At the February Meeting where Director Peterson proclaimed her Commitment to allow Maggie, Minnie and Cobby our three Senior Chimpanzees, live out their lives at the San Francisco Zoo, the only home they have ever known, she boasted about all the things that were in sight for them. *Upgrades to the Current Triple Grotto. Something they have waited 30 years for. Nothing has happened to date. *Expansion to the Pachyderm Building. This would allow for additional Chimps to increase their Group size, something necessary to ensure they have a secure future here. This project has been back-burnered in favor of a New Exhibit for New Animals that don't even live at the SFZoo. *Fundraising for a 10 Million dollar Chimp Forest. I have heard nothing except the one mention effort on their Facebook Page.
Let's face it, there are two obstacles in the Chimps situation. First, Director Peterson. Is she really committed to doing anything for the Chimps? Their home still having peeling paint on it, indicates they are still low priority. Is she doing everything she can to raise funds for their Need? Does she even care? Did she only bow to Public Pressure when she committed to letting the Chimps stay? Or is she waiting for the opportunity to still Kick them Out? These are valid questions as she moves forward with building the New Exhibit for the Sifaka Lemurs, while the Chimps sit by and watch.
The other obstacle, is the reality that there isn't funds for even smaller scale projects, Allegedly some of the recent additions haven't even been fully funded, even though there has been go ahead and completion. So, where does that leave the Chimps? There was the Million Dollar donation to complete the first phase of the Expansion from the North Grotto to the Pachyderm building. When, Where, Who, How, will funding for the rest of the plan happen?
My post from the other day detailing the plan including a photo:
The reality is, while having grand plans for state of the art Exhibits like this Primate Expansion and the proposed Chimp Forest is a wonderful thought, it is a dream of grandeur. We have an old Zoo and no Money. And in the Chimps case, they are not in the position to continue waiting for these dreams to come true.
A couple weeks ago I was thinking about the unused space and how it could be put to use. Then with the intention of making a video about the area that runs along the north side of the path that leads from Chimps to Wolverines, I had an idea that in theory seems doable, but again, this is from a Visitor point of view, there may be reasons it would work, but there might be reasons it would.
Here's the video I did make:
With this idea, I've shown the use of what we already have. There is an indoor and outdoor area that could be connected via a Sky Trail from the North Grotto (maybe even an off shoot of the one going to the additional Night Quarters in the in plan plan). Here's another one of my fancy drawings :)
I changed a bit of my vision from the video narration but still basically the same :) The glassed in barrier that would run along the path, could be lined with trees or bamboo planking from either side (I think inside), to create a very dense visual barrier from Visitors. The area near the door to the building could be a glassed in area framed with fabricated trees, much like the Anaconda exhibit, where Visitors could view the outdoor area. Likewise framed viewing at the west-end of the indoor area. There could even be a chain linked fence that runs the length of the indoor area from east to west, creating an area that Keepers could go into to provide treats and show training. Of course removing the windows to create indoor/outdoor access for them.
Seems like a cost effective and functional idea to further expand the Chimps Habitat.
I say that the Donors who have given to this other Dream of Grandeur for the proposed Americas region, which would Build New Exhibits for New Animals, should step up and actually give to Animals currently living at the Zoo that are in Need.
If anything you read moves you,
Please contact the SFZoo Director
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