Sunday, February 22, 2015

Letter Writing Campaign Update - Official Word From Director Peterson

Thank you to anyone who has taken the time to write to any of the contacts I posted in the original letter writing campaign post.  

Had to re-post this photo, 
because I love it too much not to :)

Myself I admit I slacked on those that had to be post mailed, only because I don't have a printer at home and I was without my car for several weeks and never got to the library.  That said, I did contact the following:

Phil Ginsburg - Recreation and Park General Manager 
*Allan Low - Rec and Park Vice President
Eric McDonnell - Rec and Park Commissioner
Meagan Levitan - Rec and Park Commissioner
*Sally Stephens- Joint Zoo Committee Panelist/Animal Care and Control Chairman
Ed Lee - San Francisco Mayor
*Norman Yee - District 7 Supervisor
Tad Taube - Zoo Donor
Jane Goodall - Primate Specialist who has met our Chimps.
AZA- in regard to confirming group size
San Francisco Zoo II - Fundraising group head by Zoological Society Board Chair Robert Pedrero and Wife Anne.

So far, for my efforts, only three have responded.

*Allan Low 
>"Thank you.  I will forward your email to the Commission Secretary to forward to the Joint Zoo Committee."<

*Sally Stephens 
She responded that she had not heard anything and would inquire about it.  
She received this back from Director Peterson.
>"Thank you for your email!  There are no plans to move the chimps to a sanctuary at this time, but upon AZA’s recommendation, we have begun to research whether there are better “socialization” opportunities for them.  Nevertheless, there are many factors to consider, including their age. "<

*Norman Yee
Mr Yee's associate Olivia Scanlon responded to me.
>"I have inquired with the Zoo regarding the Chimp move you contacted our office about,  at this time, there are no plans to move the chimps to a sanctuary.  Instead, the regulating body, the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), recommended the Zoo determine whether they were better “socialization” opportunities for them at other AZA-accredited facilities.   The Zoo is conducting that research.  In the meantime, The Zoo have increased staff interaction with the chimpanzees as a way to improve socialization and medical training, and they are consulting with primate experts to determine the best solution."<

As you can see, Director Peterson apparently formed some kind of informal statement to use for the inquiries she was receiving. This happened in the wake of my Call to Action for her to make a public statement.  

Continuing with the same play on words, someone I know contacted Tanya directly and received this response:

>"Thank you for your email!  It is always a pleasure to hear from folks who care about our animals!  I am not sure what you  have heard, but at this time, there are no plans to move the chimps to a sanctuary.  Instead, our regulating body, the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), recommended we determine whether they were better “socialization” opportunities for them at other AZA-accredited facilities.  We are conducting that research, but there are many factors to consider, including the ones you mention.  In the meantime, we have increased staff interaction with the chimpanzees as a way to improve socialization and medical training.

I’ve copied the Zoo’s VP of Animal Care, David Bocian, on this email if you have further questions, but please know we wouldn’t take this decision lightly.  The chimpanzees happen to be personal favorites of mine, and I too am not eager to see them leave.  As always, we will put their welfare first."<

Upon further inquiry, this person tried to establish if they were just not being moved to a Sanctuary or if they were being moved at all.  Interesting that in all correspondence, that does appear to be what Director Peterson alludes to with the way she has her statement worded.

>"... there has been no decision to move them anywhere (zoo or sanctuary)."<

SO, it would seem that even though, word on the Zoo grounds continues to be that a move is in place, Director Peterson's words indicate there is no move at all in place.  I don't think I need to say anything more about that, as it does appear some covering of ass is being done here.

It is very curious that she notates "zoo or sanctuary", as the place I have heard they were going would be Lion Country Safari in Florida.  I did not mention this by name before, because there was question whether an actual sanctuary was another option, but considering her statement and mention of "another AZA accredited facility", it would seem that Lion Country Safari is indeed the place she is rumored to have even visited several months ago.

I will also note that I was there the other day and the Chimps were locked out of their inside and I heard construction going on.  They were building transfer cages in "preparation for the move".

Why would the Zoo spend money to build transfer cages if no transfer was in the plan?



  1. The Director sure continues to lie and she is not very good at it. It esp. bothers me that they are making transfer cages. Why would they be doing that if they didn't plan to move them? I know that a lot of people read this blog and or know of it. I really encourage people to comment. Whatever your feelings are, comment. It can remain anon. Afterall, this is all about the chimps and their lives depend on it. Thank you for bringing yet another disturbing situation up in regards to the SF Zoo. This Director only has her own interests in mind and she clearly shows she is not one that walks in truth telling. These chimps need to stay in their home that they have had for a half century and whoever is busy bldg. those transfer cages needs to be working on something else at the zoo that needs upgrades, like the chimp exhibit.

  2. @Andie - Thank you for your comment. I apologize for the delay in replies to all comments. I worked hard to present the information in all aspects of Networking this situation. That left me exhausted, but it was all worth it. I'm here now to post replies. Will do my best to do so in hindsight of the Victory! ... It did appear through out this whole situation, that there was definitely inconsistancies with facts. I agree with you, keeping information out there and flowing was essential in this situation and all because the lives of these three Chimps depended on it. That said, it would have been comendable if others commented, taking advantage of the Anonymous option. ... I will always bring issues to light. I have to. I have felt for years now, that I am their only Voice. I don't say that to be pompous but clearly no other member of the pubic does what I do. Some may no agree with what I do, but I do it for the Animals and not for approval from anyone. ... You are right ont he cages. Waste of money that could be spent on upgrades. Thankfully they will get an upgrade additionally. I hope those cages have been put away. No need for them until the new exhibit is built and they move there.


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