Friday, February 27, 2015

Joint Zoo Committee Meeting - 2.26.15 - Chimps to Stay! - Keepers Speak

Great time at the Meeting!  Knowing that the Chimps had been Saved before going made for an emotionally peaceful time.  

First thing I did was go to Chimps and give them the good news :)  I took some video but need to edit and piece it together.  

I do want to include a photo of these awesome paper mache' Chimps made by my friend Lee Anderson, who I used to do Animal Enrichments with.  She is still active in that passion, making Enrichment Toys for Sanctuary Animals.  She made these and we used them as 3-D signs at last nights meeting.

Thank you to my Friends, Lee Anderson, Nica and Eleanor Doodle and Michael Murphy for making an effort to come to the Meeting in support of the Chimps.  As well, there seemed to be only one other Member of the Public who showed up.  I Thank her, as I expected there would be more.  Thank you Lisa!  Nice to meet you and thank you for saying a few words in support of this crusade!

I also want to note that I didn't print and present the Petition comments at the Meeting.  I felt that it was not necessary in light of the Victory. It was only necessary to illustrate public outcry. So, since I was short on time and that stop to print them out would have made it so I couldn't get in by 3:30 entry cut-off, I chose not to.  I will follow-thru on this in the near future and send a copy to Director Peterson.  I hope everyone understands and isn't disappointed.  I apologize.

Video I took of Director Peterson's Announcement and Presentation.

Portions of the Meeting that I want to focus on are as follows:

I thought this was very well put together.  It contained photos and graphics that indicated that there was prior (to me finding out about the situation) research on her part.  The specifics of this could not have been totally done in less than two days.  I know because I've sat here putting together blog posts that take half a day sometimes.  That said, the photos of her visiting the other facilities don't do anything to change my belief that after doing so the plan to move them was indeed in motion.  The graphic of the proposed new exhibit design answered a question I was going to have about design moving forward, in regards to ability to keep a new group separate pending introductions/integration.

I was happy to hear that there were plans for their current home while raising funds and ground breaking for their new home was in the process.  As I understand making extensive upgrades, even though much needed, wasn't even necessary to keeping them here, as long as plans for new exhibit was confirmed.  Seeing the plans and learning later that they have budgeted $250,000 for the project was way more than I expected.  KUDOS!  I will be doing a post about simple things I'd like to see in an upgrade, but what they showed with the above ground air trails, is wonderful.  I have seen this online from other zoos and I think its a great addition and way to go, as it seems like by making upgrades above the surface of the current exhibit, it will allow them to demolish if necessary the ground level after they move to the new exhibit.  Then building something new in that space will be half complete.  

I think the location for a new exhibit is a great plan.  I didn't know that space was available to build on. I had been thinking the site of former Monkey Island.  I do like that this space has natural trees that could be used.  My only concern is the weather factor coming from the Ocean if it is not a "pit" exhibit, but an above ground one.  This area borders Ocean Beach and it is colder and windier along Great Hiway than anywhere else in the Zoo.  Hopefully that is taken into consideration.  I only think of this because I was talking once with former Keeper John Alcaraz and we were talking about the old Rhino exhibit area past south gate, on way to Grizzlies.  He said, that area can not be used for Primates as they would be too susceptible to sickness.  He said it used to be called "Pneumonia Alley".

Interesting note on bringing in Rescue Chimps!  

Aside from the Awesome News of the Chimps Staying, I was very proud to see a large group of Keepers present at the Meeting.  Thank you to Dave, Corey, Dayna and Collette who spoke.  I was happy to hear they have formed a Keeper Group (I forgot the name, even though I asked Dave for it) that will bring up Animal Care issues to the Commission each month.  KUDOS to them for banding together and coming forward publicly to do what's best for the Animals.  NOT KUDOs goes to Rec and Park Commissioner Mark Buell who told them that while they would follow-up on these issues, he essentially reprimanded them for using the Meeting forum to address these issues.  Shame on him! I will be writing a letter to him.  Does he know how much guts it took for the Keepers to do this? Maybe he isn't aware that by speaking up they are often ignored, reprimanded, or fired for doing so. Its really disgusting that he felt he had to get that dig in.  People like that on the governing panel of the Zoo are why we have a Zoo with the issues it has.  ... I was disturbed by the issue that Dayna spoke on, that indicated the doors at Gorillas have still not been repaired!  What!?  ... and Corey spoke about a disease that is infecting a portion of the Lemur population, while the Zoo continues to bring in additional species of that Animal.  So awful his description of what is happening to them.  I will have to get the name of the issue and post it.  .. I am saddened and disappointed yet not surprised when I hear these things and I have to wonder, why aren't the Vets and Animal Care VP David Bocian speaking out about these issues?  

I want to make a note of a Member of the Public who commented many times.  This person I had seen at every meeting I went to several years ago.  So, I assume he is still going regularly.  I have never gotten a good feeling from this person's agenda based on what he says.  He comes off as and may very well be, aligned with the group In Defense of Animals.  Most times I hear anyone associated with this group speak, I can only think they are not "for" animals, but against "zoos".  Close the Zoo Zealots I call them.  I have often heard this persons statements and wonder if he knows anything about our Animals individually.  Tonight I heard him rebut most everything Director Peterson said. We all know I am not a fan of Peterson's , but I also am not a fan of bullshit.  I can't remember specifics, but I can say that each time he opened his mouth, except for the last thing he said, he responded to her words, like he hadn't heard what she was saying.  If you are reading this, please learn about our Animals, and also listen to what's being said and answer accordingly.  

I think that's about it.  I missed some of the topics.  I wish the Meetings were video taped, as the Minutes don't do them justice.  I had not gone to a Meeting in four years for various reasons.  I plan to try and be at more as well I encourage others concerned and curious with the Zoo to do so.  You always read the Minutes at:

Zoo Director's Statement - Editorial Comment

Its just not in my nature to not have an editorial comment.  That said, it in no way takes away from the fact that I am beyond happy about this outcome and whatever way this Victory for Our Precious Chimps came about, I Thank Director Peterson for doing the right thing.

Foremost, while there would never be any acknowledgement on the part of Director Peterson for the influence of public outcry, I believe 100%, anyone who played a part in this, from me calling attention to the situation, Dan Noyes bringing it to the public, to everyone who wrote a letter, signed the Petition, in whatever way any member of the public participated in this crusade, we are the ones responsible for these Precious Friends not losing their home.  We did this!  Be proud!  And continue to be a voice.  This started because I was one person with a computer and a passion to be a voice for the Animals.

I do believe that the words of Director Peterson's Statement (see previous post) are a well designed PR statement, while giving the background information that should have been available before the air of secrecy set in and the situation had to be pieced together.

I 100% believe in the chain of events as they happened.  That and facts speak.  The simple facts are, while Director Peterson alludes in this statement as well as other personal correspondence that she had no plans to move the Chimps, last week I was on the grounds as they were building the transfer cages.
Spelling that out:  If no plan in place, why were cages being built?   

Director Peterson kept her plans to move the Chimps away from not only the public, but apparently Zoological Board Members, Joint Zoo Committee Members, and other City associated officials were not aware.  That said, on the flip-side, apparently her "plans"" not to move them were also kept secret. Its my opinion until the public outcry, those Chimps were set to move.  I'm just thankful they had no idea what was happening and they never had to step foot in those cages.

Some snips from the Statement:

> "We also asked architects to design conceptual plans for a new home for the chimpanzees here at our Zoo. With today's rising construction costs,"<

If this design was requested in 2013 as stated after the passing of Tallulah (our fourth Chimp), and she veto'd it for cost reasons, ...

*Why has there been money spent to build so many new things (exhibits, party places, sculpture garden)?  If she was committed to doing something for the Chimps, "new" should have been halted and those monies banked for this project.  At the very least painting their home and taking down a rusted structure.

*Why was the 2014 ZooFest Fundraiser not dedicated to raising funds for this project?

>"... after visiting alternative facilities and speaking to several experts, I have concluded it is best for our chimpanzees to remain together here in San Francisco.  This is not a slight on any other institution but arises out of a real concern about the stress on Cobby of moving, and adapting, to another chimpanzee group where other males are present."<

I'm just going to post this as one of the points that nudged me.

>" Thus, with the support of our amazing Board of Directors, we will continue to augment and adapt the current home of our chimpanzees as they age gracefully."<

I don't mean to be snarky, but the use of the word continue alludes that there has been augmentations/adaptions in the past.  I don't consider the 1980s last upgrade to be relevant.  What I do hope, is that there will be some immediate alterations to the exhibit, even before the major ones detailed in the Meeting presentation "break ground".  I will do a post titled What I'd Like to See ...

>" In order to build a new home for them, we will need to pull together as a community to raise the funds which this decision will require."<

I was surprised by this, but fine with it.  I had already started writing up and researching fundraising sites, in case members of the public who signed the Petition were interested.  As well, I have some other ideas.  I plan a post about this subject.  we aren't going to raise millions but I have some ideas of what we can do.

So, aside from those bits that caught my attention, I can not be more happy with this outcome.  Again I Thank Director Peterson for making the right decision for Cobby, Maggie and Minnie.  Even though I don't want the public to lose sight of the way this played out, those Friends are whats important here.  This Victory is about them.  

Save San Francisco Zoo Chimps Update - SAVED!!!!!! - Directors Statement

Good Morning Chimp Fans!  Hopefully everyone has heard the wonderful news by now  ...


I apologize for not posting this last night.  It was a long night and I didn't get very far in posting at all.  I will try now but I have limited time this morning, so may have to do some and finish tonight.  

I sat here all morning blogging and networking some fundraising ideas, and finally as that stretched into the early afternoon I had to jam out in order to get to the Zoo in time to not miss last entry. While enroute I got texts that Director Tanya Peterson, with less than three hours before the Meeting sent a statement to Zoo Members.  I have been sobbing tears of Joy since.  Tearing up now just writing this, because this really is a great Victory for Our Precious Chimps.  We did this and I thank all of you who took part in this crusade!

Director Peterson's Statement:

To the Members of the San Francisco Zoological Society,

Recent media coverage has focused on our beloved chimpanzee family. I thus thought it best to provide you some background and an update.

Following the death of chimpanzee family matriarch Tallulah, our accrediting body, the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), recommended that our three remaining chimps be moved to another facility. The AZA recommendation is based upon what it believes is in the best long term interests for the health, wellbeing, and happiness of Cobby, Minnie, and Maggie. Respecting their expertise, we commenced a process of research and compliance, including visiting the facility, speaking with medical experts, and so forth.

We also asked architects to design conceptual plans for a new home for the chimpanzees here at our Zoo. With today's rising construction costs, a state-of-the art, appropriate chimpanzee exhibit costs millions of dollars. Raising that kind of money and obtaining the necessary approvals to build on Zoo grounds takes a great deal of time and resources - perhaps several years -- and we're acutely aware that we may be running out of time, especially given the age of our stately male chimpanzee, Cobby. At 57, he is one of the oldest living males in captivity, and it speaks volumes about staff's care of him that he remains in such good health.

Nevertheless, after visiting alternative facilities and speaking to several experts, I have concluded it is best for our chimpanzees to remain together here in San Francisco. This is not a slight on any other institution but arises out of a real concern about the stress on Cobby of moving, and adapting, to another chimpanzee group where other males are present. 

Thus, with the support of our amazing Board of Directors, we will continue to augment and adapt the current home of our chimpanzees as they age gracefully. Thank you to all of you who have written to me and expressed your love and concern for our chimpanzees. In order to build a new home for them, we will need to pull together as a community to raise the funds which this decision will require. This will be a fundraising effort larger than any single project which we have attempted in recent years, and I ask you to help me in making this possible. We all want what is best for our chimpanzees; we will have to work together to make that happen.

Tanya Peterson

Anyone who knows me or has followed my blogs, knows I have an editorial comment. I will post that next and let you have the option of reading it or not.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Only Doable Solution to Save San Francisco Zoo Chimps!

My previous post ended with these two paragraphs:

The message that the San Francisco Zoo doesn't have FINAL say, is a tough one.  Its true in the sense that the SSP/AZA combo of what they feel is the ideal social grouping for Chimpanzees in captivity is the catalyst and eventual officials that are in position to enforce those ideals.  BUT The San Francisco Zoo has the bottom line choice as stated in the piece.  The Zoo can decide and commit right now to Keeping the Chimps.  Its up to them whether they want to do what it takes to raise funds to build them a new home.  

My last words were ".. so much more can be done for them, they don't have to move to get that".   No words ever truer.

SO, What is the only Doable Solution to Keeping Out Chimps in SF?

*San Francisco Zoo commits to building new Chimp Home.
*Chimps are allowed to Stay in SF as long as maintain current group size.
*After New Exhibit built, additional Chimps added to Group.

I believe and from what I understand, I'm near 100% certain that the only doable solution to Keeping Our Chimps in San Francisco, is they must get a New Home.

Prior to the KGO-TV news story I thought based on all I could figure about the situation at the time, was that by making upgrades to their current home (exhibit) would be enough to allow for them to expand the group size to meet SSP/AZA regulations.  I now think its going to take more.

It seems that the amount of money to upgrade would be very costly and while I did think that it could be done while the Chimps were still living there, I don't think that any longer.

I thought that taking down that awful rusted structure in the second grotto and connecting the second and third grottos to create a larger surface area for them, in addition to giving them some new foraging mounds, and trees would be enough.  After doing some additional research I think its going to take way more.

The San Francisco Zoo is going to have to commit and do it soon, to building the Chimps a New Home on the Zoo Grounds.

I have heard that Director Peterson allegedly has it in her plan to build a version of the Great Ape Forest that was voted in by City Residents via a Bond in 1997.  I can only imagine she has the plan to put it in the place where the current Chimp home sits.  She would have to do something with that area as its a main focal area of the Zoo and if the Chimps are gone, its got to be redone as a priority.  That area could not sit there fenced off for long.

The only doable scenario is that the Zoo gives the confirmation to the SSP/AZA that a new exhibit will be constructed.  The SSP/AZA would more than likely be agreeable to extending time for this to happen, as long as our Chimp Group does not reduce in numbers before completion.  If this is done, our Chimps can stay and the Zoo would not have to bring in additional Chimps until the completion of the New Exhibit.

*San Francisco Zoo commits to building new Chimp Home.
*Chimps are allowed to Stay in SF as long as maintain current group size.
*After New Exhibit built, additional Chimps added to Group.

This can work!  ...  Additionally, the small changes to their current home should still take place. That rusty structure has to come down, and they have to get a new twigging/foraging mound.  AND most important, a new barrier that includes distraction trees so that Visitors don't upset Cobby on a daily basis.

My editorial comments about this to come.  I just needed to get this written before leaving for the day as I think its important information to have out there before the Meeting tonight!

KGO-TV News Story Comments- Clarifications- Information

Thank you to Dan Noyes and the KGO-TV I-Team for being interested in this story.  In this situation.

The piece was perfect!  It really brought to light, one of the biggest San Francisco Zoo Fails out there.
I am grateful that in addition to other issues the Zoo has had brought to light, that maybe more Members of the Public will get involved with forcing the Powers that Be there, to make our San Francisco Zoo all it can be, and that is by doing what's best for the Animals who call it Home.  

The only thing I want to clarify, because it has been mentioned in many of the new Petition comments, is about the Children's Playground cost.  It did cost in excess of 3 Million.  As I understand it, the money was specifically donated for a new playground.  Many times money is donated only for use for certain things.  I also believe there was a long over due issue with the old one being outdated by law.  

That all said, I still feel that the money could have been used in part differently, as well it is my opinion that fundraising could be done differently.  I don't believe that Director Peterson presents In Need Animal Issues to Donors. None of the ZooFest Fundraisers during her reign have been to raise funds for the Chimps or any other Animal in Need.  I think two have been for her new North American region. In the instance of the playground, why couldn't she say, wow, 3 million is generous, we can do it in 1.5, can we use the other half for Animals in Need?

This is an Animal Park.  Golden Gate Park has multiple playgrounds. The playground, did not need to be that excessive.  And we surely don't need another Million dollar play area that is, the Sculpture Garden.  People should be coming to the Zoo to see the Animals and learn about them. What happened to the Zoo's Education on Nature focus?  

In regard to the new Million Dollar play sculptures: 
*Allegedly this price is down from the 3 Million the Zoo was prepared to pay!
*I have no idea where this money came from.
*This money was NOT part of the original playground donation.  The Zoo went over budget on the original playground, and fundraised to complete it.  So in the end, it cost more than 3 Million.

I highlight this particular issue not only because of the comments on the Petition, but because the way the Zoo spends money is directly related to this story.  The way the Zoo under Director Peterson's Management has spent money, fundraised for money is THE direct reason the Chimps are in Jeopardy of being Kicked Out.  

You can read more about the playground in one of my original posts on my main blog:

I was very surprised to see the information on Lion Country Safari.  It did appear that the roads are closer to the Animals than I thought.  I researched this place several weeks ago, and actually found it not to be as bad as my first reaction, in that is was an amusement park.  I liked that the Director seemed to be willing to give our Chimps a home, even though he already has so many in his care. They have many Chimps, in many social groups, as well the oldest living Chimp, Lil Mama, so they do know something about Chimps.  In fact I actually loved a video I saw on their site where Santa comes every year and brings them toys.  This video also shows that it does look like the Animals are separated from the road by water.  

My main issue for me, is moving them at all (PERIOD!), even to a Sanctuary.  They are just too old, comfortable and secure here, and with each other.  They had to deal with losing Tallulah already, AND I don't think the Zoo should get away with neglecting them all these years.  

I felt bad for poor Danny Latham from PR.  He was obviously pushed to be the mouth piece for this, when he clearly didn't had the answers, even possibly was told not to say anything.  Leaving him fumbling for words.  Why didn't Director Peterson take the interview?  She is the face of the Zoo. The face of this situation, SHE should be speaking on this, not passing the buck to someone who isn't prepared.  But, I've seen her defer to others countless times.

The message that the San Francisco Zoo doesn't have FINAL say, is a tough one.  Its true in the sense that the SSP/AZA combo of what they feel is the ideal social grouping for Chimpanzees in captivity is the catalyst and eventual officials that are in position to enforce those ideals.  BUT The San Francisco Zoo has the bottom line choice as stated in the piece.  The Zoo can decide and commit right now to Keeping the Chimps.  Its up to them whether they want to do what it takes to raise funds to build them a new home.  

My last words were ".. so much more can be done for them, they don't have to move to get that".   No words ever truer.

My next post will be what I think, rather I know to be the doable plan for Keeping Our Chimps at Home in San Francisco!

You can view the News piece here:

KGO-TV News Story Thank You's! - We Want Our Chimps To Stay!

In case you haven't seen the News piece yet, or want to watch it again, here is the link:

It has been really busy for me since the story aired.  The Petition has boomed!  We are near our initial goal!  So keep sharing and networking it, this blog, our Facebook Group, and we are now on Twitter!  Whatever effort you can put out that keeps this situation alive, will Help Our Chimps!  They need to Stay in San Francisco, and the only way that can happen in addition to the San Francisco Zoological Society and its Donors stepping up and providing funds, is Our Efforts to show them We Want The Chimps To Stay!  

I have to start by giving Thanks.  I have been blogging about San Francisco Zoo related issues for near four years and only now are people listening.  To date, my main blog has gotten over 60,00 page views, but only about a dozen steady supporters commenting.  With this passion project, I was lucky that everything aligned and I knew the right people to make bring this story to the masses.

Thank you to my friend Lila Talcott Travis.  Without her KGO-TV connection, I would not have got this story and my crusade for Cobby, Maggie and Minnie out.  She literally grew up at the Zoo.  She has an amazing story and has dedicated her life to helping Animals.  She and a group of friends who cared, crusaded and fought for a Better San Francisco Zoo for over twenty years.  ... Please visit her Wildlife Rescue site at

Thank you to Tracy Oppenheimer from KGO-TV who worked with me to get this story ready. Without your interest and ear, the story would not have gotten to done.

Thank you to KGO-TV I-Team reporter Dan Noyes.  Your interest in San Francisco Zoo issues is impressive.  I have tried in the past to get the Media's attention to Zoo issues and no one cared.  I'm glad that we have connected and you cared to bring attention to the Chimps Story.

Thank you to my friend John Alcaraz.  A true treasure.  John has had a long, interesting and wonderful life, that has been filled with a true passion for Animals.  You saw the love in his interview that he still has for the Chimps, the only remaining Animals at the Zoo who were in his care.  His words added so much to this piece.

Thank you to all my friends who have taken the time to support this in whatever way they could, writing letters, signing, sharing, commenting, ect.  You were the root of keeping this issue alive. There are too many to name.  Some who want to remain anonymous.  You know who you are, and you are a big part of this!

Thank you to everyone who I don't know who is doing what they can to help.  All the new people who have found this blog, and issue, I am grateful for your support, comments, and ideas.  We still got a fight on our hands to Keep Our Chimps!  

Thank you to Cobby, Maggie and Minnie for being a part of my life.

Save SFZoo Chimps Petition Near Goal!

Good Morning!  I spent hours last night saving comments from the Petition to print for the Meeting tonight.  I wanted to print the whole Petition but thankfully we have over 800 Signatures!  and it was way too long for a handout.  There were also so many wonderful comments that I had to narrow them down to four pages,  using a pretty small font size to even get to four pages only!   Thank you so much to everyone who Signed and left a Comment.  Every comment is wonderful and valued.  If the Chimps could read, I'm sure they would feel your love.  Reviewing them this morning, I sit her sobbing.  I want to post the ones I will be presenting tonight to the Commission.  Again they are all wonderful, it was just a matter of space that I had to narrow the list.  After the Petition closes, I will try to post every comment made!  Thank you all again!  Let's Get Our Chimps A New Home in SF!


Comments taken from the online Petition - San Francisco Zoo - Don’t Kick Chimps Out!

T May, CAFeb 25, 23:07 # 801
This is an opportunity to teach the young about valuing old age animals and people, and you are blowing it, plus you are disrespecting the staff, on top of being insensitive about the animals about whom it is obvious you don't give a damn. It seems that Zoo Director Tanya Peterson should be working for a park, not for a zoo.

Kathryn Woodhouse, CAFeb 25, 22:34 # 791
I am shocked and saddened that these chimpanzees are being treated this way. They deserve better, and should be living out the rest of their lives in the only home they know that is far overdue for upgrades. Don't torture these innocent animals by moving them across the country because of mistakes made by zoo officials.

H GONZALEZ, CAFeb 25, 21:37 # 779
This is their home, please don't let them take the chimps!

Sharon Beals, CAFeb 25, 21:20 # 769
Please do right by these creatures. Keep them here, and improve their home. It will only make the zoo more important to us, and spare the zoo so much negative p;r.

Lara Fabans, CAFeb 25, 21:12 # 762
Let them live out their natural lives in the only home they've had, please. It's the humane thing to do.

Leann Sofilos, CAFeb 25, 20:54 # 752
Please let them stay and give them the new home that was promised.

Bridget Oates, CAFeb 25, 20:40 # 750
Please let these three elderly chimps stay in the peaceful home they have known for 45 years with the people they have come to trust.

Name not displayed, CAFeb 25, 20:40 # 749
This is absolutely disgusting to move these Senior Chimps. Please let them retire in peace. There is no way they will make that trip to Florida with all the stress this is their only HOME. Shame on the Zoo for even thinking of this.

Patti Meyer, CAFeb 25, 20:23 # 743
These chimps are senior citizens and deserve to "retire" in the home they have lived in for so long.

Leanne Wilson, CAFeb 25, 20:23 # 741
We don't need sculptures at the Zoo, we need animals to learn from and share with our kids. Please don't move our chimps!! Spend the money on expanding this exhibit and adding to the social group. It will add more visitors to the park! Thank You.

Sunny Powel, 25, 20:12 # 738
Without our voice, these chimps will end up being shipped from the only home they have known. ABSOLUTELY NOT. San Francisco Zoo don't treat our older animals like they are an inconveince.

Name not displayed, CAFeb 25, 20:12 # 737
My family are zoo members and have been visitors for years. We were heart broken after we heard about Kabibe. So after what happened to her I would think the SF zoo would not want any more bad press. If these chimps were younger that would be one thing but given their age and that this is there only home that they have known. How much I love the Zoo I would have to rethink having a membership. The elinor friend playground is awesome but this is a zoo not a neighborhood park. Fix this please!

john Kindorf, CAFeb 25, 19:55 # 733
please allow these intelligent, wonderful animals to stay in there home

R. Locher, CAFeb 25, 19:51 # 728
Why not take better care of these three who have provided so much joy to all of us across the bay area? It is cruel to move them at their fragile age.

Karen Costa, CAFeb 25, 19:31 # 707
When I heard this story on Ch.7 news, I knew I just had to write.I have fond memories of being witness to the uncanny bond my friend Julie Rickrode had to these chimps, especially Maggie.She and her mother Claire spent many hours at the zoo, and were sponsers of the chimps back in the 70's.She and I would go to the zoo together, and as we were walking down the path that leads to the Chimp's habitat, Maggie and Julie would start their "conversation" together. Maggie would become soooo animated every time she saw Julie coming! It was truly amazing! One time,we had the great privilege of going "behind the scenes" where I was able to take pictures of Maggie up close for Julie...I'll never forget it. Sadly, Julie is no longer with us, so I am speaking for her as well as myself. I know she would be appalled to find this out about their plight. Do the right thing and improve their habitat!!!

Name not displayed, CAFeb 25, 19:05 # 693
The lack of compassion and understanding for these amazing animals is mind blowing. SO much money rolling into SF and none for this. Disgusting. It is a sad message you send even as you try to spin it. shame on you.

Dwight Barry, CAFeb 25, 19:02 # 690
People - have a heart! We are but a chromosome or two away from our "Chimp" brothers and sisters. Remember "Planet of the Apes?" Build these Chimps a new habitat right here in San Francisco and show a little class.

Eugene Granovsky, CAFeb 25, 19:01 # 687
No more sculpture gardens and playgrounds unless they for the animals. Keep the chimps at home! I am a member of the zoological society and have been for over 25 years and this really annoys me.

Lynn Fonseca, CAFeb 25, 19:01 # 684
I am a SF zoo member and anthropologist with a primatologist back ground. I am saddened and outraged that these elderly chimps would be removed from their home (such as it is). It will be a death sentence. Please allow them to stay until their natural deaths.

haron Knott, CAFeb 25, 18:53 # 675
I think it's horrible that they want to move the chimps from their home that they have had for decades. They can spend money on a sculpture garden, but not for the chimps. Who goes to a zoo to see a sculpture garden? You go to see the animals.

Elaine Maloney, CAFeb 25, 18:49 # 660
I have grown up in San Francisco and LOVE visiting those chimps... 29 years old and been to the zoo MANY times. If you think its acceptable to SHIP off chimps while building a sculpture garden with millions, you are clearly NOT the zoo I thought you were. If you lose these three chimps, you will also lose a family of fans, and I PROMISE to NEVER give money, never visit and go to Oakland. Which says a lot since the zoo is literally down the street from me.

Name not displayed, CAFeb 25, 18:40 # 642
Please don't move them they have been an asset for the zoo for years ... They deserve better in their senior years than to be shipped away. Terrible way to treat these animals!!!!

Sergio Schubert, CAFeb 25, 18:22 # 639
Let them live out the rest of their lives in peace in the only home they've known you horrible monsters.

Devi Rich, MDFeb 25, 16:34 # 625
As a native San Franciscan, I implore you to continue caring for these chimps. The SF Zoo has been their home for decades - to uproot them would be the epitome of cruelty and selfishness. If it is a funding issue, I'm sure the good people of SF would contribute to their care. PLEASE reconsider, and let them stay!

Name not displayed, CAFeb 25, 14:39 # 618
How can you even think of moving those chimps. They have lived there almost their entire lives and now you think oh well they won't care or be impacted on the move. You don't even belong running the zoo if that is your thinking.

Rhonda Schroeder, CAFeb 25, 14:16 # 614
These chimps are too old to have to experience such a huge trauma and change to their lives. They likely won't survive, is that the goal? Allow them to live their final days together and in peace. Respectfully, Rhonda Schroeder

Yovanna Peck, CAFeb 25, 12:57 # 601
I am an ex-S.F. Animal Keeper and I remember that the same inhumane fate was going to befall "Ellie" the very old and "hard-working" (you know what I mean!) female Rhino. It is cruel to take elderly animals and relocate them supposedly for the good of the species, causing them fear and yes, sadness. Cobby, Minnie and Maggie deserve protection. We stole them as little babies, no doubt killing their mothers so MANY years ago, in order to be "entertained" by them. Now at least let them stay at their home until they die of old age. It is the only decent thing we can do for them.

Diane Palacio, CAFeb 25, 12:09 # 595
Keep the 3 chimps together at the S.F. Zoo and build a new area for them as promised. Misappropriation of funds is not acceptable.

harriet menon, CAFeb 25, 11:52 # 593
This is outrageous! The chimps should be allowed to live out their lives peacefully. Find a way to make this happen. Show us that a zoo really does care!

Carol Keith, MIFeb 25, 10:34 # 578
After living and existing with each other,these chimps have become acclimated to their surroundings,however bad they are.To move them to what sounds like a busy,noisey environment could and most likely will cause such anxiety that they could suffer severe health problems resulting in death.They are used to their caretakers and their surroundings,so to move them at this age is giving them the death sentence!Spend some money on these beloved tourist attractions and forget about the playgrounds,etc.They don't belong in any zoo but they do deserve to live their final days in the place they have become accustomed to.Please don;t move them!  

Libby Edwards, NYFeb 25, 10:15 # 575
As a former SF resident, I am appalled to think that these elderly chimps would be moved. I would think a special fundraising campaign to expand their habitat should be the first priority--not stressing out elderly chimps with a major relocation!    

Name not displayed, CAFeb 25, 09:19 # 557
Please STOP the move. These beautiful animals need to live out their lives in the only home they know

Name not displayed, CAFeb 25, 09:01 # 555
The idea of moving these old chimps makes me sad and angry. Please do whatever it takes to allow them to live out their lives in their San Francisco home.

Ellen Floyd, CAFeb 25, 08:16 # 541
Please build the new facility for the chimps. We owe them love and respect.

Name not displayed, CAFeb 25, 08:00 # 535
these chimps are our responsibility. everything about this move is wrong for these animals.   
Phyllis Winter, CAFeb 25, 07:39 # 529
It's very traumatizing to have to adjust to a new home at their advanced ages. Please let them age at what they think is home!

Vicki Helgenberg, PAFeb 25, 04:57 # 516
That really is a disgrace. Dumping out the Seniors, the Family, you should be ashamed of yourselves. Leave them there and let the Public learn of the goodness of your hearts. Then maybe the Public will learn something from that.

Donna Tai, CAFeb 25, 03:00 # 509
I am 60, relatively younger than these chimps and would be devastated to be moved in with a large noisy bunch of strangers and the noise of kid rides. As a medical professional I saw many elderly people totally lose their wellbeing and go downhill mentally and physically just because they had to move to an unfamiliar environment. This is nothing but cruelty and callousness by San Francisco zoo. How about a zoo boycott as money seems to be their main concern?

Melinda Rosenaur, CAFeb 25, 01:21 # 503
Please keep these precious chimpanzees right where they are at the San Francisco Zoo. This is the only home they have ever known. It would be a grave injustice to send them to Florida where they may be uncomfortable and unable to fit in well with other chimpanzees they don't know. These chimpanzees are a beloved fixture at the San Francisco Zoo and as such should be treated with the utmost love and respect. Do the right thing San Francisco, and upgrade and make the necessary changes to their enclosure to make it desirable for them to stay in San Francisco. Please make the only right choice for them and let them stay at their home at the San Francisco Zoo. We the people are counting on you to make the right choice for these chimpanzees, and have them stay in San Francisco!

Kimberly Pudliner, CAFeb 25, 00:20 # 495
The SF Zoo should take pride in having some of the oldest, if not the oldest, chimps and advertise as such. Their home at the zoo should be upgraded and refreshed, rather than uprooting them from their home and causing potential anxiety or worse.

jeanne stuart-chilcote, CAFeb 25, 00:14 # 494
We love all animals and they love us back 10 fold. I have only been to zoo's a few times with my Aunt, due to my Dad had said it was not right to take them out of their habitat and now I am 50 and I have not gone back to the zoo. I really want to. This tugged at my heart. I hope we can persuade Google or many other company's to donate money to make a better home for our chimps in our beloved animals! I feel if Robin Williams was still alive he would do something to help! Everyone loved Robin and if even each person that enjoyed him would donate $1 or 5 dollars we could have over a million dollars to help, but I know we will need much more money. Wealthy people, I pray you open your check books and maybe do it as a memorial to Robin Williams. Just a thought. I give thanks to Kim Forwood and abc Channel 7 news! Sincerely, Jeanne Stuart-Chilcote

Name not displayed, CAFeb 24, 23:53 # 487
We must always take care of our elderly! Keep them home and together, shipping them off could be the beginning of the end. Build them a new space here!

Name not displayed, CAFeb 24, 23:45 # 480
I am a Native Second Generation San Franciscan and these chimps have been her since I was born. This is EXTREMELY DEVASTATING that you would just get rid of these chimps from the only home they have ever known!!!!!! To split them up and to confuse them at there age by just shipping them off for whatever reasons you feel is "best" for them or their population is disgusting!!!! It needs to stop NOW!!!!

Annika Gustafsson, CAFeb 24, 23:44 # 479
Didn't realize that these were the same guys I saw as a kid. Let them stay where they are now and fix their home. How much money must be stolen for other purposes? Let's be their voice!

Name not displayed, CAFeb 24, 23:37 # 474
The chimps have been there since I was a kid. The zoo management should spend the money to upgrade their facilities to take care of "their senior citizens" and not send them away. It's criminal to spend money on a rock garden and not on their own residents.

Name not displayed, CAFeb 22, 21:54 # 438
The zoo depends on support from visitors and donors and should say SOMEthing to them about what their plans are instead of moving these long-time dependent residents out in the dark of night if that's what they're planning. That they've not denied any of this nor explained anything at all is disquieting. There is too much secrecy involved and a strong hint of not caring about animals that have just grown too old to be a revenue enhancer. We recently experienced not enough care shown there, despite accident records, that affected a young gorilla's life. What's needed are assurances that any plans guarantee the well-being of the chimps when the zoo did not use voter-approved funding that was earmarked to improve their living situation at this zoo. Are those who oversee zoo management disinterested in what happens with the animals?

Name not displayed, CAFeb 15, 15:12 # 83
Tonya, you will kill the chimps if you displace them from their home after all these years. Do you not have any empathy for the animals your policies affect? This is typical of the new San Francisco. We're even gentrifying the zoo! Unbelievable