So today we went to the SF Zoo again today and we actually bought a membership so we’ll have another place to take our daughter on a whim. Above is a little video I shot and by little I do mean little. I used a cheap pocket camera then put it all together in iMovie and added the voiceover and music in Digital Performer for all you geeks out there. Well it was warm and crowded, but being so huge we were still able to get around fairly easily. The problem with the zoo covers many areas:
1. Too many exhibits that have are being reworked and haven’t been open in years. The Tropical rain forest has been closed for at least a year, the area with the sea lions has been gone for almost 10 years if not longer and there are areas like the pachyderm house which has been closed for years and that side across from the lion house is empty. The lion house has been closed for a few years, but at least they still have a few lions and tigers.
2. Because of 1. there’s too much walking time between seeing animals and that’s not because they have So much space for the animals, it’s that there’s just so much overused space that has a couple of ducks swimming around. There are several areas of the Primate exhibit that are covered over with cardboard that it looks like tenement housing for monkeys.
3. There is no elephant train anymore. The zoo is a big place and the elephant train used to take visitors around the zoo for a full tour. Now that it’s gone even a fit person (unless they’re a marathon runner from Kenya) will break out in a sweat and get tired quick.
4. FOOD. OK, I like the idea that they’re selling organic food that’s local raised, but $8.99 for an Angus cheeseburger with fries that was cooked how long ago and is now sitting in the warming booth does not a good burger make. After standing in line for 10 minutes our daughter tired of smelling food and not having any to eat started to have a fit. This led us to decide that we had had enough and left after a half hour.
5. Repave the walk ways. When you come in the place is easy to get around it’s all nice and new, but after about 100 yards you hit asphalt that hasn’t been paved in over 10 years. If you’re a parent with a stroller or in a wheelchair it becomes an extra work out to trudge along.
Now my wife thinks it’s all about them not having enough money, but with a $95/year family membership and all the regular money coming in from non-members plus food, plus donors, plus the kitschy stuff they sell at over priced prices I think they could do a little upkeep on the place.
We’ll still continue to go, but I’m hoping this post will get their attention and wake them the hell up.