The Oakland Zoo was founded in 1922 by naturalist Henry A. Snow. In 1936, Henry's son, Sidney, established the nonprofit organization East Bay Zoological Society, which was originally known as the Alameda County Botanical and Zoological Society. The East Bay Zoological Society has been operating and managing the Zoo as a nonprofit organization for the City of Oakland since 1982.
Attractions, Animal Care, and Education
Over the past twenty-five years the East Bay Zoological Society has managed capital improvements to improve animal care and the visitor experience. The Zoo is comprised of several regions: Adventure Landing, African Savanna, African Veldt, California Trail, Flamingo Plaza, Tropical Rain Forest, Wayne and Gladys Valley Children's Zoo, and Wild Australia. Animals live in expansive naturalistic habitats and include chimpanzees, sun bears, elephants, siamangs, gibbons, and a growing herd of giraffes. The Zoo is committed to providing an outstanding experience for Zoo visitors, being a leader in animal care, and delivering a rich array of education programs.
Since the East Bay Zoological Society took over management of the Zoo, the Oakland Zoo has gained international acclaim and national awards for its animal management and endangered species programs. In 1991, the Zoo pioneered protected contact which places barriers between the keepers and elephants and incorporates persuasion through rewards rather than discipline. The progress we have made and continue to make to this keystone program has garnered respect and approval from animal behaviorists around the world, and most importantly resulted in happy and healthy elephants.
Public support comes from the City of Oakland and East Bay Regional Parks District, which contributed 15% of the Zoo's 2010 operating budget of $11.3 million. Remaining funding comes from the community that supports and enjoys the Zoo including private individuals, foundations, corporations, and memberships. Annual public support allows admission prices to remain low, and therefore keeps this gem of the East Bay accessible to all economic levels of the community.
East Bay Zoological Society
The East Bay Zoological Society renewed a 30-year management agreement with the City of Oakland in 2011 to continue operating Oakland Zoo. Governed by a Board of Trustees, the East Bay Zoological Society is comprised of dedicated volunteers who provide oversight of the organization's mission and policies.
Annual Members' Meeting
Open to all Oakland Zoo members, the annual meeting will feature a State of the Zoo presentation by Dr. Joel Parrott, President/CEO, in addition to reports and officer approvals.