Celebrating Elephants - 21 Years of Taking Action for Elephants

Elephants and elephant conservation is very important to us here at Oakland Zoo.

Every year, our annual “Celebrating Elephants” festivities include both an evening event focused on elephant conservation in the wild, and a day of fun-filled family oriented events all about elephants.


An Oakland Zoo Tradition

Celebrating Elephants is fun-filled day designed for guests to enjoy and learn about elephants, while helping to save elephants in the wild. Oakland Zoo is home to four African elephants named Donna, Lisa, M’Dunda and Osh. For the last twenty-one years, the Zoo has been a proud supporter and advocator for protecting elephants in Africa. Our goal is for guests to be awed by these majestic animals and aware of what is happening to them in the ivory trade. Proceeds from the silent auction (on May 20th at our evening event), private elephant barn tours (on May 27th during our day event), and raffle tickets for great prizes (can be purchased at both the evening and day events) will go to helping elephants in the wild through our conservation partner, the Amboseli Trust for Elephants in Africa.

Come to one or both, and experience this once-a-year opportunity to celebrate these majestic animals at the Zoo!

More information on both the day and the evening event is below.

Celebrating Elephants Gala - Evening Event & Silent Auction - May 20th

Join Oakland Zoo for our 20th annual Celebrating Elephants Gala, with guest presenter, Christine Brown-Nunez, PhD, who will talk about her work with the Amboseli Trust for Elephants, whose conservation efforts have protected African elephants from the ivory trade and provided the world with valuable information about the intelligence, family life, and communication of the African elephant. Through Celebrating Elephants we have raised over $300,000 for Amboseli Trust for Elephants.

Doors Open..........................6:00pm
Presentation........................6:30pm
Silent Auction/Reception...7:30pm

* Sliding scale donation to attend is $40.00 - $100.00.
Click here to purchase tickets in advance.

Silent Auction items include select behind-the-scenes experiences with Oakland Zoo animals, original paintings by Oakland Zoo animals, tickets to Walk in the Wild, and much more. For more information about the “Celebrating Elephants evening” event please visit our calendar or email Genny Greene at Oakland Zoo.

Celebrating Elephants Day Event - May 27th

Free with Zoo Admission. Family friendly activities include exciting elephant stations such as touching gigantic pachyderm bones, holding an eleven-pound tooth, and stepping into an elephant-sized footprint. Grab binoculars and participate in a mock research camp, where observers are invited to watch and record behaviors, and learn how to tell Oakland Zoo’s four elephants apart.

Plus, experience the once-a-year opportunity to go behind-the-scenes and tour the elephant barn and see an elephant up-close. In the Wayne and Gladys Valley Children’s Zoo, visitors are invited to watch Circus Finelli, an animal free circus performance with comedy, acrobatics, juggling, dance, and live music. Celebrating Elephants Day is the most fun that you and your family can have while you help save elephants in the wild. Come for a day of adventure and leave knowing you have helped Oakland Zoo protect elephants in Africa!

Elephant Barn Tours..........................10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, 3:30pm
Circus Finelli Performances..............12:00pm, 2:00pm


* Elephant Barn Tours are $10 per person. Purchase tickets in advance at Eventbrite. Tickets are also available the day of the event at Flamingo Plaza, the lower entrance, and the Elephant Exhibit.

Circus Finelli Performances will take place in the Clorox Wildlife Theater, located in the Wayne and Gladys Valley Children’s Zoo, inside Oakland Zoo.

The Oakland A's are a proud sponsor of Celebrating Elephants at Oakland Zoo.