I mentioned in my previous post that I visited the Zoo this past week. I have written about this issue on several occasions, both on my main blog and since this situation crusade, on this blog just a week ago. SO, Why are the Chimps still subjected to Ignorant Visitors with no assistance from the San Francisco Zoo Staff? The Zoo reads my blogs, so they themselves can't claim ignorance, at least not on this subject.
Last week I posted a video of our Male Cobby as he was upset by Zoo Visitors. If you missed it, you can view it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocLsP-2k8-A
When I was in the Lion House, a woman, who was with her adult Daughter, asked a Keeper what it meant when the "large Ape with gray hair, swayed side to side". She answered that it was an act of Stress. ... After the Keeper left I spoke to this woman and her Daughter and they were very upset when I told them this happens often. I asked if there were Visitors upsetting him, laughing, heckling, ect. Answer: Yes. I asked if there was any Security or other Staff around. Answer: No. They agreed with suggestions I have made to the Zoo in regard to this.
Education on Respectful Zoo Behavior, Behavior at Chimps specifically, and on Chimpanzee Behavior.
The Zoo schedules Docents on a daily basis. I rarely see them anymore and when I do, I don't see them interacting with Visitors much. I have suggested a better way to use them many times. In this case, a Docent should be at Chimps during all open hours. They should be used to talk to the Visitors on all three points listed above. They should be used to stop any behavior that instigates a stress action from the Chimps. ... Most of this issue would be moot and can be resolved if proper upgrades are made to the exhibit.
I noted in a previous post today in regard to AZA Enclosure Guidelines, that the Zoo should have a visual barrier for the Chimps of trees placed at the barrier line. This would obscure the direct visual the Chimps would have on the Visitors.
While I know that it is hit/miss whether Visitors read signage, at least some do and signage, especially in regard to the swaying behavior and not to react to it, would be helpful.
I will note on this particular day, the Chimps were locked outside of their indoor quarters, which is an escape from the public for them, as well the route to access the other grottos (additional escape zones).
Sadly and curiously, it amazes me that the collective, supposed educated minds of the Animal Staff and Management that no one can think to implement these simple ideas.
Also worthy of mentioning, both days were extremely crowded. Thursday was a no school day and had an attendance in excess off 3,000 and yesterday in excess of 4,500! I saw one guard, once, each of those those days. Also, on free day they have put out the metal police barriers to keep crowds back Knowing non-school days (in great weather!) and weekend days, draw bigger crowds, why aren't these additional barriers used?
I almost hate to point out Zoo Fails, because of the excuses it may bring on, but these are fixable with a bit of intelligence applied. It should no way be used/taken as a reason to move them, but a reason to force the Zoo under Director Peterson's Management to provide the Chimps with what they deserve.