Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Joint Zoo Committee Meeting - 9.24.15 - Chimpanzee Care - Damage Control?

Last Thursday was the Monthly Joint Zoo Committee Meeting.  Kathy Edwards, Assistant Curator of Primates, gave a Presentation on Chimpanzee Care.  Below is a screen-cap and link to the video I took of the Presentation.  Couldn't do both Video and Photos, so I apologize that all I have for key points are not so sharp screen-caps.  That said, the volume isn't great either.  

Kathy did a good job and I'm glad to have seen this, BUT considering last month's Meeting where I questioned Director Peterson on the decision to move forward with building a New Exhibit, for New Animals (Sifaka Lemurs) that we don't even have, before building the Upgrade/Expansion to the Chimps, I have to wonder if this just wasn't Damage Control.  

Director Peterson seems to not know the difference between "Care" and "Caring".  Before the News Story regarding the Chimps situation, Director Peterson sent out an email to Staff, trying her best to discredit the information I provided to KGO-TV ITEAM.  While at the time of airing, she knew that Members of her Staff were interviewed about her plan to move the Chimps, yet she seemed to lose all sight of that in her frantic email, which she says that I'm claiming the Zoo doesn't take "care" of the Chimps.  Which she clearly still thinks.  Obviously, the Chimps Senior ages show that they have received excellent Medical Care during the four plus decades they have lived at the Zoo.  Their Keepers tend to their needs the best they can within the restrictions Management dictates.  Their home, has been neglected and they have been disregarded as a Priority for over twenty years.  Their Environment shows a lack of Caring.  These are the facts.

So, putting forth a presentation like this, does make me think, she is trying to present the Chimps situation as being taken care of, when in actuality, their main, non-medical need is not being taken care of.  That need is for the Upgrade that was Promised at the March Meeting, to commence construction immediately.  Not After construction takes place for Animals not even part of the current collection.

Fact still remains.  If this Chimp Group goes down in number, the remaining two are still vulnerable to being sent away.  Otherwise, the Zoo may lose accreditation by keeping them.  And, the worst scenario would be, that the number again went down, and one was left alone.  Director Peterson knows this and still goes on with her personal agenda to keep bringing in New Animals and building New Exhibits.  This is wrong.

Sadly not one Member of the Joint Zoo Committee or Zoological Society Board seem to question anything Director Peterson does.  They don't care either.  We really have a disturbing structure as to how the Zoo is run.


The above diagram, is not only unclear visually, but unclear to me, in reference to the other photos I've seen.  I hope to be able to get a better copy of this.  I posted it, incase anyone is viewing on a larger screen, maybe it will come across better.  ... At one point, and I think it was later in the presentation, there was a mention of things in progress.  One I couldn't hear, the other was a new climbing structure for the off exhibit (South) Grotto.  Gotta say, unless this structure is a fabricated Tree, I'm disappointed in this.  They already have two climbing structures, and are more in need of surface area.  A Tree would only take space at the base, leaving more room for running, lounging, playing, ect.  I have ideas to put forth, that include video and photos.  I'll detail in another post. 

While describing this, it was mentioned, "Chimps and a pair of Orangutans".  This was new information.  It now sounds like Director Peterson is actively seeking to bring Orangutans in.  I think the path foremost in her mind is to acquire Orangutans, not doing what's best for the Chimps. It goes with my gut feeling that she has no intention of making good on her Promise to the Chimps, but wait it out, so she never has to expand this Group.  It is alleged that Chimpanzees are not part of the future Zoo plan under her Direction.  I'm hoping those Chimps are at the Zoo longer than she is.

Like the other photos, this list of Enrichment Items isn't sharp.  It seemed to list mostly, if not all food items.  There are different kinds of Enrichment and as someone who used to visit almost daily, the Chimps have lacked varied options in  enriching food presentation and toys for years.  Sometimes I go by and there is nothing on exhibit for them. They should have stuff to stimulate them through out the whole day.  I don't like seeing them just sit there bored all the time.  Sure stuff might be happening in their night quarters, but if they were getting toys/ect. I'm sure we'd see photos of it, because the Zoo likes to applaud themselves.  So, my guess is not much is going on. 

Thankfully they did get the new Mirror /Feeder, which was mentioned.  They haven't had anything new in  twenty plus years, except an added/reconfigured fire hose thing.   The Mirror and another rope swing are new.  I would bet if their situation hadn't gone public, they would never have gotten anything.  Oh snap!  I'm right, because they wouldn't even be there! 

Speaking of not being there.  Another thing that was mentioned was in regard to Training, is its success because of the Relationships between the Chimps and their Keepers.  All I have to say about that is, Director Peterson, your plan to move them, would have taken away these Relationships and put them into unfamiliar situations.  Shame on You and double Shame for choosing to Give to New, before giving to the Old.

If anything you read moves you,
Please contact the SFZoo Director
Tanya Peterson

Monday, September 28, 2015

Social Networking Photos - Please Share :)

Below are four message photos that go with my new Petition.  Feel free for use any of them for Social Networking.  Facebook, Twitter, anywhere you have the opportunity to be a Voice for Our Chimp Friends.  Thank you!

I want to mention something about this first photo, which was originally side by side with a Political photo that came through my Facebook feed.  Some of you may have seen it, so that's why I'm saying a bit about that here.  I'm not Political in anyway.  I don't and never have followed Politics.  The message that it had to me was, Take Care at Home.  That is the same message that is plaguing me about Director Peterson's priorities. So I did a side by side.  A couple Friends saw it differently.  So, I just want to be clear, I was not making a Political Statement.  My statement is, Take Care at Home.  That's it.  

What Will You DO?!

People Are Talking!

SFZoo Unkept Promise!

Chimp Wisdom!

Below are Tweets I sent to some Officials and Media.  If you Tweet, a neat trick I was only recently hipped to is, if you put a "." before the @  ... eg  .@sfzoo  , it will go to everyone, not just the intended.

If anything you read moves you,
Please contact the SFZoo Director
Tanya Peterson

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

New Petition! - San Francisco Zoo - STOP Doing for New Animals & DO For The Chimps As Promised!

I started this Petition about the Chimps Situation.  Please Sign, Share, Tweet.  Be a Voice for Our Precious Chimps.  Help them get what they were Promised!  Thank you!


Six Months ago, San Francisco Zoo Director Tanya Peterson, Promised to Keep the Zoo's Three Senior Chimpanzees at the SFZoo, the only home they have ever known. That Promise included an Upgrade/Expansion to their current home (while waiting for funding for a New Exhibit). This would allow not only extra space for them, but an additional holding area to eventually bring in more Chimps to add to their Group size, which is a future Key Factor in Securing them a Forever Home at the SFZoo.

Since this announcement, under Peterson's direction, the SFZoo has committed to Acquiring a New Animal (and allegedly others), the Sifaka Lemur. This New Acquisition will require a New Exhibit to be built. This Exhibit is moving toward constructionBEFORE the Chimps!!!   The opening projected for Spring 2016.

Like the past Eighteen Years, the Chimpanzee's Needs have been back-burned. Their Need was acknowledged by Director Peterson in February, as Immediate, Yet they have been Denied Immediate Action. The projected completion of their Expansion is Fall 2016. Nineteen Months after being Promised.

Why is their situation Time Sensitive? If their Group Size reduced, and there was not available space to bring in more Chimps, the Two Surviving Chimps would be Vulnerable to still being Shipped Out. They must have available space, either in the Expansion or a New Exhibit, before their Group reduces to Two. I hate even talking about that, but those are the facts. 

Their need was immediate when they were Four. Now with Three, they desperately need to create a Social Group with different generations, in order to not end up as Two or One.

I outlined their situation in detail on my previous Petition (and my blog linked below) http://www.thepetitionsite.com/338/765/201/san-francisco-zoo-dont-kick-chimps-out/

This is a Call to Action for the San Francisco Zoo Director Tanya Peterson to: 

*Halt Any Plan to Acquire New Animals that would Require New Exhibits to be built, with the exception of Rescue Animals in Dire need.

*Defer Construction of Sifaka Lemur Exhibit, until After Chimpanzee Upgrade is Complete. Ideally, until After all Current In Need Animals are Attended to. The Komodo Dragon the Next In Need.

*Escalate Fundraising for New Chimpanzee Home, as Promised.

By signing this petition, I hope we can shine light on this situation and Stop The San Francisco Zoo from Acquiring New AnimalsUntil They Take Care of the Animals Already there. The Chimps Are Not The Only Ones In Need. Please Sign, Share and Help Our Chimps Be a Priority!

Thank you
savesfzoochimps.blogspot.com ... 
also find us on Facebook - San Francisco Zoo Chimps Update 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Joint Zoo Meeting - 8.27.15 - Chimpanzees Shafted Continued

Director Peterson gave a presentation on the Sifaka Lemur Exhibit. Not the Primate Expansion, not the Chimpanzee Upgrade.  Exclusively, the Sifakas.  

Since I didn't get answers from Tim Wu and I hadn't been able to direct questions/comments to Director Peterson, at the last Meeting, I had to do so at this Meeting.  Not something I wanted to do, but someone has to and that someone is me. I tried a few months ago to get an answer via email, but she refused and replied that I would have to bring it up at the Meeting.  

I got up and addressed Director Peterson, who immediately looked down at the desk, never making eye contact with me while I spoke.  Only when she replied did she look at me.  Then when I responded, she looked down again.  Very rude behavior for a professional head of this organization. But, I'm not surprised.  Guess its appropriate, as she should be hanging her head in shame.

I asked, "Why was the decision made to build an exhibit for the Sifaka Lemurs, an Animal we don't even have, before following through with the upgrades for the Chimps?" She said something about it always being a (multi-primate, I think she even included Orangutans) area,.. and then said, that they were doing everything they could to make sure that the Chimps were comfortable in their existing enclosure.  I really should've videotaped it because I just can't remember verbatim some of the exact words used by her, but there weren't many, and this is either exact or close to what she said.  I started to speak again and she looked back down.  I continued, noting that "the Chimps are a time sensitive situation.  If we lose one of them, and I don't even like saying that, the remaining two will be vulnerable to still being moved away, because you've not done the upgrade that you said you were gonna do, which would have allowed for the extra holding area to bring in additional Chimps."  She said, that "the upgrade didn't include extra holding areas."  I reminded her that when I spoke to her at the March Meeting, she told me that the layout of the new upgrade would include an additional holding space".  

The space I'm referring to is in the Pachyderm Building.  You can read about it in this post.

When we spoke at that March Meeting she even mentioned that the Girls could be shipped out (her assuming that they would be the surviving two).  I said, "No they can't.  You committed to keeping them."  To which she then said, they could look at bringing in additional Chimps.  ... Readers, my ears are pulsating just writing this.  This is why its hard for me to be timely on posts.  They are very upsetting.  There is too much BS being both said and done at the Zoo, it really is hard to deal with.

That said, I ended my words at the Meeting to Director Peterson by saying, "I think its very irresponsible to build new exhibits for Animals we don't even have, before taking care of the Chimps."  Still she did not look at me. And I sat down.

A panel Member quickly ended the Meeting by saying, the Meeting was adjourned.  I will note that it was 5:20p and time still has not changed to allow for Keepers to speak at the Meetings, since they get off at 5:30p.  

Additionally, not one panel Member had anything to say about what I consider a serious issue.  Not one curiosity as to Why they are building for new, while old are in need, out of any one of them. Shameful!  What good is the Committee?  I have never once heard them Nay anything.  They seem to be Yes Mam'ers and agree with everything Director Peterson and Management says and requests.  At this Meeting, David Bocian, VP Animal Care & Enrichment, noted that two Animals had died of Pneumonia.  Did anyone question that?  No.  Not even Dr Spinelli the panel Vet.  Good Grief.  There really needs to be a shake up in this whole structure.

So, where does this leave these poor Chimps?  No upgrade til Fall 2016.  At the very minimum, that's Nineteen Months after Director Peterson committed to upgrading their current home and noting herself that this was a time sensitive situation.  Not sure what that means to her, but to me, near Two Years later is not proceeding as time sensitive.  She made a promise to these Chimps and is knocking them down on the priority pole again.  THIS SHIT IS NOT RIGHT!  

Last week Chimpanzee's received Endangered Status and this Woman is still back-burnering their needs.  Its been Seven Months since her commitment to them and their home still has paint peeling off it.  That right there tells you the level of Caring that is going on there.  

Not sure what my next plan is, but I can tell you this, I will be a THORN in this Woman's side until she does right by the Animals starting with those Precious Chimps.  She will not silently dis them, because they can't speak.  I will be their Voice through this.  She thought I was a peasant. Typical of her kind.  Used me and my friend as her Scapegoat and thought taking our Memberships would get rid of me and my opinions.  All she did was raise the beast.  She picked on the wrong peasant.  Bet she wishes she never got on my dance floor.  

If anything you read moves you,
Please contact the SFZoo Director
Tanya Peterson

Attempt at Seeking Answers - re Chimp Upgrade and Fundraising

Below are screen-caps of an Email exchange that I had with the Zoo's VP of Philanthropy, Tim Wu, following the July Joint Zoo Meeting.  Apologies they weren't included right after.

I failed to remember to mention that I did ask (at that Meeting) how much had been raised for the Chimps in addition to the One Million Dollar Donation.  I was told, $1.5 Million was the total for the Chimps to date.

The details I was seeking are clear in the correspondence.  The last one is where it ends.  He would not answer any further.  

I am left to assume that aside from the Million donation, that the 500k are from the website based effort?  And that nothing except that one mention of the website donation page, on the Zoo's Facebook, is the only effort that has been made for the Chimps.

If anything you read moves you,
Please contact the SFZoo Director
Tanya Peterson