An important part of the mission of the Oakland Zoo is to provide the best care for our animals. In order to continue to be a leader in animal care and habitat design, the Oakland Zoo must keep ahead of current standards for animal enclosures. Below are a few of our pressing capital needs. To participate in the capital project opportunities below or ongoing at the Zoo, please contact Emma Lee Twitchell, Director of Development, at 510-632-9525 x153.
The giraffe exhibit is one of the most sought-after by visitors to the zoo. Our giraffes have been seen on the CBS early show and featured in numerous publications. Our matriarch, Tiki, is known world-wide for her custom winter coat.
The giraffe barn where our animals live at night is in desperate need of capital improvements. The new giraffe barn will replace the existing structure which was built in 1964. Since then, the giraffe herd has grown 300%, making the existing structures simply too small to effectively manage the animals. The new barn will boast more space for the growing herd, more sanitary conditions for the animals, and much-needed winter weather respite for these native African animals. In addition to the barn, exhibit repairs and expansion, which includes the removal of dangerous conditions to the surrounding moat, will not only result in improved animal care but also safer working conditions for the keepers.
The Oakland Zoo houses a nationally-acclaimed elephant program and is viewed as a regional facility serving Northern California, encouraging and developing innovations in breeding, research, and conservation of elephants.
The Oakland Zoo's elephant program has been recognized for excellence in educating the public on breeding, research, and conservation of elephants. The wildly popular program has garnered support from the professional animal community, Bay Area residents, and Zoo visitors alike, encouraging the Zoo to continue to expand the elephant program. As the only remaining zoo in Northern California that manages elephants in a public exhibit, the Oakland Zoo has a responsibility to continue to be an educator and innovator of new techniques in elephant management.
The current elephant barn was built more than eighteen years ago. The space is no longer sufficient to house the rapidly growing elephant program, which now includes the management and care of four elephants. Future expansion of the program will see a long-term investment in the herd with the acquisition of male and additional female elephants as part of a progressive breeding program. The Oakland Zoo will continue to be an innovator in elephant management, becoming the second facility to conduct artificial insemination with elephants in a Protected Contact program. Protected Contact, the practice of managing elephants without physical discipline, is core to the Zoo's elephant program, increasing the quality of life and safety of the elephants as well as staff safety. The Oakland Zoo is the only institution in Northern California with the capacity to manage this elephant program in a public exhibit. Expansion of the elephant program is crucial to the success of the Zoo as a cutting-edge conservation and natural history organization.
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