With an unrelenting focus on animal well-being, Oakland Zoo has emerged as a leader in habitat development for zoos worldwide. Our award-winning habitat designs focus on enrichment and creating environments that engage animals per their natural instincts in the wild, benefitting them both physically and psychologically.
Daily, we continue our work to provide spacious, appropriate habitats and facilities that meet the behavioral and physical needs of each species.
At the core of our habitat design is enrichment—creating environments that engage animals, in alignment with their natural instincts in the wild—which benefits them both physically and psychologically.
With an unrelenting focus on animal well-being, Oakland Zoo has emerged as a leader in habitat development for zoos nationwide.
Established the Joel J. Parrott Habitat Advancement Fund.
To continue to advance and upgrade habitat development, Oakland Zoo partners with several organizations. For example, we worked with researchers at Sonoma State University and UC Davis to upgrade habitats and enrichment for chimpanzees, Hamadryas baboons and Vervet monkeys.
We also worked with the University of Exeter in the UK on a social network analysis for our flamingos. As a result, we added more flamingos to the flock in 2019, and continue to enhance the habitat through features that increase natural behaviors through the learnings of the social network analysis findings.
The AZA* described our Children's Zoo section of the zoo as being "innovative and relevant,” nearly 15 years after its construction.
In 2019, AZA* recognized California Trail with an Exhibit Design Award for its significant achievement in designing and building expansive, innovative, and naturalistic habitats for its eight native California species.
*Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the national organization that sets the highest standards for animal welfare for zoos and aquariums.
Continued advancement in welfare-focused animal habitat design to include the other top priorities, such as an expanded savanna exhibit for giraffe and sanctuaries for tigers, primates, and other species.