Press Release: 07/26/2014

Oakland Zoo Animals Have a Feast with Donated Produce

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

Oakland, CA, July 26, 2014

Saturday marks a special occasion at Oakland Zoo. The day features Feast for the Beasts, an event that runs 9:00am – 3:00pm. Adults and children are encouraged to bring fresh produce for the animals. The first 250 guests through the door will receive a golden ticket to place the produce pieces inside the elephant exhibit. Once all the food is distributed, guests will leave the exhibit and watch four hungry elephants chow down on tasty treats such as melons, carrots, bananas, kiwi, cabbage, and celery. “Getting a variety of donated produce helps to stimulate the animal’s taste buds for foods they don’t normally get in their day-to-day diets,” said Zoological Manager Victor Alm. “The zoo supplements purchase produce by working with local restaurant suppliers, but Feast for the Beasts allows us to work directly with the public.”

This is an exciting day because elephants have a fantastic memory and our pachyderms seem to remember this event happens each year, and Keepers say the animals like the variety of produce the public brings. As an extra incentive to our guests, each person who donates produce items will also receive a free ride ticket.

***Media Advisory: The best video and photo opportunities will be between 9:30am and 10:45am at the Elephant Exhibit.***

Visitors may also watch animal feedings throughout Oakland Zoo. Feeding Schedule for Saturday, 7/26

• 9:45am & 10:15am Elephant Spreads • 10:30am Elephant Feeding • 11:00am Bat Feeding • 11:30am Black throated monitor Feeding • 11:30am Giraffe Feeding • 11:45am Meerkat Feeding • 12:15pm Baboon Feeding • 12:45pm Tiger Feeding • 1:00pm Zebra Feeding • 1:15pm Otter Feeding • 1:30pm Lemur Feeding • 2:00pm Alligator Feeding • 3:00pm Coati Feeding • 3:30pm Sun Bear Feeding

“As zookeepers, it’s a regular part of our daily routine to enrich our animal’s lives – to seek out unexpected opportunities to have our animals engage with their environment naturally,” said Darren Minier, Zoological Manager. “I think that is why keepers enjoy Feast for the Beasts as much as our zoo participants do – we too see how special our job is in the eyes of the kids hiding treats under rocks and logs, or in how happy it makes the adults to truly understand that they can make a difference in an animal’s life with their family at their side. It’s also an opportunity for us to watch our animals eagerly seek the bounty they have been waiting for, which making our animals healthy and happy is why we love our jobs.”

The Feast for the Beasts event is included with regular Oakland Zoo admission, $11.75 for children (2-14) and seniors (65+), $15.75 for adults. Children under age 2 and seniors 80 years of age and older are FREE. Parking is $8.00 per vehicle. A captivating storyteller will be featured in the Wayne and Gladys Valley Children’s Zoo for guests to enjoy. Kids and adults will also have the opportunity to help raise awareness about the ivory trade. An education station will be in place offering elephant themed activities. For more details about the ivory crisis, see below.

96 ELEPHANTS: This annual “Feast for the Beasts” event will be in honor of “96 Elephants,” a campaign created by Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), designed to spread awareness about African elephants. 96 elephants a day are being killed for their tusks. The campaign aims to stop the demand of ivory by educating the public about ivory's deadly toll. The true cost of ivory is dead elephants - a fact that many people simply don't know. Through the 96 Elephants campaign, the goal is to call attention to the ivory crisis and collaborate with many partners to spread the message far and wide. Working together, “96 Elephants” and WCS plan to reduce consumer demand for ivory by 25% by 2016. http://www.oaklandzoo.org/96_Elephants.php ###

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. 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.


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