Black bears are North America’s most common and familiar bear, and Oakland Zoo is proudly home to four – a mother and her three cubs. Don’t let the name fool you, American Black Bears can come in different shades from black, brown, cinnamon, and even blonde!
As one of the most opportunistic of bear species, the keepers are constantly making sure the bears have plenty of enrichment to fuel their curiosity. Here at the zoo the bears have the opportunity to forage, swim, play and explore their 52,000 sq. ft. habitat which designed to mimic their natural California habitat.
Our four bears came to us as a result of the most common threat these animals face—the human wildlife conflict. Mom (Cambria) and her 3 cubs (Kern, Pismo, and Tejon) became habituated to humans, often wandering the Pine Mountain Country Club area of Kern County in search of food. Unfortunately, in June 2017, they brazenly entered the home of an elderly woman and Cambria inflicted a non-lethal injury on the homeowner who was trying to chase them out. Per California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) law, Cambria was deemed a public safety issue and was set to be euthanized. However, CDFW considered the unique circumstances of the bears, an exception was made. The four bears were determined too habituated to humans to be returned to their natural habitat, and Oakland Zoo was in the position to provide a forever home to them—so here they are!
You can help black bears, by decreasing the opportunities for interactions by storing trash in bear proof containers and by NEVER feeding them. Learn more from our conservation partner, the Bear League.
While little is known about how many Sun Bears are left in the wild, Oakland Zoo is home to three of these amazingly, unique species of bears. Their long claws and especially long tongue are important tools for getting their food sometimes high up in the trees. Every now and then you might see one of our bears climbing up the large eucalyptus tree in their exhibit. These particular bears you are watching love to eat avocados, honey, and peanut butter as treats.
Zookeepers hide treats throughout the spacious exhibit, to encourage the bears to forage for food, as they would in the wild. You might see them playing with a ball, shaking a milk carton, or unwrapping boxes. Zookeepers and volunteers create enrichment or puzzles to keep the bears stimulated throughout the day.
Born in 2008, she came to Oakland Zoo in 2010. She is the youngest of our bears and the younger sister of Pagi. She is easily recognizable by her completely connected, donut shaped crest, and her laid back demeanor.
Born in 2006, she came to Oakland Zoo in 2008, just a couple months before her younger sister Pagi was born. She has a “U” shaped crest that is covered in black spots, resembling freckles, and is often known by the keepers as the very curious and more “mischievous” of the bears.
Born in 1990, she came to Oakland Zoo in 2006. She is our oldest bear and easily recognizable by her “V” shaped crest and very loose, wrinkly skin. Sadly comes from a more common occurrence happening in the wild today. Ting Ting was just a cub when her mother was killed, and sold into the pet trade by poachers. Eventually confiscated, she was sent to a couple organizations, before making her way to her forever home here at Oakland Zoo. Many sun bears face this threat, in addition to habitat loss due to the growing Palm Oil business.
You can help sun bears in the wild by purchasing common house hold items and foods without palm oil and by visiting Oakland Zoo! Learn more from our conservation partner, the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre.
The first-ever live streaming California Condor cam is located in the hills of Big Sur, California, where the Ventana Wildlife Society is working diligently with the California Condor Recovery team to help return these iconic birds to habitats in Central California.
Oakland Zoo’s Condor Cam is situated in The Steve and Jackie Kane Condor Recovery Center on the grounds of Oakland Zoo. The rehabilitation center is designed for treatment and recovery of sick or injured California condors from the wild. Learn about the California Condor Recovery Program.
This camera is also located in Big Sur, and points to the pen where birds are held before and after they are treated for lead poisoning.
A video produced by Oakland Zoo, A Flight Plan for the California Condor showcases the plight of this majestic bird and why the Zoo is compelled to support conservation efforts to recover the California Condor.
Watch the African Elephants at Oakland Zoo live! This elephant habitat includes 6.5 acres of grassy hills, trees, a swimming pond, and mud wallow. Like elephants in the wild, our elephants spend most of their time grazing, browsing on tree branches and foraging. Did you know elephants eat 200-300 pounds of food a day?
Our zookeepers spread food and enrichment throughout this exhibit eight times per day to encourage the elephants' socializing, roaming and foraging behavior. Proper and adequate exercise helps keep our elephants healthy which is very important to us. Elephants are highly intelligent and emotional beings with unique personalities, forming bonds and relationships with each other both in captivity and the wild.
Born in 1969, she came to Oakland Zoo in 1991. She has long beautiful tusks and a very gentle demeanor. She is very vocal with rumbles to communicate with her herd mates and zookeepers. At night, M'Dunda sometimes spars with Osh or gently nuzzles and trunk twirls with him.
Born in 1979, Donna quickly became the dominant female. Playful, she often charges into the pool for a cool-down. Donna is eager to learn, loves to participate in training, and is closely bonded with Lisa, whom she sleeps with every night.
Born in 1977, Lisa is our 'water baby', taking daily dips in the pond if the weather is right! Lisa can be sneaky and bold, grabbing treats from under another elephant's trunk, especially Donna's. Lisa loves her sleep, after a full night and she often cat naps in the day.
Born in 1994, Osh is over 10ft 8in tall and weighs 13,000 pounds and still growing! He will eventually be about twice the size of the females. In elephant society, males leave their family groups in their teens. So you will often see Osh spending time on his own.
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