I remember arriving to work bright and early on a Saturday morning. It was 8:00am, caffeine hadn’t even taken affect, yet the parking lot of the Oakland Zoo was packing up with people. I scanned the lot and smiled as I watched children who could barely hold their excitement start to line up. Brown bags of groceries were accompanied by parents drinking Starbucks, giddy girls, and babbling boys.
They were at the Zoo early for Feast for the Beasts: A day when the public can donate produce to the Oakland Zoo animals. Feast for the Beasts makes me laugh, because it is so much fun to be a staff member and people watch. The first 250 guests through the gate get a ticket, some might say it’s a “Golden Ticket,” and actually get to go inside the elephant exhibit, before the hungry herd, to place their produce in nooks and crannies throughout the enclosure. It’s a special moment to see kids with tomatoes, watermelons, apples, carrots, grapes, and cucumbers. The children really get a kick out of hiding treats. After the produce is all in place and the public has cleared the exhibit, the pacaderms go after their grub. You can actually see an elephant munch down an entire watermelon in a couple of bites. The crowd roars and kids cheer in delight, during this popular produce event.
If you have never experienced Feast for the Beasts, mark your calendar now for 9:00am Saturday, March 27. And, remember to arrive early! The first 250 guests will receive “golden tickets” for the elephant exhibit. Watch special animal feedings throughout the day, see live entertainment, and participate in family friendly activities. The Oakland Zoo welcomes produce donations for all of our animals. This event is included with general admission. For more information, check out our website www.oaklandzoo.org.