Press Release: 09/16/2015

Oakland Zoo’s Conservation Speaker Series Presents, “Creating Hope for Chimpanzees”

Nicky Mora, Senior Manager, Marketing/PR Amy Gotliffe, Conservation Director
(510) 632-9525 ext. 130 (510) 632-9525 ext. 122

Oakland, CA – On Friday, September 18, 2015, from 6:30pm – 9:30pm, the public is invited to attend a Conservation Speaker Series lecture focused on the risks wild chimps are facing as they struggle to co-exist with Africa's growing human population. This presentation will feature efforts to improve the situation for both humans and wildlife in Africa, and highlights will include the chimps of Uganda's Budongo-Bugoma corridor. In addition, guests of the lecture will learn more about Oakland Zoo's efforts to support snare removal and other protections in place for chimpanzees. This engaging evening will also feature a special behind-the-scenes auction and gifts for purchase that support chimpanzees in the wild.

The evening’s keynote speaker is Dr. Nancy Merrick, chimpanzee researcher and author of Among Chimpanzees: Field Notes from the Race to Save Our Endangered Relatives. “Chimps never cease to amaze me because they are so clever at solving problems,” exclaimed Merrick. “If farmers set snares, they learn to recognize the traps, and a few even figure out how to deactivate them. If food is scarce, they create ‘workarounds.’ Every day, there are new discoveries, and I’m looking forward to sharing some of the best of them.” Chimpanzees and humans are so much alike, yet face challenges sharing our planet. In the forests of Uganda, it is estimated that thirty percent of chimpanzees have injuries from being caught in snares set illegally by poachers. This talk supports the Budongo Snare Removal Project, which helps chimpanzees by employing eco-guards to remove snares, supplying goats as sustenance to ex-hunters, and educating the community about the environment. “It’s wonderful for all of us at Budongo to know that our friends in Oakland are so committed to us,” said Vernon Reynolds, Founder of the Conservation Field Station at Budongo Snare Removal Project. “Year on year we receive your funds which get put to use to prevent our chimps from being caught in traps in the forest, and for our outreach program. We are so grateful to you – thanks a million! And please – never stop!”

The Conservation Speaker Series lecture will take place in Oakland Zoo’s Zimmer Auditorium, located in the lower entrance of the Zoo, 9777 Golf Links Road, Oakland, CA 94605. Parking is free and tickets may be purchased at the door. The admission price for the evening’s speaker presentation is $12.00 - $20.00 per person (sliding scale). All proceeds from this event will be donated to the Budongo Snare Removal Project. Light refreshments will be served. “What an incredible species; the chimpanzee,” noted Amy Gotliffe, Conservation Director at Oakland Zoo. “We have the utmost respect for their well-being, both at the zoo and in the wild. The Budongo Snare Removal Project is a fantastic example of humans using all their skills and imagination to create a peaceful co-existence with their closest relative. We thank Nancy for being our esteemed speaker for this benefit and look forward to hearing of her discoveries of the chimps of Uganda.”

Oakland Zoo is also launching a crowd funding campaign to create additional support of the Budongo Snare Removal Project. Please check out the Budongo Snare Removal Project on Crowdrise or go to our calendar and or Facebook page for the link. For additional information about Oakland Zoo’s Conservation Speaker Series, please contact Amy Gotliffe, Conservation Director, at

Oakland Zoo adopted the Budongo Snare Removal Project in 2001 and the Zoo’s support covers salaries for four field assistants, two educators, two eco-guards, the nanny goat program, and allowances for transportation, bike repair, gum boots, rain gear, backpacks, and compasses. Oakland Zoo is the only supporter of this project and is proud of this unique conservation program, which shows compassion and respect for chimpanzees, people and the entire ecosystem. This project serves as a model for others facing the growing challenges around human-wildlife conflict. Oakland Zoo is proud of this unique conservation program which shows compassion and respect for chimpanzees, people, and the entire ecosystem.


The Bay Area's award-winning Oakland Zoo is home to more than 660 native and exotic animals. The Zoo offers many educational programs and kid's activities perfect for science field trips, family day trips and exciting birthday parties. Oakland Zoo is dedicated to wildlife conservation onsite and worldwide. Nestled in the Oakland Hills, in 500-acre Knowland Park, the Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links Road, off Highway 580. The East Bay Zoological Society (Oakland Zoo) is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization supported in part by members, contributions, the City of Oakland and the East Bay Regional Parks.