San Francisco Zoo Chimpanzee Timeline
1960s (mid to late) - Triple Grotto built --
Chimps moved from Metal caging (in a now non-existent area near what is now the Primate Center)
4.24.67 - Tallulah Chimpanzee arrives at the SFZoo. Estimated Birth Year 1959.
Donated by the Family of her Owner, after the Owner passed. Tallulah lived as a Human Child/Pet the first 8 Years of her life. She was taken from from her Mother in the Wild to be sold into the Exotic Pet Trade. She lived at the Zoo 46 years, until her passing in 2013.
7.10.68 - Cobby Chimpanzee arrives at the SFZoo. Estimated Birth Year 1958.
Donated by his Trainer Murray Hill. Cobby lived with the Hill Family since he was an infant, taken from his Mother in the Wild to be sold into the Exotic Pet Trade. He worked in Entertainment until surrendered to the Zoo. The SFZoo has been Cobby's home for 47 years. He is the oldest Male Chimpanzee in an accredited North American Facility (Zoo/Sanctuary).
4.25.70 - Maggie Chimpanzee arrives at the SFZoo. Estimated Birth Year 1969.
Maggie came to the Zoo as an Infant from the Animal Exchange, an Exotic Pet Trade Company. She was taken from her Mother in the Wild to be sold into the Pet Trade. At 46 years old, the SFZoo is the only home outside the wild she has ever known.
4.25.70 - Minnie Chimpanzee arrives at the SFZoo. Estimated Birth Year 1969.
Minnie came to the Zoo as an Infant from the Animal Exchange, an Exotic Pet Trade Company. She was taken from her Mother in the Wild to be sold into the Pet Trade. At 46 years old, the SFZoo is the only home outside the wild she has ever known.
5.20.76 - Minnie gives birth to the first of four offspring she will have with Cobby. Male - Did not survive.
2.3.75 - Minnie gives birth. Male - Did not survive.
5.23.77 - Minnie give birth. Female, named Amy.
10.12.78 - Amy passes.
5.31.81 - Minnie gives birth. Female, named Mollie.
1.17.85 - Mollie passes.
1980s (mid) - Triple Grotto upgrade Landscaping and Structures built ... update > No further upgrades made since.
1997 - San Francisco Residents Vote and pass a Bond for improvements to the Zoo. The Great Ape Forest, a new home for the Chimpanzees and Orangutans. --
Using the Chimps and the Orangutans on Posters urging City Residents to vote in favor of $ for the Zoo to make much needed upgrades, a City Bond of $48 Million was awarded to the San Francisco Zoo. The bond was for specific projects, the building of a new home for the Chimpanzees and Orangutans, was one of them. That never happened. Money was misappropriated and never replaced. Last Orangutan was moved to another Zoo and the Chimpanzees remain in the same enclosure with no upgrades in Thirty Years. ... Not one Director during the past Eighteen years has made an attempt to Show the Chimps Some Love.
2003- Last Orangutan, Lipz, moved to Milwaukee Zoo (now a Mom, living at Birmingham Zoo).
2005 - Bond Update showed the Great Ape Forest (Chimpanzee and Orangutan exhibit improvements) had been cancelled.
2008 - Over 10 yrs after the Bond was awarded, there were still questions about How the money was spent and Why the Chimps were still living in the "ancient" Triple Grotto.
* Zoo Management already allegedly aware for many years that our Senior group of Four Chimpanzees, should expand, allowing the addition of younger Chimps to create a "Family" group agewise, that would sustain as time goes on, the Zoo still does nothing to prepare for a loss.
January 2013 - Tallulah Chimpanzee passes at age 54.
With the loss of our Beloved Tallulah, our Chimp Group is down to Three members.
2013-2015 - The SFZoo is very well aware of the AZA Guidelines in regard to Groups being Four or more. Zoo Management does nothing to ensure that Cobby, Minnie and Maggie are guaranteed a lifelong home at the SFZoo, the place they have called home for 45+ years (as of 2015).
January 2015 - Zoo Advocate and Blogger Kim (me) hears that Zoo Director Tanya Peterson has plans in place to Remove the Zoo's Senior Chimps from the home they have known for the past 45+ Years. "HELL NO!" I said, and launched an online Crusade through my Zoo blog to Save them. A dedicated blog, Petition and Facebook Group followed.
2.4.15 - Letter Writing Campaign launched via blog.
2.20.15 - KGO-TV starts airing SFZoo Controversy teaser Commercial after the Oscars. --
I was lucky to make contact with the KGO-TV I-Team and have Reporter Dan Noyes take an interest in the Chimps Story. Over the week prior, I provided all the information to date, as well was interviewed.
2.22.15 - Letter Writing Campaign responses received! --
There were some who had no information on the issue, but said they would contact the Zoo. After that, it seemed all had a form of the same curious statement provided by Zoo Director Peterson, basically denying that the Chimps were set to move.
2.24.15 - Director Peterson writes frantic email to Staff, in an effort to damage control her untruths in the situation and place blame on me, grasping to discredit the information I provided to the Media (KGO-TV).
2.24.15 KGO-TV News Story airs. --
The issue is covered completely by the I-Team investigation. In addition to myself, they interviewed Zoo Staff, my Friend John Alcaraz, the Chimps first Keeper, the head of the Chimpanzee SSP, and the Director of the Facility that I heard they would be going to, Lion Country Safari. Additionally, they confirmed the plan was in place with information provided by the Oakland Zoo. There is no way Director Tanya Peterson can deny Moving The Chimps was Her Plan.
2.25.15 - This Media push was exactly what was needed. The public outcry for Our Precious Chimps was incredible! The Petition doubled its signatures over the following 24 hours!
2.26.15 - Just hours before the Monthly Joint Zoo Committee Meeting, Director Peterson Announces to Members via email that Chimps are staying! --
Exposing Director Peterson's Covert Mission to Kick Out the Chimps, obviously forced her to bow to Public Outcry! We did it! We Saved The Chimps!
2.26. Joint Zoo Committee Meeting February --
Zoo Director Peterson Announces at the Joint Zoo Committee Meeting that Chimps are staying and Zoo will be moving forward with upgrading the current enclosure, to include additions of Sky Trails, while launching the "largest Fundraising Campaign to date", to raise 10 Million for a new enclosure, the Great Ape Forest.
3.5.15 - Emailed Director Peterson --
I emailed the Director thanking her for the decision to keep the Chimps, as well made many suggestions in regard to updating their current home, concerns about the planned location for a new exhibit, and Fundraising ideas. ... No reply.
3.7.15 - San Francisco Zoo launches Website Donation Page. --
... Update > Only publicity for it has been the initial Facebook Mention.
3.14.15 - Million Dollar Donation for Chimps! --
News from Zoo is an Anonymous Donor gave 1 Million toward the Triple Grotto Upgrade and Sky Trail addition.
3.26.15 - Upgrades Start!? --
The Rusty and Peeling 1980s structure in Grotto 2, has been sanded and painted! Not an upgrade but hopes for a larger plan of immediate action!
... Update > The excitement ends there. The only other thing to be done is long overdue maintenance to the structure in Grotto 1 and the night quarters.
3.26 Joint Zoo Meeting March --
Director Photo Presentation of Sky Trail Upgrades.
... Director noted in discussion with me that the Million Dollar donation was enough to get the initial Sky Trail/Pachyderm Building addition completed. ... That this addition would be enough to satisfy AZA to keep Chimps, but noted contradictory statement, that if we got down to two Chimps before New Exhibit built, the Girls could be sent away or Zoo could bring in additional Chimps.
...Followed up on email suggestions I submitted to her. Suggestions were based on sense , observations and one confirmed after reading AZA habitat guidelines. Was told it was passed to Curators.
... Update > Have not heard or seen anything further on this.
4.6.15 - Reply to request of Donation Amount. --
Per Tim Wu, VP of Philanthropy $10,000 has been raised via 30 Donors through the Website Donation page.
4.23.15 - AM Emailed Director Peterson regarding whether there would be an Update on the Chimps at tonight's Meeting. ... didn't have time to check reply before Meeting.
4.23.15 - Joint Zoo Committee Meeting April --
NO mention of Chimps.
4.23.15 - PM Email reply from Director Peterson, sent prior to Meeting time. --
Director Peterson refused to update and suggested I "bring it up at the Meeting".
... Update > Since I didn't get to at this Meeting, there is no further Official Zoo Update.
4.24.15 - ZooFest --
To date there has been nothing in print (Media/Website/Facebook) that notes the Chimps plight was even mentioned at the Zoo's Annual Fundraising Event.
4.25.15 - Happy Birthday Maggie * Happy Birthday Minnie! --
Chimp Girls turn 46! ... Not publicly acknowledged by the Zoo.
5.20.15 - Emailed Staffer Tim Wu requesting website based donation amount update and whether any funds were raised at ZooFest. ... No reply.
5.28.15 - Joint Zoo Committee Meeting May -- Canceled.
... update > Rescheduled for June 2. I didn't go, because Zoo Staffer Sue Schafer who is responsible for posting the information, made errors in the way the date was noted and failed to alert me by phone as promised.
6.25.15 - Joint Zoo Committee Meeting June -- Canceled. ... Not Rescheduled.
7.2.15 - Wood planks being replaced on Grotto 1 structure. This is not an upgrade, but regular overdue maintenance.
7.10.15 - Happy Birthday Cobby! Cobby turns 57! ... Not publicly acknowledged by the Zoo.
7.23.15 - Joint Zoo Committee Meeting July -- Focus on Primate Expansion, Lemurs not Chimps.
... When Questioned on Chimp Timeline was told, Sifaka Lemur Exhibit to be constructed first, opening Spring 2016. Chimp Expansion Fall 2016. ... Please read mu blog post on this for answer details.
... Verbally made suggestions to Curator David Bocian in regard to current Chimp Habitat.
8.27.15 - Chimps Get Two New Enrichment Toys. First Items (aside from recent Fire Hoses) to be given to the Chimps, possibly in over Twenty Years.
8.27.15 - Joint Zoo Committe Meeting August --- Focus on Primate Expansion, Again. No mention of the Chimps. I questioned why Exhibits built first for Animals not currently in Collection. ... Please read my blog post on this for answer details.
October 2015 - San Francisco Zoo is scheduled for an Accreditation Inspection by the AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) mid to late month.
... I wrote a lengthy letter to the AZA in regard to the Chimps and other Zoo Concerns.
... I made several videos to support my letter, that also contained suggestions for Habitat Upgrades.
Please see post list, there are four, one for each video made.
November 2015 - July 2016
I have continued to ask about the status of the Chimp Expansion and have been told by different sources in different departments, that "It's happening", but no one knows what or when. Despite being told it would happen after the Sifaka were done, there is no current order in regard to the Chimps.
August 2016 - Chimps get a Termite Mound! Finally! After other like structures have been built for the Anteater and Human Sculpture Garden, as well my own suggestion on several occasions both in writing and in person, dating back a few years, the Chimps finally get something they should have had years ago.
November/December 2016 - Gutting of portion of Pachyderm building planned for construction of future Chimpanzee bedrooms. Rooms will be used for additional Chimps, Quarentine, Holding, Introductions/Integration, and Night Quarters.
February 2017 - Construction begins on Playroom and off exhibit Rooms for Chimpanzees in Pachyderm Building.