The opponents of measure A1 want you to believe that the Oakland Zoo is using “cute” animals for “other purposes” than what the measure clearly states. This is demeaning to the zoo and to the animals. I have been in the animal care field for over 30 years and I have seen that when conflict arises and issues concerning animal care are not reported honestly, it is the animals that really pay the price. The animals’ needs are real, and this measure is the best thing that could happen for them. The measure will also support education and greatly increase the number of schoolchildren who can attend our zoo programs and learn more about the animals they see at the zoo. Measure A1 will also keep the admission cost low—so important for many of our visitors.
As an animal care manager at the zoo, my focus is the animals and providing the best care possible. The three sections I manage would benefit greatly if measure A1 succeeds. Our young camels have grown so much they need taller and sturdier fencing; the tiger night house needs expanding, a new heating system and a hot water heater; and the beautiful bird aviaries are very much in need of underground barriers for rodent control. We also desperately need a “tamer” — a structure that can safely hold giraffe during medical procedures. In a time of budget cuts and increasing costs however, it becomes more difficult to meet our animals’ needs. The animals need A1 to pass, and that is the truth. I ask you to please read measure A1 to see the truth, and vote YES!
Michelle Jeffries, Zoological Manager, Oakland Zoo