The animals at the Oakland Zoo benefit from your donations of fruit, vegetables, bakery items, branches (browse) and leaves. Your donations help keep our animal commissary stocked with tasty food and fun "toys" for our animals. Using these toys, or enrichment, contributes to a healthy animal by keeping their minds as active as possible. Donations also ensure that we can keep our costs low, thereby keeping the Zoo an affordable family experience. Donations can be made by groups, individuals and corporations.
We work with many partners, including the Safeway, Niman Ranch, Ms. Pastures Cookies, and the Contra Costa Food Bank. Twice a year at Feast for the Beasts (usually March and July) you can bring produce in large quantities and even see the animals eat it. Please contact us if you would like to set up a recurring donation.
Just like we try to make sure our visitors have fun at the Zoo, we strive to keep our animals happy and engaged. We give each animal customized treats and toys, or enrichment, to keep their minds and bodies active. Oakland Zoo has created an Amazon Wish List and partnered with Sanctuary Suppliesto give you a more detailed list of items our animals would like to have. Please help us by donating products from the list below either through Sanctuary Supplies, Amazon, or by dropping them off at the Zoo. Remember, the sizes of many of these enrichment items are much larger than regular pet toys.
Produce and bakery goods are used to feed our animals as well as for certain enrichment activities. Our bison herd particularly loves baguettes, and many others enjoy playing with cereal. We will take any produce items that are relatively fresh, except for onions (green onions and leeks are okay), limes, lemons, and herbs. Remember that animals don't care about bruises! Produce doesn't have to look good for them to eat it. We'll also take bread and bakery items, dried fruit, nuts and cereals. Please, no rotten or moldy foods.
For more information on produce and bakery donations please contact the Commissary Department at (510) 632-9525 x215.
Browse is also used as food and/or toys (enrichment) by many of our animals. These two lists represent plants and trees that people usually contact us about. We prefer browse to be freshly cut, not dried up and old. If possible, please leave branch length around 5 to 8 feet. We do not accept branches over 3 inches in diameter. We can not make pick-ups for small yard trimmings, but we will make a pickup for large dump truck loads. If you are having a tree company do work at your house, please have the tree company call us directly. We do not accept individual Christmas Trees, as we work with Christmas Tree lots directly to receive their leftovers. If you have something that is not on the list, please contact us.
For more information on browse donations, please contact Keeper staff at (510) 632-9525 x266.