Thursday, February 26, 2015

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  I also believe there was a long over due issue with the old one being outdated by law.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:

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