Archive for the ‘Animals’ Category

Oh No, Now Even Our San Francisco Zoo is Working Blue – “The Scoop on Poop” Opens January 25th 2014

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Taking a cue from our naughty, naughty PUC, your San Francisco Zoo has a new exhibition called The Scoop on Poop.

I’m appalled.

But your kids will love it.

And afterwards, check out the brand-new ELINOR FRIEND PLAYGROUND.

All right, see you there!

All the deets:

The Scoop on Poop! Opening Day

Special Members-Only Preview: January 25, 9:00 – 10:00 am
Open to Public: January 25, 10:00 am in the Pachyderm Building

Poop. Doo-doo. Dung. Number 2. No matter what you call it, you’ll be able to learn all about it at The Scoop on Poop, our latest special exhibition on view in the Pachyderm Building. Based on a popular children’s book by the same name by Dr. Wayne Lynch, The Scoop on Poop leads visitors on an investigation of what poop is and how animals and humans use it.

Animals use poop to build homes, hide from enemies, attract mates, send messages, and cool off – some even eat it! Veterinarians, farmers, naturalists, paleontologists, Maasai tribesmen, and power companies use it, too. Poop is a scientific puzzle, and with a little detective work, you can learn a lot about an animal by what it leaves behind.

Ever more deets, after the jump

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Here’s What Happens to Your Mylar Helium Balloons: They Fly to Middle Farallon Island and Mess with the Sea Lions

Monday, December 30th, 2013

See?

Perhaps from a Raider’s game, or a black celebration:

Steller sea lion with Mylar balloons near Middle Farallon (photo by CS) – click to expand

Get all the deets on westernmost San Francisco from Notes from Smellephant IslandThe adventures of a wayward biologist living with seals on the Farallon Islands”

 

OMG, It’s the Brand-New ELINOR FRIEND PLAYGROUND at Your San Francisco Zoo – It’s Huge – It’s Lovely

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

Mike Billings has the deets:

Toddlers climbed all over the smaller River Play Area, which is designed for kids 6 months to 2 years old, while gaggles of older children scaled the nearby Polar Zone’s white structures, built for kids ages 2 through 5, and climbed through the Banyan Tree structure, constructed for kids ages 5 through 12.”

I defy you to visit and photograph this place well – sure is hard to show what it looks like. But Mark Simmons gets the job done here, with drawings.

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So what you do is check the place out on Free Day (free for San Francisco residents, that is – the next one is January 8th, 2014) and then decide if it’s worth it for you and the fam to get an annual Family Membership for $115.

If you all live close enough, it very well could be worth getting a membership just for the new playground.

See you there!

Ever more deets 

“After several years of fundraising, planning, and design, and over one year of construction, the Elinor Friend Playground at the San Francisco Zoo is ready for its grand re-opening. As part of The Americas Campaign capital campaign chaired by Dianne Taube, this $3.2 million project has been made possible in large part by the Friend Family and other generous donors. Additional naming rights within the Playground are still available at this time, totaling approximately $1 million (see the form below to help with this important project). This 36,000-square-foot, state-of-the art project is sure to ignite the imaginations of the 300,000 children of all ages and abilities who visit the Zoo each year.  

The new playground is modeled after three distinct bio-regions, which take their themes from specific ecosystems and appeal to distinct age groups: a River Play Area for toddlers (6 months-2 years), a Polar Zone exploration space for pre-schoolers (2-5 years), and a Banyan Tree climbing structure for pre-teens (5-12 years). Along with striking natural forms, the architecture integrates a wide range of materials and textures in glorious detail that mimic those found in nature and encourage curiosity among young explorers. As an example, a charming frog sculpture in the River Play Area acts as a symbol of the Zoo’s mission to connect people with wildlife, inspire caring for nature, and advance conservation action. In support of this mission, a portion of the funds raised for the playground will go toward the Zoo’s Sierra Nevada Yellow Legged Frog Conservation Program. Click here for more information about this program.

Crawling through a beaver dam, sliding down an iceberg, or swinging through a tree, all children share opportunities for unique wildlife adventures, take age-appropriate risks, and immerse themselves in naturalistic environments. Each of the play structures is built with fully compliant ADA accessibility features to accommodate children with physical and mental disabilities, with a strong emphasis on exploration and adventure encouraged for all. 

In partnership with the Mayor’s Office on Disability, the unique design of the Playground is the work of Scientific Art Studio, a multi-faceted design and fabrication facility located in Richmond, California. Led by Founder and Creative Director Ron Holthuysen, the Zoo’s Playground team includes artists and skilled craftspeople with experience in every material and technique imaginable, in particular reclaimed redwood tree trunks, sculptural cement composite on steel frames, woven rope, and even living vegetation. The contracting work on the project was done by Rudolph Commercial Interiors, Inc. (RCI), located in Emeryville, California. 

Near the entrance to the Fisher Family Children’s Zoo and adjacent to the expansive Playfield Lawn, the Playground is located at the historic heart of the San Francisco Zoo. A natural extension of the Zoo’s Wellness Initiative, which focuses on the quality of life for all Zoo animals and visitors, the Playground will encourage movement and creativity for its guests and provide an excellent value to Zoo Members, who receive free admission each day of the year. Join today!

The “World’s Most Rodent-Packed Island” is in San Francisco – When Will We Let the Feds Kill the Mice on South Farallon?

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Here we go, from the USA Today from a few months back:

“Those suffering from musophobia would be wise to steer clear of the South Farallon Islands. The archipelago, which sits just 27 miles off San Francisco, is the most rodent-dense island in the world, with an average of 500 Eurasian house mice occupying each of its 120 acres (that’s 60,000 total).”

Now I’ll tell you, I have had it with these motherfucking mice on this motherfucking island.

So why don’t we finally get rid of them, like this:

South Farallon Islands Invasive House Mouse Eradication Project: Revised Draft Environmental Impact Statement

(That’s posted on a either pro-mouse or anti-mouse website – I just can’t tell and don’t really care.)

A few years back, up in Alaska, the Feds killed off all the rats on Rat Island in the Rat Island Group:

THE RAT ISLAND RAT ERADICATION PROJECT: A CRITICAL EVALUATION OF NONTARGET MORTALITY - Final report issued December 2010

See? That was a huge success. Now the chopper pilots were nervous up there ’cause a big storm was coming so they wanted to bug out of there with a quickness so they didn’t follow their marching orders very well so more bald eagles died than was necessary. But they killed all the rats on Rat Island, hurray!

All we need to do is nothing. Then the feds can get off their asses and start killing all the mice.

“More study” is NOT needed.

That’s your update.

A relatively fog-free day in the Sunset District.

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Through the tinted glass of the ginourmous windows of Yelp-rated Sava Pool

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From a higher sperspective in the Twin Peaks area, on an exceptionally clear morning.

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Can you see the lighthouse on the top of South East Farallon Island?

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Noisy Canon 10D at 840mm, from Christmas Tree Point Road, a skosh more than 30 miles away…

The Overwhelmed Dog Walkers of Golden Gate Park – Sometimes Five Pooches are Too Many

Monday, December 9th, 2013

As here:

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YouTube Video: Mean Great Blue Heron Kills Gophers in Richmond Just for Fun?

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Sure looks that way:

Is Somebody Pouring Bleach into the Lily Pond in Golden Gate Park? Sure Looks That Way – Bye Bye Froggies

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

The invasive frog-fighting Breaking Bad-style tents are gone from our Lily Pond and now we’re left with this:

Are those empty bleach bottles being used as floaters?

Sure looks that way.

Oh, here you go, just inside the fence which surrounds the pond now

They’re using bleach to kill something, right?

Last I heard, they were trying to kill tadpoles, but I don’t know if tadpoles even exist in November.

Anyway, those Fish and Gamers might finally be winning this battle…

Llama Watch, Golden Gate Park Panhandle

Monday, October 28th, 2013

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Doberman + Skateboard + iPhone = Fun on JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

See?

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Suffer the Water Boy: Giant Bird Poops on Head of Statue in Golden Gate Park – Much Worse than a Pigeon

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

See?

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