Posts Tagged ‘San Francisco Zoo’

Are zoos an anachronism from a time before the internet and Animal Planet?

May 21, 2008

Animal deaths or injuries at zoos often result in renewed debate about whether wild animals should be kept in captivity. Recently, the deaths of over 40 cownose stingrays at the Calgary Zoo and the death of a visitor at the San Francisco Zoo stirred up more questions on whether animals should be kept for public viewing.

While the institutions often tout their educational programs as one of the many reasons for people, and especially children, to visit, saying they can learn a great deal about animals from zoos, Rob Laidlaw, executive director of Zoocheck Canada, a national wild animal protection charity, disputes this argument.

“The menagerie-style zoo, like Toronto and Calgary, emerged in the 19th century in Paris and London and Berlin. This concept emerged at a time when there was no international travel, there was no internet, there was limited access to books for most people, there was no television, there was no Discovery Channel.

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San Francisco Zoo Tiger’s Litter is Actually 3

March 17, 2008

Veterinarians say the three Sumatran tiger cubs born at the San Francisco Zoo this month are doing fine.

The three male cubs, born March 6, were found to weigh from 4.2 pounds to 4.8 pounds when examined by the veterinarians Saturday, the San Francisco Chronicle said. Sumatran cubs have a 30 percent to 40 percent mortality rate.

Leanne, the cubs’ 230-pound, first-time mother, is doing an “excellent” job at taking care of them, Jacqueline Jencek, the zoo’s chief veterinarian, told the newspaper.

Zoo staff had left the new family alone for the first several days after the births and at first only confirmed one cub was born. The other two were discovered when Leanne got out of her nest box for a drink of water, the Chronicle reported.Click here for the full article.

Big cats return to public view in renovated San Francisco Zoo grottoes

February 22, 2008

It was back to normal Thursday morning outside the big-cat grotto at the San Francisco Zoo, where parents and children greeted their old friends for the first time since a Christmas Day tiger attack left a San Jose teenager dead…The big cats had been kept inside since Tatiana the tiger somehow escaped and attacked the teen and two of his friends.

Fans of Tony the tiger, Tatiana’s former companion, Kimani the lion and all the others had counted the days until they could visit them in their outdoor playgrounds again. A heavy downpour for much of the day kept the number of visitors to a few at a time – there were 220 throughout the day. Many seemed to approve of the changes.

“I never felt myself or my kids were in danger,” Drivon said. “I always felt safe here, but I think what they’ve done is great. More zoos should take the precautions.”

It is still unknown how Tatiana got out of one of the grottoes before police shot her dead. Two days after the Christmas attack, the zoo announced the front wall around Tatiana’s enclosure was 4 feet lower than industry standards. Attorneys for Carlos Sousa Jr.,
who was killed in the attack, and brothers Paul and Kulbir Dhaliwal, who were injured, blame the zoo; the zoo contends the three friends provoked the tiger. Police suspended their investigation without any charges, and no lawsuits have been filed. To prevent an escape of a big cat in the future, the zoo extended the concrete moat walls of the grottoes 4 feet to meet the national guidelines of 16 feet, 4 inches. A glass wall and fencing was placed on top of that to extend the barriers to 19 feet, and hot wires run along the moat wall.

“That will make sure they don’t even think about getting out,” said Bob Jenkins, director of animal care and conservation at the zoo.

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Video shows zoo animals’ dismal digs

February 16, 2008


San Francisco Zoo animals pace in their pens, swim in their own waste and live out their days in boredom and squalor, according to a video shown Thursday night to the city Animal Control and Welfare Commission at City Hall.

A polar bear’s white fur is splotched with green algae. A giraffe gnaws a hole in his barn in boredom. And a gray seal has been swimming in the same tiny pool for decades.

“This is just pathetic,” said animal rights activist Deniz Bolbol, who had been invited to show the video on behalf of Mill Valley’s In Defense of Animals group. “What are we teaching our children when we bring them to a place like this?”

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Take your Valentine on a tour of the sex lives of animals…maybe?

February 10, 2008

The San Francisco Zoo’s 19th annual Valentine’s-themed adventure featuring a humorous exploration into the sexual behavior of animals kicked off Saturday.

“Woo at the Zoo”‘ educates guests through a multimedia presentation and up-close encounters with various creatures inside the zoo’s Osher Great Hall, according to zoo officials. The 90-minute program offers a scientific look at animal reproduction, choosing mates and raising families.

“This is one of the most popular programs that the zoo has to offer going into its 19th year,” zoo spokesman Paul Garcia said this afternoon.

Led by former penguin keeper Jane Tollini, the event will be held Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 6 p.m. In addition, there will be Sunday brunch presentations today and on Feb. 17.

Topics will include how rhinoceros’ foreplay lasts for a more than a month while mating occurs only once a year, and how giraffes neck during courtship. Tollini also will discuss how opossums that have two wombs can get pregnant while they’re already pregnant and how banana slugs are hermaphrodites, Garcia said.

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