and online networking to try and nudge the zoo, but i guess they just don't care. its an outrageous disgrace. you can read about sweet wishy, his plight and my crusade on his behalf on this blog.

may 22, 2011 - ongoing
san francisco zoo FAILS
sanfranciscozoofails.blogspot.com

another post revoke blog. there are many things not right at the zoo. they are all fixable. most were avoidable in the first place, at least that is how it appears to me. i used to pass these observations, suggestions and such on to the director, that was until she took away my membership based on lies. so i started publicly calling out all the things i think are a problem. it kinda bogs me down to do so. believe me, i was much happier when i was just writing the happy goober blog, but times have changed and things just aren't right and they should be. the zoo is not all that it can be, and it should step it up for the sake of the animals. i am trying to taper this blog off and just combine all my observations into one blog. so if you're curious about what i think is just not right at the sfzoo, this is the blog to read.

coming soon
i am not an anteater!
iamnotananteater.blogspot.com

i hope for this to be my only blog as of 2012. i plan to share my visit as i see it. that said, it will be many things. photos and notations about the wonderful zoo friends. curious and ridiculous zoo issues. disturbing and evil visitor behavior. ... fyi its goober that is not an anteater! lol! every visit, there i stand with my bairds tapir friend and someone comes by and calls him an anteater! ???

if you've visited any of my other blogs over the past couple years, you know i have alot to say! most of it good, some of it not. all of it in the name of my past passion for the zoo and my forever passion for the animals who call it home.

as a native san franciscan, the sfzoo is a place i've visited all my life. as a young adult until earlier this year, i was a member. in 2008 i lost my kitty of 20 years and found some comfort from my tremendous grief in my zoo visits, which became several times a week. from those frequent visits i became endeared to the animals who live there. i learned more about them in several ways. i read every article in the sfgate.com archive, i read all the minutes from the past ten years of the joint zoo committee monthly meetings and i engaged keepers in conversation.

i wanted to share what i was learning, so i started my first blog and named it after my precious zoo friend, goober.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
june 20, 2009 - march 20, 2011
goobers sfzoo friends
gooberssfzoofriends.blogspot.com

october 17, 2009 - ongoing
youtube.com/user/leo811sf

the most zoo friend video's anywhere! i try to upload clips after each visit :)

january 16, 2010 - august 2011
goobers sfzoo friends photo site
gooberssfzoofriends.shutterfly.com

i started this photo site as a supplement to the goober blog. i had so many great captures of the zoo friends that didn't fit on the blog and i wanted to share them. i stopped updating this recently, but there are 99 photo albums, with thousands of great photos of all the friends!

august 6, 2010 - march 20, 2011
the big cat nip!
thebigcatnip.blogspot.com

for most of 2010, my friend lee and i were lucky to have the opportunity to make enrichment toys for the big cats and on occasion the bears. it was an incredible experience that provided priceless memories for us, the keepers, the visitors and most importantly the animals! for many months, the big cats had super fun, with tons of toys every saturday! see all the fun here!

november 29,2010
padang's 21!
http://tigerbirthday.blogspot.com/

almost one year ago, female sumatran tiger padang celebrated her milestone birthday when she turned 21 years old! she is believed to be the oldest living tiger of any species in a north american zoo. we wanted her to have a big celebration, so we went all out, so her and all her big cat neighbors could have a birthday blast! read about padang and see some photos here :)

november 29, 2010
padang's party photo site
http://padangsparty.shutterfly.com

see all the photos of padang and all her friends at the party here!

january 28, 2011
ulu turns 30!
bearbirthdays.blogspot.com

female polar bear ulu, also celebrated a milestone birthday in 2010, when she turned 30! making her believed to be the oldest female polar bear living in a north american zoo! with all the bears celebrating birthdays in consecutive months, we asked if we could have a collective bear party in november. so we made toys for all, andean bear wishbone turned 24 on october 25th, polar bear pike turned 28 on november 25th, ulu turned 30 on december 25th and the grizzly sisters kiona and kachina turned 8 on january 1st. there was zoo drama and the bear party didn't happen until january 22nd. no worries as the bears don't care what day it is as long as there's toys! read about there special celebration here, and visit the gooberssfzoo photo site and view each bears photo album from the party!

march 4, 2011 - ongoing
san francisco zoo crime
sanfranciscozoocrime.blogspot.com

sadly this blog marked the begining of my negative posting about the zoo. please note that when i say "zoo" i mean zoo management. after all the positive stuff my friend and i did for the zoo, management turned on us and spread untruths. a week after we reported someone over the barrier at the bear grotto, we both had our memberships revoked. if you want the play by play of this ongoing crime drama, this blog is the place to get it. i will make one more post to this blog at the end of this week.

april 25, 2011 - ongoing
project get wishbone grass
projectgetwishbonegrass.blogspot.com

prior to having my membership revoked i began privately seeking out how i could help get this poor bear some grass. after my membership was revoked i decided to make my crusade public. wishbone lives exclusively on concrete and has for years. this is not only unnatural, its inhumane and disrespectful. i have done alot of outreach and online networking to try and nudge the zoo, but i guess they just don't care. its an outrageous disgrace. you can read about sweet wishy, his plight and my crusade on his behalf on this blog.

may 22, 2011 - ongoing
san francisco zoo FAILS
sanfranciscozoofails.blogspot.com

another post revoke blog. there are many things not right at the zoo. they are all fixable. most were avoidable in the first place, at least that is how it appears to me. i used to pass these observations, suggestions and such on to the director, that was until she took away my membership based on lies. so i started publicly calling out all the things i think are a problem. it kinda bogs me down to do so. believe me, i was much happier when i was just writing the happy goober blog, but times have changed and things just aren't right and they should be. the zoo is not all that it can be, and it should step it up for the sake of the animals. i am trying to taper this blog off and just combine all my observations into one blog. so if you're curious about what i think is just not right at the sfzoo, this is the blog to read.

coming soon
i am not an anteater!
iamnotananteater.blogspot.com

i hope for this to be my only blog as of 2012. i plan to share my visit as i see it. that said, it will be many things. photos and notations about the wonderful zoo friends. curious and ridiculous zoo issues. disturbing and evil visitor behavior. ... fyi its goober that is not an anteater! lol! every visit, there i stand with my bairds tapir friend and someone comes by and calls him an anteater! ???

What's Wrong at the SFZOO aka Stupid Things I See and Hear

I feel ya Cobster!

What's Wrong at the San Francisco Zoo.

That's right, its not a question.

I've started a new blog so I have a place to post about my visits after each one. Photos and bits about the precious Animals who live there and the observations I make about everything else (iamnotananteater.blogspot.com). Contrary to what is probably believed, I hate that this is my go to place to rant about things that just aren't right at the San Francisco Zoo. I hate that I even have things to rant about. Its exhausting. I much preferred when all I did was blog about the Animals and what they are up to (gooberssfzoofriends.blogspot.com). That was before the Zoo Director, one Curator and whoever else bought into their made-up drama, decided to involuntary drag me into their politics and school yard games. So, instead I'll just make a list and keep adding to it.

There is much great stuff at the Zoo, starting with all the Animals who live there and most of the Keepers. With all the Zoo has going for it, its curious to me that Management doesn't strive to make the Zoo be all it can be. Sometimes I wonder if Management really thinks they are doing a bang up job or if they know they aren't and just don't care? If they do think they are doing all they can, maybe this list will find its way to them and they can see that they are not. At least from the prospective of a regular Visitor, who happens to know much about the Animals and the place they live.

12.7.11 -  Free day and not one Security Guard was seen!  UNBelievable!!!  < not really ;(  ... The thing is, the Zoo knows there's more misbehavior on free day, as they put out metal police type barriers at Chimps and Gorillas.  If they know this to be, why aren't there more Security on this day?  If they know the Chimps and Gorillas to be "hot spots"  why isn't there a Docent posted at these areas everyday?  


*Not enough Security.  Why aren't the Docents utilized as additional eyes and ears in regards to misbehaving Visitors?   Why aren't they trained for this?  ... Additionally, why aren't the Docents AND the Security assigned certain areas to watch?  I continually see Docents wandering together.  They should have assigned areas.  As well should the Security Guards.  The Guards are never around and when you do see one they fly by on a bike.   They should be in the hot spots and if needed be called to that area.


*The Zoo's Pet People and Staff saying inappropriate things.



> A Zoo Staffer in the Education Department was standing next to me at the Bairds Tapir enclosure.  There was a couple with their child there as well.  She said, "He's really old and (a reference to his medical condition).   ... It was in very bad taste.  For one, at 16, the Bairds Tapir is not even half the life expectancy of that Species in captivity.  So, that's just great for someone in Education lol!   AND there is no reason to be offering medical information.   If someone asks, that is different, although not in the way this was done.  This gal should stay in the Education Building and not talk to Visitors.


> The gal who gives the Zoo photos of the Animals to use as they please (this is why they love her/use her, same thing) posted a comment on Facebook in which she said, "The Goats are buttheads"   Nice.  Calling the Animals names.  If the Goats could talk I'm sure they would have a few choice words for her.  My choice words, stay off the Farm!  ... Will also note this same gal did a photo presentation at an event I attended and got an Animals name wrong and not even the Zoo Staff, including the Director  noticed.  


*Docents who don't know which animal is which.  Why are they Docents if they don't care enough to learn about the animals they are docent-ing about?  Why aren't they trained for this and given brush-up tests?  


> One would think someone not only that is the head/leader of a docent group at an animal facility would be respectful of all animals, but this was a recent comment by such a person on an article thread in regard to the Banana Sam Monkey Theft.  ....    "Oh, it was a squirrel MONKEY, not a squirrel. Miscreants are welcome to the squirrels; they don't belong to the zoo." ... Horrible!  So, Monkeys and better then Squirrels in her opinion.  Is she a hunter too?  Where does the Zoo find these people and why are they allowed to speak?  Horrible.

>I recently heard one Docent tell a Visitor that the female Sumatran was a Male Bengal lol!  The lol is of how ridiculous this is.  We don't have any male Tigers and we don't have any Bengal Tigers.  Score two for this Docent!


> I heard Tucker (Hippo) vocalizing a honking sound I had heard before when he is upset.  I looked over to see if anyone was bothering him and I saw a Docent using a Keeper training signal and getting him all worked up.  This Docent was walking around with two Visitors earlier as I saw them at Rhinos and he commented that Gene (male) was grumpy.  Gene "I got your grumpy right here!"


> A Docent answered the question, "What do the Big Cats eat?"  ,  "All the Animals get some kind of Chow."  LOL!  These aren't house cats and they don't eat kibble.


*Inappropriate wording in Press Releases.  You would think Someone who has a job in PR would be word savvy.  


>The wording (which I will have to find and paste here) in regards to the passing of African Lion Tunya recently, was disrespectful.   They basically said, We will miss Tunya, but now we can put Sukari with the other two and build a pride.  No break in the sentence.  That just isn't the way you say Goodbye.  Catch your breath before looking to the future.  It hurt my heart.  It was like, well now we can do want we had planned.  Horrible.  ... They have released other inappropriate things in the past in reference to Senior Animals, like using the words, old and elderly.  Like noting that when Tony (Tiger was stuck in the moat, that he was surrounded by his urine and feces.  Were those details necessary to the story?  NO!   Whoever wrote  that one, I sure hope you are stuck one day in your mess and the world finds out.  Think with compassion people.  



Friday, November 11, 2011

FAIL Post Updates!









Since I want to wind down this blog as its a drag to complain all the time and I don't have the time to keep up with all the FAILS. I've fallen behind because it seems with every visit, there is something. I'm passionate about these Animals and have constant thoughts about how their lives can be better. I post about it because I hope that these things change for them through the awareness my blogs bring. I've been told alot of this is just my opinion, and yes it is, who's else would it be? Yes, I do base my feelings on human emotion because that's the emotion I was born with. That doesn't invalidate these issues or the simple empathy of how they affect these Animals directly. This post will be an update to previous posts. It will contain photos and observations I've been noticing.

Starting from the top of the blog:

*NEWS for today - Zoo Management Lets Visitors Abuse the Animals!

Security hasn't gotten any better in my opinion. I still see much misbehaving. Security is hardly present in the hot spot areas, Bears and Chimps. I used to call Cats a hot spot, but honestly, even though people constantly bother them, they aren't in any danger since the barrier situation there securely will keep humans out. This is not to say that there shouldn't be someone patrolling that area at times. The Hippo and Rhino who also live on that path, are wide open. There is nothing keeping humans from entering the Bear enclosures, and there is constantly people misbehaving there. Curiously even though I've mentioned it and I know the Zoo reads my blogs, there are still no added signage, especially as suggested one like there is at the Asian Rhino the says to stay behind the barrier. Yes, that would take people actually reading it and obeying, but at least its there as an added measure to deter misbehaving. As well it amazes me that after the incident that sparked this post regarding the Chimps, there isn't more attention paid to them. It is common knowledge that the Chimps upset very easily. On Staffer rationalized it by saying "that's what Cobby does". Unbelievable! So, just because an animal is easily upset, he should be left open as a target? Additionally it was also made public that Tallulah one of the females, has some age related heart issues. THIS alone should be a reason to try and keep the area around them quiet, eg. Visitor heckling, at a minimum. The Zoo only hires 2-4 Security guards a day from what I understand. For three hours one is in the Lion House. There is always one in the parking lot. So on days when there are only two, that's where they are. Who is watching the Animals? No one, that's who. When Security does "patrol" they zoom by on bikes. How can they hear and watch Visitor behavior? They can't. I've said it before, the Docents should be utilized as extra eye's and ear's. They aren't. They aren't assigned these special duties, and for the most part they barely approach Visitors and certainly not to tell them to stop misbehaving. Get it together SFZOO and keep the Animals safe! I recently went to the Oakland Zoo and after talking with volunteers (equal to Docents) I was told if someone misbehaves, even heckles an animal into action (like Cobby was) they are throw out. At the SFZOO they don't throw you out they barely tell you to stop. I was told that even when they have thrown people out, they give them their money back! Outrageous! Come on in, harass our Animals and we will pay you to do so!

*Animal Safety Suggestions

As I mentioned above, more signage would help. As I mentioned in previous posts on this blog and others, more signage and a video would help. As I suggested to Zoo Director Tanya Peterson, more signage and a video would help. ... On my recent visit to the Oakland Zoo I noticed they seem to "get it". They have their signs sandwhich board style right on the paths, not tucked away near a tree so to not be that noticeable aesthetically. The signs are three times the size, and in your face, where they need to be. They also have a video about the Zoo running in their cafe, something I suggested two years ago. I could see their video was highlighting the Animals that live there, and may or may not address Animal Respect, but there is no reason the San Francisco Zoo can't have a video that does both. They need to.

*Project Get Wishbone Grass! & Teddy Bear Festival, but do you Respect the Bears?

Poor, sweet Wishbone. It is obvious that the Zoo has no plans to put grass in his enclosure in anyway (patch size). He will live out his life in an enclosure of concrete that has had no landscaping update since it was built over 70 years ago. It truly is shameful. Please read my blog dedicated to Wishbone's plight and my crusade for more detailed information I gather and post in support of his cause. I will be making some additional posts and updates there soon. ... www.projectgetwishbonegrass.blogspot.com


*The Hoofstock Shuffle

Well, poor Lily (Dukier) continues to live on the Savannah, separated from her family and the only one of her kind. To me that's just cruel. I hardly ever see her, not sure if she's hiding or what. BUT i did get lucky a couple weeks ago and she came right up to me when I said hello.

*Tapir Needs Clean Water! & Zoo Wall Spray Painted, Tapir Left Unprotected

Thankfully Goober's water has been clean pretty much every time I've gone by lately. Whether they are cleaning it more often or I just happen to be there when they are who knows. I can tell you that the constant overflow (water waste) in the Grizzly Grotto that I reported possibly utility fund would better be spent keeping Goober's water clean has changed. Over a month now, the overflow is no longer! Maybe blogging does help get some things done? ... The mural seems to be done, but for two Saturdays in a row recently the artist was out there working on it, right at the side of Goober's enclosure. He sure was suited up to protect from the hazards of paint (see photos) but there was no protection for Goob! Definite and direct disrespect for his health. BIG FAIL!!!


*Update on the Dry Elly situation & Black Rhino So Dry Skin is Cracking!

Happy to report the Elly's skin is much better (although her sides could use some oil) and both she and Mishaki seem to be getting oiled regularly! YAY! AND She is very happy being up front :) They really do need to rotate these two more thought because Mishaki seems a bit down sometimes in the back now too. It really is a shame that when they renovation was made the separation of housing areas wasn't side by side instead of front and back. I know this is a repeat of what I already posted but when I'm there every week and I look at these two that is what I think. Repeatedly. Why would professionals not consider this? Most likely so there is always one up front. Not right for the Animal. Anyway, can't change that so I hope that rotating them more starts to happen and I'm thankful they are both being oiled now! BIG FAIL that it obviously took me blogging and contacting the City Animal Welfare Chairperson to get this done.

*Yay, Nay, Nay

The male Giant Anteater's new digs has now been painted a more natural color! As I posted before the walking surface mounds were painted white, which the Zoo said was a sealant. This looks much better, although I personally wouldn't have chosen a glossy paint, but hey its progress! It would seem alittle blogging has helped once again :)