Oakland Zoo Invites Public to Relinquish Personal Effects Made From Exotic Animals To Help End the Illegal Wildlife Trade

Oakland Zoo
September 13, 2021

Exterior of the  ‘Inside the IllegalWildlife Trade’ 400 square foot exhibit which addresses and demonstrates the effects and devastation of the illegal wildlife trade industry – including the decimations of many animal species and the spread of many zoonotic diseases

Oakland, CA – September 13, 2021… Oakland Zoo launched 2021 with‘Taking Action Against the Illegal Wildlife Trade’, a multi-platform campaign, to advocate for the end of this disastrous, widespread industry. This campaign is at the heart of the Conservation Society of California's mission. In addition to this initiative, the Zoo is hosting an 'End the Trade' Day on Saturday, September 18, inviting guests to relinquish wildlife-based souvenirs they possess either while traveling abroad or through family generations, and learn about the best ways to join the Zoo in Taking Action ForWildlife and to #endthetrade.

Combatting the wildlife trade not only protects animals and their species – many of which are on the brink of extinction – but it also protects people from zoonotic diseases* worldwide.

"Inspiring the next generation to become conservation ambassadors is a vital component to putting an end to the illegal wildlife trade in the future. We take pride at Oakland Zoo in being an educational resource for wildlife conservation to the public", says Nik Dehejia, CEO at Oakland Zoo.

At the 'End The Trade Day' event, the Zoo will accept any wildlife-based items containing tusks, horns, bones, furs, turtle shells, reptilian skins, exotic feathers, and coral from guests. These animal products can appear as jewelry, souvenirs, hair accessories, fashion accessories(purses, belts, clothing), carvings, instruments, and more.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife – who are participating in the Zoo’s event - will use the animal products for training wildlife enforcement and K9 units, DNA sequencing and geolocating, and their reference database, preventing future wildlife crimes.

This African leopard was hunted as a trophy and subsequently donated to OaklandZoo to help the Zoo spread the message that trophy hunting is bad for wildlife and wild places

"People who choose to let go of these items areTaking Action for Wildlife directly.Their efforts offer hope that our society is moving towards a humane and sustainable future", saysAmy Gotliffe, Vice President of Conservation at Oakland Zoo.

Aside from relinquishing wildlife trade items, guests can enjoy activities throughout the Zoo during the 'End the Trade Day' event.Children are given the opportunity to become honorary 'Wildlife ScienceInvestigators' as they complete their #endthetrade investigation. 

As the Zoo heads into its Centennial year, it will continue to find impactful ways to make a difference in the lives of the animals that call the Zoo home and to wildlife globally. 

"Oakland Zoo, an AZA-accredited facility, is a leader in conservation which is underscored by their commitment to combat wildlife trafficking. I applaud their efforts to bring awareness to this important issue and provide members of their community with an actionable way to protect elephants and other endangered species from the illegal trade of wildlife", says Dan Ashe, President, and CEO, of the Association ofZoos and Aquarium.

For more information on the Oakland Zoo's 'Taking ActionAgainst the Illegal Wildlife Trade' campaign, please go to: oaklandzoo.org/endthetrade

*A zoonotic disease is a disease that can transmit from animals to people or, more specifically, a disease that generally exists in animals but that can infect humans.

End the Trade Day – Event ‘Drop-off’Details:

Two ways to drop-off your items:

10:00am to 3:00pm at the Illegal Wildlife Trade Exhibit in the Zoo (Zoo admission ticket required)

Drop-off items at the Illegal Wildlife Exhibit in theAfrican Savanna. Talk with California Department of Fish and Wildlife wardens and other conservation organization about the work that they do.

Bring the kids for onsite activities and the chance to become an honorary Junior Wildlife Conservation Investigator as you"investigate" at activity tables throughout the zoo. Visit theRainforest for solutions to #EndTheTrade as we stop the demand for these products.

2:00pm to 7:00pm at the Snow Building on Zoo grounds(Drive-up & Drop-off only, No Zoo admission ticket required)

Simply drop-off items at the Snow Building. Drive-up& drop-off or stay around to talk with CDFW wardens and learn more aboutCSI (Conservation Science Investigation).

Surrendering items is anonymous, no forms, no questions asked.




Isabella Linares

Oakland Zoo


Office: 510-632-9525 ext. 239


Erin Harrison

Oakland Zoo


Office: 510-632-9525 ext. 120






Oakland Zoo, home to more than 850native 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 theAssociation of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the national organization that sets the highest standards for animal welfare for zoos and aquariums.