1922: Henry Snow, naturalist, establishes the Snow Zoo by Lake Merritt after 1919 – 1922 Snow Expedition to Africa for the Oakland Museum. Sidney Snow, son, and other family members assume the care and feeding of the growing zoo.
Noise and expansion concerns drive Henry to gift many of the animals to the City of Oakland. Animals are moved to Sequoia Mountain Park - now Joaquin Miller Park. Sidney continues to care for remaining animals by Lake Merritt.
Sidney convinces the Bank of Italy to assume the mortgage for Durant Park (current Oakland Zoo property). Sidney moves his animals to the park and opens the zoo.
After many of the animals die at the City’s Sequoia Mountain Park, Sid advocates and wins the support of Oakland Citizens to return the animals to Sid. He forms the Alameda County Botanical and Zoological Society as a support organization.
Sid advocates that Durant Park become part of the State Park system; Joseph Knowland, then Chairman of the California State Park Commission, supports the effort and secures Knowland Park for the State.
New elephant habitat for Effie, the elephant, becomes the first significant construction for the Zoo.
The Baby Zoo opens designed for guests to meet and greet baby animals.
The City of Oakland gives the Society the responsibility of managing the entire Park and Zoo.
William Penn Mott, Jr., becomes Director of the Society, leading the Zoo into a new era of growth and development.
Joel J. Parrott, DVM, becomes Executive Director, implementing a 6-phase development plan over the next 20 years to completely renovate the Zoo.
The Zoo's Education Department finishes construction. Providing school and community groups with on-site classes and a ZooMobile outreach program.
Oakland Zoo receives accreditation from the Association of Zoo and Aquariums.
The Zoo completes "Mahali Pa Tembo", meaning the Place of the Elephant, nationally recognized for its natural elephant habitat setting.
New Gibbon Island provides a spacious, lush island for white-handed gibbons.
African Lion habitat "Simba Pori" (Swahili for "Lion Country") opens, providing a 1.5-acre natural savanna and woodland setting.
Malayan Sun Bear habitat completed becoming one of the largest sun bear habitats in North America.
African Savanna area opens, highlighting eighteen animal species and over seventy-five plant species from South and East Africa.
The 17,500 square-foot Maddie's Center for Science and Environmental Education opens. Providing new opportunities for indoor and outdoor education throughout the Zoo.
New Main Entrance and pavilion opens including new gifts shop, restaurant, and upgraded guest entryway to meet the demand of growing attendance.
Wayne and Gladys Valley Children's Zoo catered to the young inquisitive mind is completed. The most extensive renovation and construction in the Zoo's history.
Oakland Zoo launches Zoo-to-Community, to provide free and discounted Zoo admission and transportation to qualified schools and organizations.
Arroyo Viejo Creek restoration project commences, intending to continuously remove non-native species through the creek clean-up program and create outdoor classroom spaces.
Baboon Cliffs opens featuring a cascading waterfall, climbing structures, and spacious area for the baboon troop to roam.
Australian-themed “Wild Australia” features wallaroos and emus accessible only via the Outback Express Adventure Train.
“Quarters for Conservation” launches, challenging guests to actively participate in conserving wildlife by casting their vote to decide which project will receive their donation.
State-of-the-art, 17,000 square foot veterinary hospital, opens becoming the largest wild animal veterinary facility in Northern California.
Oakland Zoo Biodiversity Center opens, serving as a breeding, research, and education facility devoted to the conservation of endangered wildlife.
The Steve and Jackie Kane Condor Recovery Center opens specifically designed to treat large endangered and injured birds.
The East Bay Zoological Society is renamed the Conservation Society of California reflecting the Zoo's evolving purpose and mission in its commitment to conservation.
The ADA-accessible, all-electric gondola opens to transport guests to the California Trail.
Oakland Zoo unveils a long-awaited 56-acre California Trail focussing on California's rich biodiversity and native wildlife.
Nik Dehejia becomes the newest CEO of Oakland Zoo.
Oakland Zoo celebrates Centennial Year. The future is bright at Oakland Zoo. We have big dreams and plans that will transform the Zoo and put us on the map as one of the most recognized Zoos in the country, especially for our humane treatment of animals and worldwide conservation efforts.