Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Another Habitat Expansion Idea! - Video View

At the February Meeting where Director Peterson proclaimed her Commitment to allow Maggie, Minnie and Cobby our three Senior Chimpanzees, live out their lives at the San Francisco Zoo, the only home they have ever known, she boasted about all the things that were in sight for them. *Upgrades to the Current Triple Grotto.  Something they have waited 30 years for. Nothing has happened to date.  *Expansion to the Pachyderm Building.  This would allow for additional Chimps to increase their Group size, something necessary to ensure they have a secure future here.  This project has been back-burnered in favor of a New Exhibit for New Animals that don't even live at the SFZoo. *Fundraising for a 10 Million dollar Chimp Forest.  I have heard nothing except the one mention effort on their Facebook Page.  

Let's face it, there are two obstacles in the Chimps situation.  First, Director Peterson.  Is she really committed to doing anything for the Chimps?  Their home still having peeling paint on it, indicates they are still low priority.  Is she doing everything she can to raise funds for their Need?  Does she even care?  Did she only bow to Public Pressure when she committed to letting the Chimps stay?  Or is she waiting for the opportunity to still Kick them Out?  These are valid questions as she moves forward with building the New Exhibit for the Sifaka Lemurs, while the Chimps sit by and watch.  

The other obstacle, is the reality that there isn't funds for even smaller scale projects, Allegedly some of the recent additions haven't even been fully funded, even though there has been go ahead and completion.  So, where does that leave the Chimps?  There was the Million Dollar donation to complete the first phase of the Expansion from the North Grotto to the Pachyderm building.  When, Where, Who, How, will funding for the rest of the plan happen?  

My post from the other day detailing the plan including a photo:

The reality is, while having grand plans for state of the art Exhibits like this Primate Expansion and the proposed Chimp Forest is a wonderful thought, it is a dream of grandeur.  We have an old Zoo and no Money.  And in the Chimps case, they are not in the position to continue waiting for these dreams to come true.

A couple weeks ago I was thinking about the unused space and how it could be put to use.  Then with the intention of making a video about the area that runs along the north side of the path that leads from Chimps to Wolverines, I had an idea that in theory seems doable, but again, this is from a Visitor point of view, there may be reasons it would work, but there might be reasons it would.  

Here's the video I did make:

With this idea, I've shown the use of what we already have.  There is an indoor and outdoor area that could be connected via a Sky Trail from the North Grotto (maybe even an off shoot of the one going to the additional Night Quarters in the in plan plan).  Here's another one of my fancy drawings :)

I changed a bit of my vision from the video narration but still basically the same :)  The glassed in barrier that would run along the path, could be lined with trees or bamboo planking from either side (I think inside), to create a very dense visual barrier from Visitors.  The area near the door to the building could be a glassed in area framed with fabricated trees, much like the Anaconda exhibit, where Visitors could view the outdoor area.  Likewise framed viewing at the west-end of the indoor area.  There could even be a chain linked fence that runs the length of the indoor area from east to west, creating an area that Keepers could go into to provide treats and show training.  Of course removing the windows to create indoor/outdoor access for them.

Seems like a cost effective and functional idea to further expand the Chimps Habitat.

I say that the Donors who have given to this other Dream of Grandeur for the proposed Americas region, which would Build New Exhibits for New Animals,  should step up and actually give to Animals currently living at the Zoo that are in Need.

If anything you read moves you,
Please contact the SFZoo Director
Tanya Peterson

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Triple Grotto Upgrade Suggestions and Idea

I'll start by saying, of course thoughts are based on a Visitor point of view.  There may be reasons this wouldn't work, but you never know so I'm tossing it out there.  Just like I did with the Bear Grotto Expansion idea and they did pretty much what I suggested.  And hey, they pay outside consultants, so they are getting me for free!

If you're interested and missed this one:

The basic thought for this is, there is too much unused space.  There should be a way to fill it in and still contain them.

So, I have always thought that the Chimps could use a larger surface area.  They way the Triple Grotto is set-up, there is too much wasted space with the Moat.  All they have is what looks to be about five feet of surface grass around each climbing structure.  All they can do is come out, walk around the perimeter of the island, forage for whatever food might have been tossed there, and then go up and sit.  Sit for the rest of the day.  Likewise when the South Grotto had a climbing structure.   I heard there was some damage to it and it was taken down several years ago and that Grotto was closed off to them for awhile.  When it reopened, a huge log was placed in there.  I've seen them sit on the log, but not sure how attached they are to it.  That Grotto isn't accessible, but from every perspective I have, it seems the log is in the middle of the island, so again, they don't have much surface space.

Here's a video of an overview of the whole area:

For years I have thought a great idea would be to fill in the moats and connect all the Grotto's to create a huge surface area for them.  Taking construction disturbances into consideration, I think just connecting the Middle and South Grotto might be a better idea.  ... The distance from the island to the edge looks to be about 8-10 feet.  So, by doing this, that would give them an extra 30+ feet surface area across at the least and extend the distance from the Grotto's out by Eight feet. Eight on one side, 16 between the two and another Eight on the other side.  I'm not an artist by any means, but I did this little piece that might help (or it might not!).

So, in my mind, the Middle and South Grotto could be enclosed (shown with the Orange outline), using a glass barrier?  So they have the same visual as they are used to.  They would also still have open air as they are used to, when they are on structures.  The Yellow area is the Moat that can be filled in and landscaped over (the Light Green overlay).  

This idea would also fix the Barrier Issue that has been a problem at the Middle Grotto.  As you can see below, the only barrier that extends past the metal barrier around the Moat, is that flex fencing behind the signage (which wasn't even there a couple years ago when I witnessed kids beyond the fence).  That fencing ends and does not connect to anything that would prevent a Breach.

I wrote a blog post about it two years ago.  It also contains other Barrier stuff, but there's some good details and photos pertaining to the way the Barrier is set-up and how Breachable it is.

Only thing I would add about a new barrier, is that the metal barrier around the Middle Grotto, especially in that area at the back of the Cafe and connecting to the North Grotto should remain in place.  Not only for Safety Reasons, but the Peahens nest in that area and a place they are comfortable should not be disturbed.

The South Grotto is not accessible to Visitors, and I'm leaning toward thinking that's not a bad idea, so the Chimps have an outdoor area where they aren't "on exhibit".  I have another idea for viewing from a distance, that would involve some tree trimming and possibly adding a Viewing Scope, from the Stairway to the upper part of the Primate Center.

When envisioning the enlarged surface area that extends from the base of the Middle Grotto structure to the end of the South Grotto, I see a habitat that mimics nature.  Fabricated Trees and a Termite Mound. ... I did some research on my idea and found this photo of the Houston Zoo Chimp exhibit, which is similar to our Gorilla exhibit.  Looking down at them is not a good thing, but I'm looking at the Fabricated Trees and that one big one is exactly what I'm thinking about.  Its pretty awesome, many branches to climb and sit and what appears to be scooped out areas.

This video, is of the Fabricated Trees and Termite Mounds at the Zoo.  None are at or have ever been considered for the Chimps.  Why?

Could this idea work as good as it seems?

There is also still the idea I put forth to Director Peterson about having a tree lined barrier to distract direct view from the Chimps perspective to the Visitors, to possibly eliminate some of the visual Visitor disturbances that often upset Cobby.  Visitors could still view the Chimps through staggered trees and when they are on the structure.

If anything you read moves you,
Please contact the SFZoo Director
Tanya Peterson

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Sky Trail Project - Video View - Project On Hold

Many have asked me about the photos in Director Peterson's presentation regarding the proposed Expansion from the current Chimpanzee Exhibit, Triple Grotto, using a Sky Trail into the west side of the Pachyderm Building.

SFZoo photo showing area in the Pachyderm Building 
to be used as additional housing, 
allowing Zoo to increase the size of our Group.

You can read my post about this here:

I took this video a few months ago, and never got to posting it.  Now I have a series of them, so I think its actually better timing.

Hope this helps understand what the Zoo plans to do.  

Note that this was presented at the March 2015 Joint Zoo Committee Meeting, one month after Committing to Keeping the Chimpanzees to Live out their Lives in the only home they have ever known.  Committing to Upgrading and Expanding their Current Home to provide them more Environmental Enrichment and to Expand their Group Size Securing their Future at the San Francisco Zoo.  

Further note that five months later, plans to back burner this project in favor of building a New Exhibit, for Sifaka Lemurs, an Animal the Zoo Does Not even Have yet, were revealed at the July Joint Zoo Committee Meeting.

Not one Person on the Joint Zoo Committee Panel questioned this.  One of the responsibilities of The Joint Zoo Committee Panel is to Yay or Nay proposed Acquisitions.  They Never question anything.

Minnie, Maggie and Cobby continue to Wait.  They have Waited Thirty Years.

This shows the level of Priority the Chimps still have in the Minds of San Francisco Zoo Director Tanya Peterson, the San Francisco Zoological Society Board and Members, and the San Francisco Recreation and Park Joint Zoo Committee Members.

I questioned Director Peterson about her decision to back burner the Chimps in favor of the Sifaka Lemurs.  The "conversation" is detailed in this post:

If anything you read moves you,
Please contact the SFZoo Director
Tanya Peterson

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Joint Zoo Committee, What Are They Good For?

Coming Soon!

I have some ideas for this and several other posts.  Putting them in Coming Soon status, as I need a link done for a correspondence.  Please keep checking back or follow leo811 on Twitter for when they go live.

Thank you!

What Now? - How Can We Help Our Chimps?

Coming Soon!

I have some ideas for this and several other posts.  Putting them in Coming Soon status, as I need a link done for a correspondence.  Please keep checking back or follow leo811 on Twitter for when they go live.

Thank you!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Joint Zoo Committee Meeting - 9.24.15 - Chimpanzee Care - Damage Control?

Last Thursday was the Monthly Joint Zoo Committee Meeting.  Kathy Edwards, Assistant Curator of Primates, gave a Presentation on Chimpanzee Care.  Below is a screen-cap and link to the video I took of the Presentation.  Couldn't do both Video and Photos, so I apologize that all I have for key points are not so sharp screen-caps.  That said, the volume isn't great either.  

Kathy did a good job and I'm glad to have seen this, BUT considering last month's Meeting where I questioned Director Peterson on the decision to move forward with building a New Exhibit, for New Animals (Sifaka Lemurs) that we don't even have, before building the Upgrade/Expansion to the Chimps, I have to wonder if this just wasn't Damage Control.  

Director Peterson seems to not know the difference between "Care" and "Caring".  Before the News Story regarding the Chimps situation, Director Peterson sent out an email to Staff, trying her best to discredit the information I provided to KGO-TV ITEAM.  While at the time of airing, she knew that Members of her Staff were interviewed about her plan to move the Chimps, yet she seemed to lose all sight of that in her frantic email, which she says that I'm claiming the Zoo doesn't take "care" of the Chimps.  Which she clearly still thinks.  Obviously, the Chimps Senior ages show that they have received excellent Medical Care during the four plus decades they have lived at the Zoo.  Their Keepers tend to their needs the best they can within the restrictions Management dictates.  Their home, has been neglected and they have been disregarded as a Priority for over twenty years.  Their Environment shows a lack of Caring.  These are the facts.

So, putting forth a presentation like this, does make me think, she is trying to present the Chimps situation as being taken care of, when in actuality, their main, non-medical need is not being taken care of.  That need is for the Upgrade that was Promised at the March Meeting, to commence construction immediately.  Not After construction takes place for Animals not even part of the current collection.

Fact still remains.  If this Chimp Group goes down in number, the remaining two are still vulnerable to being sent away.  Otherwise, the Zoo may lose accreditation by keeping them.  And, the worst scenario would be, that the number again went down, and one was left alone.  Director Peterson knows this and still goes on with her personal agenda to keep bringing in New Animals and building New Exhibits.  This is wrong.

Sadly not one Member of the Joint Zoo Committee or Zoological Society Board seem to question anything Director Peterson does.  They don't care either.  We really have a disturbing structure as to how the Zoo is run.


The above diagram, is not only unclear visually, but unclear to me, in reference to the other photos I've seen.  I hope to be able to get a better copy of this.  I posted it, incase anyone is viewing on a larger screen, maybe it will come across better.  ... At one point, and I think it was later in the presentation, there was a mention of things in progress.  One I couldn't hear, the other was a new climbing structure for the off exhibit (South) Grotto.  Gotta say, unless this structure is a fabricated Tree, I'm disappointed in this.  They already have two climbing structures, and are more in need of surface area.  A Tree would only take space at the base, leaving more room for running, lounging, playing, ect.  I have ideas to put forth, that include video and photos.  I'll detail in another post. 

While describing this, it was mentioned, "Chimps and a pair of Orangutans".  This was new information.  It now sounds like Director Peterson is actively seeking to bring Orangutans in.  I think the path foremost in her mind is to acquire Orangutans, not doing what's best for the Chimps. It goes with my gut feeling that she has no intention of making good on her Promise to the Chimps, but wait it out, so she never has to expand this Group.  It is alleged that Chimpanzees are not part of the future Zoo plan under her Direction.  I'm hoping those Chimps are at the Zoo longer than she is.

Like the other photos, this list of Enrichment Items isn't sharp.  It seemed to list mostly, if not all food items.  There are different kinds of Enrichment and as someone who used to visit almost daily, the Chimps have lacked varied options in  enriching food presentation and toys for years.  Sometimes I go by and there is nothing on exhibit for them. They should have stuff to stimulate them through out the whole day.  I don't like seeing them just sit there bored all the time.  Sure stuff might be happening in their night quarters, but if they were getting toys/ect. I'm sure we'd see photos of it, because the Zoo likes to applaud themselves.  So, my guess is not much is going on. 

Thankfully they did get the new Mirror /Feeder, which was mentioned.  They haven't had anything new in  twenty plus years, except an added/reconfigured fire hose thing.   The Mirror and another rope swing are new.  I would bet if their situation hadn't gone public, they would never have gotten anything.  Oh snap!  I'm right, because they wouldn't even be there! 

Speaking of not being there.  Another thing that was mentioned was in regard to Training, is its success because of the Relationships between the Chimps and their Keepers.  All I have to say about that is, Director Peterson, your plan to move them, would have taken away these Relationships and put them into unfamiliar situations.  Shame on You and double Shame for choosing to Give to New, before giving to the Old.

If anything you read moves you,
Please contact the SFZoo Director
Tanya Peterson

Monday, September 28, 2015

Social Networking Photos - Please Share :)

Below are four message photos that go with my new Petition.  Feel free for use any of them for Social Networking.  Facebook, Twitter, anywhere you have the opportunity to be a Voice for Our Chimp Friends.  Thank you!

I want to mention something about this first photo, which was originally side by side with a Political photo that came through my Facebook feed.  Some of you may have seen it, so that's why I'm saying a bit about that here.  I'm not Political in anyway.  I don't and never have followed Politics.  The message that it had to me was, Take Care at Home.  That is the same message that is plaguing me about Director Peterson's priorities. So I did a side by side.  A couple Friends saw it differently.  So, I just want to be clear, I was not making a Political Statement.  My statement is, Take Care at Home.  That's it.  

What Will You DO?!

People Are Talking!

SFZoo Unkept Promise!

Chimp Wisdom!

Below are Tweets I sent to some Officials and Media.  If you Tweet, a neat trick I was only recently hipped to is, if you put a "." before the @  ... eg  .@sfzoo  , it will go to everyone, not just the intended.

If anything you read moves you,
Please contact the SFZoo Director
Tanya Peterson

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

New Petition! - San Francisco Zoo - STOP Doing for New Animals & DO For The Chimps As Promised!

I started this Petition about the Chimps Situation.  Please Sign, Share, Tweet.  Be a Voice for Our Precious Chimps.  Help them get what they were Promised!  Thank you!

Six Months ago, San Francisco Zoo Director Tanya Peterson, Promised to Keep the Zoo's Three Senior Chimpanzees at the SFZoo, the only home they have ever known. That Promise included an Upgrade/Expansion to their current home (while waiting for funding for a New Exhibit). This would allow not only extra space for them, but an additional holding area to eventually bring in more Chimps to add to their Group size, which is a future Key Factor in Securing them a Forever Home at the SFZoo.

Since this announcement, under Peterson's direction, the SFZoo has committed to Acquiring a New Animal (and allegedly others), the Sifaka Lemur. This New Acquisition will require a New Exhibit to be built. This Exhibit is moving toward constructionBEFORE the Chimps!!!   The opening projected for Spring 2016.

Like the past Eighteen Years, the Chimpanzee's Needs have been back-burned. Their Need was acknowledged by Director Peterson in February, as Immediate, Yet they have been Denied Immediate Action. The projected completion of their Expansion is Fall 2016. Nineteen Months after being Promised.

Why is their situation Time Sensitive? If their Group Size reduced, and there was not available space to bring in more Chimps, the Two Surviving Chimps would be Vulnerable to still being Shipped Out. They must have available space, either in the Expansion or a New Exhibit, before their Group reduces to Two. I hate even talking about that, but those are the facts. 

Their need was immediate when they were Four. Now with Three, they desperately need to create a Social Group with different generations, in order to not end up as Two or One.

I outlined their situation in detail on my previous Petition (and my blog linked below)

This is a Call to Action for the San Francisco Zoo Director Tanya Peterson to: 

*Halt Any Plan to Acquire New Animals that would Require New Exhibits to be built, with the exception of Rescue Animals in Dire need.

*Defer Construction of Sifaka Lemur Exhibit, until After Chimpanzee Upgrade is Complete. Ideally, until After all Current In Need Animals are Attended to. The Komodo Dragon the Next In Need.

*Escalate Fundraising for New Chimpanzee Home, as Promised.

By signing this petition, I hope we can shine light on this situation and Stop The San Francisco Zoo from Acquiring New AnimalsUntil They Take Care of the Animals Already there. The Chimps Are Not The Only Ones In Need. Please Sign, Share and Help Our Chimps Be a Priority!

Thank you ... 
also find us on Facebook - San Francisco Zoo Chimps Update 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Joint Zoo Meeting - 8.27.15 - Chimpanzees Shafted Continued

Director Peterson gave a presentation on the Sifaka Lemur Exhibit. Not the Primate Expansion, not the Chimpanzee Upgrade.  Exclusively, the Sifakas.  

Since I didn't get answers from Tim Wu and I hadn't been able to direct questions/comments to Director Peterson, at the last Meeting, I had to do so at this Meeting.  Not something I wanted to do, but someone has to and that someone is me. I tried a few months ago to get an answer via email, but she refused and replied that I would have to bring it up at the Meeting.  

I got up and addressed Director Peterson, who immediately looked down at the desk, never making eye contact with me while I spoke.  Only when she replied did she look at me.  Then when I responded, she looked down again.  Very rude behavior for a professional head of this organization. But, I'm not surprised.  Guess its appropriate, as she should be hanging her head in shame.

I asked, "Why was the decision made to build an exhibit for the Sifaka Lemurs, an Animal we don't even have, before following through with the upgrades for the Chimps?" She said something about it always being a (multi-primate, I think she even included Orangutans) area,.. and then said, that they were doing everything they could to make sure that the Chimps were comfortable in their existing enclosure.  I really should've videotaped it because I just can't remember verbatim some of the exact words used by her, but there weren't many, and this is either exact or close to what she said.  I started to speak again and she looked back down.  I continued, noting that "the Chimps are a time sensitive situation.  If we lose one of them, and I don't even like saying that, the remaining two will be vulnerable to still being moved away, because you've not done the upgrade that you said you were gonna do, which would have allowed for the extra holding area to bring in additional Chimps."  She said, that "the upgrade didn't include extra holding areas."  I reminded her that when I spoke to her at the March Meeting, she told me that the layout of the new upgrade would include an additional holding space".  

The space I'm referring to is in the Pachyderm Building.  You can read about it in this post.

When we spoke at that March Meeting she even mentioned that the Girls could be shipped out (her assuming that they would be the surviving two).  I said, "No they can't.  You committed to keeping them."  To which she then said, they could look at bringing in additional Chimps.  ... Readers, my ears are pulsating just writing this.  This is why its hard for me to be timely on posts.  They are very upsetting.  There is too much BS being both said and done at the Zoo, it really is hard to deal with.

That said, I ended my words at the Meeting to Director Peterson by saying, "I think its very irresponsible to build new exhibits for Animals we don't even have, before taking care of the Chimps."  Still she did not look at me. And I sat down.

A panel Member quickly ended the Meeting by saying, the Meeting was adjourned.  I will note that it was 5:20p and time still has not changed to allow for Keepers to speak at the Meetings, since they get off at 5:30p.  

Additionally, not one panel Member had anything to say about what I consider a serious issue.  Not one curiosity as to Why they are building for new, while old are in need, out of any one of them. Shameful!  What good is the Committee?  I have never once heard them Nay anything.  They seem to be Yes Mam'ers and agree with everything Director Peterson and Management says and requests.  At this Meeting, David Bocian, VP Animal Care & Enrichment, noted that two Animals had died of Pneumonia.  Did anyone question that?  No.  Not even Dr Spinelli the panel Vet.  Good Grief.  There really needs to be a shake up in this whole structure.

So, where does this leave these poor Chimps?  No upgrade til Fall 2016.  At the very minimum, that's Nineteen Months after Director Peterson committed to upgrading their current home and noting herself that this was a time sensitive situation.  Not sure what that means to her, but to me, near Two Years later is not proceeding as time sensitive.  She made a promise to these Chimps and is knocking them down on the priority pole again.  THIS SHIT IS NOT RIGHT!  

Last week Chimpanzee's received Endangered Status and this Woman is still back-burnering their needs.  Its been Seven Months since her commitment to them and their home still has paint peeling off it.  That right there tells you the level of Caring that is going on there.  

Not sure what my next plan is, but I can tell you this, I will be a THORN in this Woman's side until she does right by the Animals starting with those Precious Chimps.  She will not silently dis them, because they can't speak.  I will be their Voice through this.  She thought I was a peasant. Typical of her kind.  Used me and my friend as her Scapegoat and thought taking our Memberships would get rid of me and my opinions.  All she did was raise the beast.  She picked on the wrong peasant.  Bet she wishes she never got on my dance floor.  

If anything you read moves you,
Please contact the SFZoo Director
Tanya Peterson

Attempt at Seeking Answers - re Chimp Upgrade and Fundraising

Below are screen-caps of an Email exchange that I had with the Zoo's VP of Philanthropy, Tim Wu, following the July Joint Zoo Meeting.  Apologies they weren't included right after.

I failed to remember to mention that I did ask (at that Meeting) how much had been raised for the Chimps in addition to the One Million Dollar Donation.  I was told, $1.5 Million was the total for the Chimps to date.

The details I was seeking are clear in the correspondence.  The last one is where it ends.  He would not answer any further.  

I am left to assume that aside from the Million donation, that the 500k are from the website based effort?  And that nothing except that one mention of the website donation page, on the Zoo's Facebook, is the only effort that has been made for the Chimps.

If anything you read moves you,
Please contact the SFZoo Director
Tanya Peterson

Monday, August 31, 2015

Joint Zoo Meeting - 7.23.15 - Primate Expansion, Chimpanzees Shafted!

This meeting was the first opportunity I would have to ask about a Chimp Update. As noted in a previous post, Director Peterson would no longer entertain my correspondence and suggested I, "bring it up at the Meeting."  Unfortunately, Director Peterson was not there, but I was prepared to bring it up anyway.

Deputy Director Joe Fitting, did a presentation called Primate Update.  This presentation focused specifically on the plans for the Sifaka Lemur, Chimpanzee and I'm pretty sure he mentioned Orangutans.  Note, we do not have Sifaka Lemurs or Orangutans in the current Animal Collection. He went through the layout of the exhibit using a photo that I think was a repeat of this one I've posted before.  

At the end of this presentation, I asked What the Timeline for the Chimp Upgrade is.  He answered that he thought it would be Spring of 2016.  I was about to question further, but then VP of Animal Care, David Bocian interjected and said that the projected completion for the Sifaka's was Spring and the Chimps, Fall 2016.  

I was pretty livid at this answer, but didn't go further in the Meeting time.  After the Meeting I approached Bocian to question further.  The next text I add will be a share of what our conversation covered.  I apologize for not formatting it in a dialog, but I don't have time for that.

I asked him Why the Chimps were being done after an Animal we don't even currently have?  He said that a Donor came forward with funds for the Sifakas.  I said, but the Chimps are in need, and without doing the upgrade to bring in more, they are still vulnerable to being moved, if we lost one.  He said, that they are all healthy.  I said, that's great, but my concern is still, if something were to happen and we got down to two, and no place to house additions, they could still be sent away.  He said, that the Zoo was committed to keeping them, and that it was "something" that they were even staying.  I reiterated that the Chimps should be the priority.  He said that when a Donor comes forward, you don't say no. I said, you don't have to say no, but you could say, thank you and when we finish for the in need Animals that already live there,  we will look at building for new Animals.  He again repeated, that is was something that they were even staying.  

I then questioned him about the suggestions for the state of the current enclosure that I had sent to Director Peterson, who said she forwarded them to the Curators.  He didn't seem to know what I was referring to, so I went over two things I felt were most important.  The addition of a tree lined barrier, to filter direct eye contact from the Chimps viewpoint and a foraging mound.  He didn't think a tree lined barrier was necessary, and denied that Cobby is upset by Visitors.  I described many instances, and supported this idea by quoting the AZA habitat guidelines.  Mr Bocian's opinion was that I didn't know the difference between Male displaying and being upset.  I assured him that I indeed knew the difference, as one example is when Zoo Shitheads are heckling him and another is when he see's the Keeper coming.  He then noted that Visitors complained once (seriously how many years a go was this?) that the tree's were in the way of viewing the Chimps.  I noted that I don't believe that to be true, as the Chimps are rarely on the ground which would be the only part of the enclosure that would not be directly visible, but yet not completely shielded.  I used the potted bamboo plants at the Snow Leopards as an example.  I then challenged him to bring down some of the many potted plants in holding and give it a try.  Moving on I asked why they still use that old metal twigging box, when several foraging mounds have been fabricated for other areas.  Why can't they have one?  Didn't really get an answer on this.  

Those suggestions and others were noted in a previous blog post, if interested in further details.

I very much appreciate that he took the time to talk with me about these issues and some other things, but there were a couple things that irked me.  I don't think I've ever directly spoken to him, but in light of the News story on the Chimps, I'm pretty sure he knows who I am.  So it was a bit odd that a few minutes into the conversation he asked me who I was.  The thing I had to bite my tongue on was when he twice said, that is was something that the Chimps were even staying.  I'm sorry, I don't in anyway mean to sound pompous, but I literally felt like saying, No thanks to you or anyone else on the Animal Staff.  I don't need accolades, but those Chimps would be gone, and possibly dead if I didn't launch a Crusade to save them.  Not one person on the Zoo's Staff who knew about this, especially at Animal Management level, that is he and Primate Curator Corinne MacDonald, did anything to help them.  I was their sole savior. Yea, there will be nay-sayers, but a fact is a fact.  My Crusade and the public outcry it generated with the help of the KGO I-Team, are why those Chimps did not have to leave their home. I know from my Media adventure in that effort, that there is an open Anonymous communication between Staff and Media.  At any point, anyone who knew about this could have contacted Media anonymously and done exactly what I did for them.  And the fact that I just happened to get wind of the situation, and it was late in Director Peterson's game to kick them out, they should be ashamed of themselves for not doing a damn thing.  Sorry, but I'm not going to sugar coat the fact of it.

Two other topics covered at the Meeting that I want to comment on.  

Fitting was all a glee about the high attendance for Zoo Camp this Summer.  Why is a Zoo representative more excited about Zoo Campers than the Animals?  I'm sorry but I understand the need for all these other things to bring in money to the Zoo, but not at a higher priority than the Animals.  

Fitting also brought up the Terrace Cafe renovation into a Pizza Place.  I questioned how much this renovation would cost and was told $30k.  Before I could ask, I was told that the Zoo was not paying for it, that the Concession Co. was.  I don't know if this is true, as I did ask several Employees in Concessions about this and was told, they were sharing the cost with the Zoo.  Regardless, I don't think this is a priority.

So, there you have it.  Chimps will not see a Upgrade until Fall 2016 at the earliest.  Nineteen months after Director Peterson made promises to them.  Were those actual promises or just smooth talk to calm public outcry?

If anything you read moves you,
Please contact the SFZoo Director
Tanya Peterson

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Chimps Get Two New Enrichment Toys!

Last Month I saw a Wood Swing added to the Chimps Home. This was the first new thing I've seen, since some extra Fire Hoses were added to the Middle Grotto last year.  And that was the first thing I've seen added in the last seven years since I've been paying close attention to the Zoo Friends.  Most likely the only thing to be added in over Twenty Years.  I think Thirty, but I'm being generous.

I wanted to post a photo, but I have so many and being behind in blogging and sharing, I lost track of what folder I put it in.  Made an effort to find it tonight, since now there are two Toys to post about. ... I was happy to catch Maggie on the Swing, the first day I saw it.  It was a quick capture, as she was already in motion when I walked up.  She was using it to reach for something above.

A great addition, but I would like to see another layer added to the base, to give it a multi-purpose.  If another layer was added food could be put between like this, and used as Enrichment during their forage.    
I had this photo in my Enrichment folder,
from Pinterest, no photo credits given.  

This past Monday, I happened by Chimps and saw them with a huge new Mirror!  I had previously seen Maggie using a mirror, and captured this, one of my fav photos.  She had a rat tail comb and was combing her hair and admiring herself :)

I use this photo as the banner on my Facebook Group, Amazing Animal Stories.  

On Monday, it was again Miss Maggie at the Mirror!  It was also the first day it was out and I was told that all three, had taken a look at it :)  ... The holes on the Mirror allow it to also act as a feeder (food dispenser).

Here's the link to my cute video :)

Once Cobby came out, I realized that the Mirror could have been better placed.   In all the joy seeing this, I didn't think about how the positioning of it blocks the main place they like to sit.  Cobby especially is almost always sitting by this one pole (as seen in photos) and he and the girls, lay in that area often, if not multiple times a day.  You can see how its placed now, it not only doesn't allow Cobs much room to sit in his fav spot, but takes up the area they like to lounge, which would be across the area under where the mirror is hanging.

If possible, moving it to the opposite side, in my opinion would be a better location for this awesome new Toy.  Then they can have the Toy and the area they frequent most, still available to them.

Glad to see these two new items.  Hate to say it, but if the whole Chimp situation had never come about, Cobby, Minnie and Maggie would have probably never seen anything new.  Let's hope they continue to get new Enrichment Items added to their current home, while they continue to wait for the Sky Trail Upgrade.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

San Francisco Zoo Chimpanzee Timeline

San Francisco Zoo Chimpanzee Timeline

1960s  (mid to late) - Triple Grotto built --
Chimps moved from Metal caging (in a now non-existent area near what is now the Primate Center)

4.24.67 - Tallulah Chimpanzee arrives at the SFZoo.  Estimated Birth Year 1959.
Donated by the Family of her Owner, after the Owner passed.  Tallulah lived as a Human Child/Pet the first 8 Years of her life.   She was taken from from her Mother in the Wild to be sold into the Exotic Pet Trade.  She lived at the Zoo 46 years, until her passing in 2013.

7.10.68 - Cobby Chimpanzee arrives at the SFZoo.  Estimated Birth Year 1958.
Donated by his Trainer Murray Hill.  Cobby lived with the Hill Family since he was an infant, taken from his Mother in the Wild to be sold into the Exotic Pet Trade.  He worked in Entertainment until surrendered to the Zoo.  The SFZoo has been Cobby's home for 47 years.  He is the oldest Male Chimpanzee in an accredited North American Facility (Zoo/Sanctuary).

4.25.70 - Maggie Chimpanzee arrives at the SFZoo.  Estimated Birth Year 1969.
Maggie came to the Zoo as an Infant from the Animal Exchange, an Exotic Pet Trade Company.  She was taken from her Mother in the Wild to be sold into the Pet Trade.   At 46 years old, the SFZoo is the only home outside the wild she has ever known.

4.25.70 - Minnie Chimpanzee arrives at the SFZoo.  Estimated Birth Year 1969.
Minnie came to the Zoo as an Infant from the Animal Exchange, an Exotic Pet Trade Company.  She was taken from her Mother in the Wild to be sold into the Pet Trade.   At 46 years old, the SFZoo is the only home outside the wild she has ever known.

5.20.76 - Minnie gives birth to the first of four offspring she will have with Cobby.   Male - Did not survive.

2.3.75 - Minnie gives birth.  Male - Did not survive.

5.23.77 - Minnie give birth.  Female, named Amy.

10.12.78 - Amy passes.

5.31.81 - Minnie gives birth.  Female, named Mollie.

1.17.85 - Mollie passes.

1980s (mid)  - Triple Grotto upgrade Landscaping and Structures built ... update > No further upgrades made since.

1997  -  San Francisco Residents Vote and pass a Bond for improvements to the Zoo.  The Great Ape Forest, a new home for the Chimpanzees and Orangutans. --

Using the Chimps and the Orangutans on Posters urging City Residents to vote in favor of $ for the Zoo to make much needed upgrades, a City Bond of $48 Million was awarded to the San Francisco Zoo.  The bond was for specific projects, the building of a new home for the Chimpanzees and Orangutans, was one of them.  That never happened.  Money was misappropriated and never replaced.  Last Orangutan was moved to another Zoo and the Chimpanzees remain in the same enclosure with no upgrades in Thirty Years.  ... Not one Director during the past Eighteen years has made an attempt to Show the Chimps Some Love.

2003-  Last Orangutan, Lipz, moved to Milwaukee Zoo (now a Mom, living at Birmingham Zoo).

2005 - Bond Update showed the Great Ape Forest (Chimpanzee and Orangutan exhibit improvements) had been cancelled.

2008 - Over 10 yrs after the Bond was awarded, there were still questions about How the money was spent and Why the Chimps were still living in the "ancient" Triple Grotto.

* Zoo Management already allegedly aware for many years that our Senior group of Four Chimpanzees, should expand, allowing the addition of younger Chimps to create a "Family" group agewise, that would sustain as time goes on, the Zoo still does nothing to prepare for a loss.

January 2013 - Tallulah Chimpanzee passes at age 54.

With the loss of our Beloved Tallulah, our Chimp Group is down to Three members.

2013-2015 - The SFZoo is very well aware of the AZA Guidelines in regard to Groups being Four or more.  Zoo Management does nothing to ensure that Cobby, Minnie and Maggie are guaranteed a lifelong home at the SFZoo, the place they have called home for 45+ years (as of 2015).

January 2015 - Zoo Advocate and Blogger Kim (me) hears that Zoo Director Tanya Peterson has plans in place to Remove the Zoo's Senior Chimps from the home they have known for the past 45+ Years.  "HELL NO!"  I said, and launched an online Crusade through my Zoo blog to Save them.  A dedicated blog, Petition and Facebook Group followed.

2.4.15 - Letter Writing Campaign launched via blog.

2.20.15 - KGO-TV starts airing SFZoo Controversy teaser Commercial after the Oscars. --
I was lucky to make contact with the KGO-TV I-Team and have Reporter Dan Noyes take an interest in the Chimps Story.  Over the week prior, I provided all the information to date, as well was interviewed.

2.22.15 - Letter Writing Campaign responses received! --
There were some who had no information on the issue, but said they would contact the Zoo.  After that, it seemed all had a form of the same curious statement provided by Zoo Director Peterson, basically denying that the Chimps were set to move.

2.24.15 - Director Peterson writes frantic email to Staff, in an effort to damage control her untruths in the situation and place blame on me, grasping to discredit the information I provided to the Media (KGO-TV).

2.24.15  KGO-TV News Story airs. --
The issue is covered completely by the I-Team investigation.  In addition to myself, they interviewed Zoo Staff,  my Friend John Alcaraz, the Chimps first Keeper, the head of the Chimpanzee SSP, and the Director of the Facility that I heard they would be going to, Lion Country Safari.  Additionally, they confirmed the plan was in place with information provided by the Oakland Zoo.  There is no way Director Tanya Peterson can deny Moving The Chimps was Her Plan.

2.25.15 - This Media push was exactly what was needed.  The public outcry for Our Precious Chimps was incredible!   The Petition doubled its signatures over the following 24 hours!

2.26.15 - Just hours before the Monthly Joint Zoo Committee Meeting, Director Peterson Announces to Members via email that Chimps are staying!  --
Exposing Director Peterson's Covert Mission to Kick Out the Chimps, obviously forced her to bow to Public Outcry!   We did it!  We Saved The Chimps!

2.26. Joint Zoo Committee Meeting  February --
Zoo Director Peterson Announces at the Joint Zoo Committee Meeting that Chimps are staying and Zoo will be moving forward with upgrading the current enclosure, to include additions of Sky Trails, while launching the "largest Fundraising Campaign to date", to raise 10 Million for a new enclosure, the Great Ape Forest.

3.5.15 - Emailed Director Peterson --
I emailed the Director thanking her for the decision to keep the  Chimps, as well made many suggestions in regard to updating their current home, concerns about the planned location for a new exhibit, and Fundraising ideas.  ...  No reply.

3.7.15 - San Francisco Zoo launches Website Donation Page. --
...  Update > Only publicity for it has been the initial Facebook Mention.

3.14.15 - Million Dollar Donation for Chimps! --
News from Zoo is an Anonymous Donor gave 1 Million toward the Triple Grotto Upgrade and Sky Trail addition.

3.26.15 - Upgrades Start!?  --
The Rusty and Peeling 1980s structure in Grotto 2, has been sanded and painted!  Not an upgrade but hopes for a larger plan of immediate action!
... Update > The excitement ends there.  The only other thing to be done is long overdue maintenance to the structure in Grotto 1 and the night quarters.

3.26   Joint Zoo Meeting March --
Director Photo Presentation of Sky Trail Upgrades.
... Director noted in discussion with me that the Million Dollar donation was enough to get the initial Sky Trail/Pachyderm Building addition completed. ... That this addition would be enough to satisfy AZA to keep Chimps, but noted contradictory statement, that if we got down to two Chimps before New Exhibit built, the Girls could be sent away or Zoo could bring in additional Chimps.
...Followed up on email suggestions I submitted to her.  Suggestions were based on sense , observations and one confirmed after reading AZA habitat guidelines. Was told  it was passed to Curators.
 ... Update > Have not heard or seen anything further on this.

4.6.15 - Reply to request of Donation Amount. --
Per Tim Wu, VP of Philanthropy $10,000 has been raised via 30 Donors through the Website Donation page.

4.23.15 -  AM Emailed Director Peterson regarding whether there would be an Update on the Chimps at tonight's Meeting.  ... didn't have time to check reply before Meeting.

4.23.15 -  Joint Zoo Committee Meeting April --
NO mention of Chimps.

4.23.15 - PM Email reply from Director Peterson, sent prior to Meeting time. --
Director Peterson refused to update and suggested I "bring it up at the Meeting".
... Update >  Since I didn't get to at this Meeting, there is no further Official Zoo Update.

4.24.15 - ZooFest --
To date there has been nothing in print (Media/Website/Facebook) that notes the Chimps plight was even mentioned at the Zoo's Annual Fundraising Event.

4.25.15 -  Happy Birthday Maggie * Happy Birthday Minnie! --
Chimp Girls turn 46!  ... Not publicly acknowledged by the Zoo.

5.20.15 -  Emailed Staffer Tim Wu requesting website based donation amount update and whether any funds were raised at ZooFest.  ... No reply.

5.28.15 - Joint Zoo Committee Meeting May -- Canceled.
... update >  Rescheduled for June 2.  I didn't go, because Zoo Staffer Sue Schafer who is responsible for posting the information, made errors in the way the date was noted and failed to alert me by phone as promised.

6.25.15 - Joint Zoo Committee Meeting June -- Canceled.  ... Not Rescheduled.

7.2.15 - Wood planks being replaced on Grotto 1 structure.  This is not an upgrade, but regular overdue maintenance.

7.10.15 - Happy Birthday Cobby!  Cobby turns 57! ... Not publicly acknowledged by the Zoo.

7.23.15 - Joint Zoo Committee Meeting July -- Focus on Primate Expansion, Lemurs not Chimps.
Key Notes:
... When Questioned on Chimp Timeline was told, Sifaka Lemur Exhibit to be constructed first, opening Spring 2016.  Chimp Expansion Fall 2016.  ... Please read mu blog post on this for answer details.
... Verbally made suggestions to Curator David Bocian in regard to current Chimp Habitat.

8.27.15 -  Chimps Get Two New Enrichment Toys.  First Items (aside from recent Fire Hoses) to be given to the Chimps, possibly in over Twenty Years.

8.27.15 - Joint Zoo Committe Meeting  August ---  Focus on Primate Expansion, Again.  No mention of the Chimps.  I questioned why Exhibits built first for Animals not currently in Collection.  ... Please read my blog post on this for answer details.

October 2015 - San Francisco Zoo is scheduled for an Accreditation Inspection by the AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) mid to late month.
... I wrote a lengthy letter to the AZA in regard to the Chimps and other Zoo Concerns.  
... I made several videos to support my letter, that also contained suggestions for Habitat Upgrades.
Please see post list, there are four, one for each video made.

November 2015 - July 2016 
I have continued to ask about the status of the Chimp Expansion and have been told by different sources in different departments, that "It's happening", but no one knows what or when.  Despite being told it would happen after the Sifaka were done, there is no current order in regard to the Chimps.

August 2016 -  Chimps get a Termite Mound!   Finally!  After other like structures have been built for the Anteater and Human Sculpture Garden, as well my own suggestion on several occasions both in writing and in person, dating back a few years, the Chimps finally get something they should have had years ago.  

November/December 2016 - Gutting of portion of Pachyderm building planned for construction of future Chimpanzee bedrooms.  Rooms will be used for additional Chimps, Quarentine, Holding, Introductions/Integration, and Night Quarters.

February 2017 - Construction begins on Playroom and off exhibit Rooms for Chimpanzees in Pachyderm Building.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Is SFZoo Director Peterson Fundraising For Our Chimps?

I've talked about our Chimps alot over the past few days.  Yesterday I spent time at the Zoo with Friends meeting Friends and Celebrating our Chimps.  I also did an interview for the Documentary being made about our Cobby.

Those events have resonated the feelings of passion I have in my advocacy for our Zoo Friends, and for my Chimp crusade in particular.  So, again I thought my days off would be filled with catching up here.  Instead I caught up on sleep, only to wake up and click on a google news alert for the Zoo that pissed me off.

Its not hard to piss me off in regards to the Zoo.  That is part of the problem.  Too many things are upsetting, and rather than write about them on the spot, they just get added to the to do list.  

Today, I'm bypassing my want for chronological order, for things to have backstory, for each post to flow into the next.  I just couldn't keep my thoughts to myself, until the right time in the post line came up.

So, even without proper updates, we all know, at this point,  four months after Zoo Director Tanya Peterson promised upgrades to our Chimps, that nothing except painting one structure from the 80s and doing neglected maintenance inside their night quarters has happened. 

We know that to date, Director Peterson has not forged into the "biggest fundraising campaign", that she touted at the announcement Meeting in February.   The only apparent effort to raise money for the Chimps has been by putting up a Donation page on their website, which was mentioned once on their Facebook page.

We know that one million dollars came from an Anonymous Donor, and I was told as of April 6th, that $10,000 was raised via the website.

I have been focusing on the asthetic state of the Chimps night quarters, as to me, this shows the blatant disregard and disrespect these Beings have gotten over the years.  At the very least, their home should have been painted by now.  I think they can afford a few cans of paint and manpower to get it done.  At the very least, it would show they care.

Cobby, wishing he was watching paint dry rather than peel.

On the extreme end of the upgrade situation, I was told by Director Peterson that the 1 million was enough to get the Sky Trails done.  So why hasn't that begun?   She knows very well that with the ages of our Chimps, that this is a time sensitive project.  This is an upgrade that in tempoary lieu of a new exhibit, will allow for more space and an additional holding space for bringing in additional Chimps, which is essential to them being able to remain at the Zoo, under the AZA guidelines.  

So, let's talk about the new exhibit.  With a price tag of ten million, Director Peterson has been quoted saying with various wording, that she's found it difficult to fundraise for this project.  I'd personally like to know what attempts she's made?  I've written before that I have not heard of any attempt for the Chimps needs at any ZooFest during her reign.  I have also yet to hear whether they were mentioned at this years ZooFest.

I also want to add, as I've done before and will again, that I think its disgusting that Members of the San Francisco Zoological Society are choosy what they donate to.  Maybe they should be reminded this organization they chose to be part of is a home and facility that is supposed to be dedicated to the care and well being of Living Beings.  Their Needs should be priority over "pet" projects.

That all said in brief, this is a ScreenCap of what came through the google alert today.

Don't get me wrong, as a San Francisco Native I'm all for history festivities, BUT you got to effin' be kidding me "led an expert fundraising charge to support these frolics and raise multi-million dollar funds,..."   So, the way I read this is, Director Peterson had ambition for and was able to, raise funds for frolics and lights, but can't seem to do the same for Living Beings in Need?   I'm also pretty sure she and every other Member of our illustrious San Francisco Zoological Society live in homes with no peeling paint.  Shameful.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Blog Update

Instead of the ongoing silence on my blogs, I wanted to at least post something, to let everyone know I'm still out here and still keeping my eye on Zoo Happenings.

Everyday for near two months, I have sat at the computer, trying to work on the long list (over a dozen, maybe nearing two) of blog posts I have in draft.  Chimp Updates, Visit Notes, Joint Zoo Meeting Reports, Topics of Issue,... So many things, and for some reason I just haven't been able to get any of them done.  

It may seem like an easy task, just write my thoughts and hit publish, but its not that easy for me. Writing these posts takes alot of time and energy.  I like to post in chronological order when I can.  I like to make sure to include photos and links, to support/supplement what I'm writing about.  Most of the time these are issues of extreme irritation and frustration, so I get pretty worked up.  That all said, I'm passionate about the Zoo Friends and it means alot to me to document the things I do.   This is something I will never give up on, because I will never give up on the Animals.  

Please continue to support my efforts by checking in.  I hope to move forward with a spurt of energy, I'm just waiting for it to hit!

Thank you to all who visit my blogs.


I have been posting pix and videos on my Chimp Facebook Group :)

Recently posted this wonderful capture of Cobby, Minnie and Maggie :)

and Animal Birthdays on my Zoo Friend Group :)

Friday, April 24, 2015

Happy Birthday to Our Precious Chimp Girls Maggie and Minnie!!

Tomorrow, April 25th, marks these Lovely Ladies Birthday's!! 

 Happy 46th Birthday Minnie!

Happy 46th Birthday Maggie!

Both these sweeties were born in 1969 and came to the Zoo before their first birthday in 1970.  After being taken from their Mothers in the wild, they became part of the Exotic Pet Trade and sold to the Zoo.  April 25th is probably the date they arrived at the San Francisco Zoo and therefore became the date listed as their Birthday.

I am careful not to use the word "celebrate", as until the day passes, it is unclear whether or not, these Girls will be given anything special to celebrate their day.  Most SFZoo Friends Birthdays sadly go unrecognized.

How about it San Francisco Zoo, Will you give the Chimp Family some Special Birthday Enrichment to Recognize and Celebrate these Ladies 46th Birthday?