1922 was quite the year. You could buy a brand-new car for about $1,000, automated telephone service just began, the White House installed its first radio, Betty White was born, and five zoos opened worldwide. One of those was the Oakland Zoo.
Originally located at 19th and Harrison streets in downtown Oakland, the Zoo has changed locations several times over the last century.
But what hasn’t changed is the fact that the Oakland Zoo is so entrenched in the fabric of our city and community, it’s hard to imagine a time without it. Officially founded on June 6, 1922, by Henry A. Snow, and later operated by his son Sidney Snow, we, along with the City of Oakland, have seen such tremendous progress and outstanding growth over the past 100 years.
As we honor and reflect upon our long history and celebrate this amazing milestone, it is with great pride and deep gratitude that we reflect on the impact we strive to make every day on our guests, the animals in our care, and our ever-growing and evolving commitment to wildlife conservation here at home and across the globe.
Throughout this year, we will celebrate our centennial with great pride and thoughtful reflection of years past. And as we look forward to the next 100 years, we fully commit to a purpose-driven future where nature and wildlife not just survive but thrive.
We hope that future will be filled with wildlife and nature-inspired youth that grow into our future generation of scientists. Scientists that are the solution to the climate change crisis that impacts us all – both humans and animals alike. And we hope you will help us celebrate the past 100 years and the next 100 years come.
“Oakland zoo has always been our spot for family bonding. We love exploring and learning about the animals together!”
"Wow, what a century! From sun bears to giraffes, the Oakland Zoo has always delighted and inspired young minds. As a born-and-raised Oaklander, I interned at the Baby Zoo as a teenager, and I think that shoveling lots of poop was great training for a future in politics! Thank you for all you have done for my family and for countless families in these 100 years."
Mayor of Oakland
“The zoo ignited my flame for conservation, compassion, and change I’ll hold with me for a lifetime...It was the only place that believed in my dreams as much as I did.”
Dr. Morgan Cornelius
1997 Zoo Camper and Oakland Zoo Volunteer Veterinarian
"Our family has always loved the Oakland Zoo. Our children have celebrated birthdays, been there for the opening of the gondola, and had their first “rides”. We’ll be back for its 100th birthday in 2022!"
“The Oakland Zoo was the first excursion we took our kids to during the pandemic. To see the animals for the first time in over a year was thrilling for everyone. We are proud zoo members.”
“We have been members since the pandemic has started. My husband and I started with two animal loving sons, ages 2 and 3 and have added one more to the family this past September…Their first zoo experience of course was an amazing one and in awe of every animal.”