Press Release: 05/25/2013

Oakland Zoo Hosts 17th Annual Celebrating Elephants Event

Contact:
Nicky Mora, Senior Manager, Marketing/PR
(510) 632-9525 ext. 130
nmora@oaklandzoo.org

Oakland, CA May 25, 2013

Oakland Zoo presents a day to celebrate and honor elephants. Oakland Zoo is home to four African elephants named Donna, Lisa, M'Dunda, and Osh. Celebrating Elephants is a day the Zoo strives to spread awareness about elephants in captivity and in the wild. This annual event will take place from 10:00am to 3:00pm and will feature hands on activities, a research camp, learning stations, and elephant barn tours. It is an opportunity for guests to learn fascinating facts about these enormous animals and find out what elephants in the wild are facing right now with poaching and the ivory trade.

Elephant barn tours, which are $5 per person, will take guests behind-the-scenes to see an elephant up-close and witness how these massive-sized animals are cared for by zookeepers. The tour will also include an inside look at Osh’s barn (male elephant); it was specially designed to accommodate his growing build. The posh pad is complete with heating, high ceilings, and bedding to support his 12,000+ pound body.

Family friendly activities include a mock research camp which will give guests the opportunity to use binoculars and participate in observing elephant behaviors. They can also learn how to tell Oakland Zoo's four elephants apart. 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. Families will also find engaging elephant stations, such as, touching gigantic pachyderm bones, holding an eleven-pound tooth, and stepping into an elephant-sized footprint.

"Celebrating Elephants Day is fun-filled day designed for guests to enjoy and learn about elephants, while helping to save elephants in the wild. For the last nineteen years, Oakland Zoo has been a proud supporter and advocator for protecting elephants in Africa," said Colleen Kinzley, Director of Animal Care, Conservation, and Research at Oakland Zoo. "Our goal is for guests to be awed by these majestic animals and aware of what is happening to them in the ivory trade." For more information about Celebrating Elephants, please call 510-632-9525. All proceeds from the elephant barn tours at Celebrating Elephants will be donated to the Amboseli Trust for Elephants, which helps ensure the long-term conservation and welfare of Africa’s elephants through scientific research, training, community outreach, public awareness and advocacy. World renowned Dr. Cynthia Moss started the now famous Amboseli Elephant Research Project in Kenya more than thirty years ago.



ABOUT OAKLAND ZOO:

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. 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.

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