Friday, February 27, 2015

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.

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