Oakland Zoo Launching New “Behind the Scenes Live” Interactive Platform During Closure

Oakland Zoo
April 1, 2020

New subscription-based platform launches Thursday, April 2, allowing never-before access for the public to engage, while bringing much needed revenue to Oakland Zoo

Get up close and personal with animals in exclusive locations.
Chat and interact with animal and veterinary care staff in real time.

Oakland, CA – April 1, 2020… In order to address two challenges facing Oakland Zoo during the COVID-19 closure, a new subscription-based live-streaming and interactive service will now be offered to provide the public a way to connect with animals and staff on while also bringing in much-needed revenue to the Zoo.

The new platform / service titled “Behind the Scenes Live” allows subscribers sign up today, with the first live-streaming broadcast premiering on April 2.  

The live broadcasts will be at 2:30pm (PST) every weekday and feature a host interviewing a variety of animal keepers and veterinary hospital staff with different animals. The interactive component allows subscribers to direct message questions during the broadcast and in real-time, so they can be answered immediately. The service is priced at $14.95 per month, with Zoo members receiving the first 30-days free followed by a $9.95 discounted monthly fee.

“Being closed to the public pushed us to think about how we could offer people a new way to connect with us in an impactful and unique way – while helping the Zoo survive without admissions revenue. Going behind the scenes and including the interactive component for subscribers to submit questions in real time gives people something that goes even beyond a normal Zoo visit,” Dr. Joel Parrott, President & CEO.

Without the admission revenue that makes up for 80% of its operating budget, the Zoo hopes that the revenue from the new subscription service will also help offset layoffs and reduced work hours for staff, of which first rounds began today, on April 1.



Oakland Zoo, home to more than 850+ native and exotic animals, is managed by the Conservation Society of California (CSC); a non-profit organization leading an informed and inspired community to take action for wildlife locally and globally. With over 25 conservation partners and projects worldwide, the CSC is committed to conservation-based education and saving species and their habitats in the wild. Oakland Zoo is dedicated to the humane treatment of animals and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the national organization that sets the highest standards for animal welfare for zoos and aquariums.