About Oakland Zoo

"I cannot overstate the degree to which the Oakland Zoo enhances the quality of life for people."
—Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf

Oakland Zoo was established on June 6, 1922, when the Oakland institution then known as The Snow Museum officially opened to the public.

Since 1988, Oakland Zoo has been accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the national organization that sets the highest standards for animal welfare for zoos and aquariums.

July 2018 introduced Oakland Zoo guests to an entirely new experience, California Trail, a monumental expansion that furthers our commitment to animal care, education, and conservation with a focus on this state’s remarkable native wildlife — both past and present.

Oakland Zoo is managed by the Conservation Society of California, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of wildlife both locally and globally. The Zoo is home to over 750 native and exotic animals. We're recognized for our outstanding animal care, particularly our elephant care program, and for our Leed-certified, 17,000 square foot, state-of-the-art veterinary hospital — the largest wild animal veterinary facility in Northern California.

“California Trail is just the latest example of the Oakland Zoo’s leadership in captive animal welfare, and its commitment to providing natural and enriched environments to promote species-typical behaviors for captive wildlife. California Trail is a model for other zoological facilities, sending the critical message that zoos have an important role to play in the rescue, rehabilitation, and care of wildlife...Oakland Zoo has long prioritized common sense and welfare, and PETA looks forward to continued collaboration on improving the welfare of captive wildlife across the U.S.”
-Brittany Peet, Esq., Director, Captive Animal Law Enforcement PETA Foundation


Read a detailed history of Oakland Zoo here!