Ask SF Zoo to Become a Rescue Deadline: July 16
As the supporter, operator or board member of a sanctuary, you know firsthand that the need for placement of exotic animals far exceeds the capacity of rescue facilities to accept them. Despite the overwhelming need, few zoos focus on providing homes for animals in need.
That situation could change an ordinance pending in the city of San Francisco is passed to transform the San Francisco Zoo into a rescue-focused facility that would provide lifetime homes to animals in need, including exotic, wildlife and some farm animals.
If successful, San Francisco will be the first major city to have a zoo that focuses on rescued animals. As such, the San Francisco Zoo could become an model for a zoo that is there for the animals, providing animals in need with lifetime homes and the best quality of life possible in a captive setting.
A few minutes of your time could help make history. Would you write a short (or long) letter of support for the rescue zoo proposal by July 16? Even a two-sentence letter of support would go a long way toward generating the support we need to make the rescue zoo a reality.
Please let me know if you can send a letter!!!!
Here's what we need:
1. A letter of support on your group’s letterhead.
2. The letter should be addressed to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place,
San Francisco, Ca 94102-4689
3. It should include one or two lines about the need for a rescue zoo and why you support the San Francisco Zoo’s transition to an institution that focuses on taking in rescued animals. (You could address the need for facilities and provide one sentence about your organization's work.)
4. If you have time, the letter could include a brief personal story.
This could be about (1) a rescued animal you saved; or (2) animals that weren't rescued due to the lack of accommodations; or (3) public support to rescue animals.
5. Please fax the letter to 206-309-7265. The organizers will distribute the letters to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. The Supervisors’ Rules Committee will hold a hearing on this legislation July 17, so letters are needed soon.
Below is some background information. The international animal protection organization In Defense of Animals is the sponsor of this ordinance.
On Tuesday, June 10, 2008, San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly introduced an ordinance to reform the San Francisco Zoo and make it a model zoo for the humane treatment of animals. The ordinance calls for transitioning the troubled institution to the nation's first major rescue zoo that prioritizes animal welfare and offers a refuge to exotic and other animals in need. The rescue zoo concept is an extension of the successful grizzly bear exhibit advocated by the San Francisco Zoological Society board, in which the Zoo's rescue of the two bear cubs was widely embraced by the public.
The proposed ordinance reflects the recommendations of the city's Animal Control and Advisory Commission, which evaluated the zoo's animal welfare record and identified serious deficiencies (which can be read here http://www.rescuesfzoo.org/recommendation.html)
The ordinance introduced can be read here http://www.rescuesfzoo.org/proposed_ordinance.pdf
San Francisco Rescue Zoo – Frequently Asked Questions
Why Should San Francisco Zoo become a rescue zoo?
San Francisco is a world class city whose zoo should be an international model for humane care and treatment of animals. By adopting a mission of providing a home for the many exotic and wildlife species in need of placement, the Zoo will first and foremost be there to meet the needs of animals. Currently on the Zoo’s 100-acre property animal enclosures are cramped and comprise less than 15-20 percent of the property; most of the property is for human usage. By committing to large naturalistic enclosures that will provide animals with bulk of the zoo’s property and the best quality of life possible, the zoo will be teaching an important lesson in respect and caring for the natural world and the animals who inhabit it.
A rescue zoo would better reflect San Francisco ‘s humanitarian values. Currently, these values are not reflected in the city’s Zoo, which maintains the majority of animals in outdated and inhumane enclosures, many of which are decades old. For too long, the zoo has failed to prioritize animal welfare. Although visitor amenities have improved, animals languish in conditions that were recently termed ” Third World ” by international zoo experts.
What would a rescue zoo look like?
Due to the large numbers of lions, tigers, bears, cougars, primates and other exotic animals in need of placement from a variety of sources (private ownership situations, confiscations from federal and state wildlife authorities, medical research labs), a rescue zoo will look no different from any other zoo. However, our city’s commitment to providing the animals in our care with the best possible quality of life will mean that the San Francisco Zoo’s enclosures will be large, naturalistic and state-of-the-art in terms of meeting the needs of the species housed in them.
Doesn’t San Francisco Zoo already rescue animals?
Yes, while the San Francisco has rescued a number of animals it’s time to build upon this popular practice. San Francisco Zoo has the opportunity to lead the zoo industry and raise the standard for zoos worldwide. Focusing on rescued animals will firmly establish that the San Francisco Zoo is truly for the animals; this in turn will provide the opportunity to tell both specie stories and the specific animal histories thus doubling the educational impact. In addition, by focusing on rescued animals the zoo will send a loud message that we are here to help animals, not just breed and use them for display.
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For the cats,
Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL 33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457
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