Oakland Zoo Rebrands to Better Demonstrate Conservation Purpose

Oakland Zoo
January 22, 2018
(Above: Oakland Zoo in action at ARCAS, conservation partner in Guatemala)
(Above: Oakland Zoo in action at Centre Val Bio, conservation partner in Madagascar)
(Above: Oakland Zoo in action with Bay Area Puma Project, conservation partner in California)

Oakland Zoo’s governing organization, the East Bay Zoological Society, is now renamed the Conservation Society of California and is 'Taking Action For Wildlife'

Oakland, CA…January 22, 2018 -To better reflect Oakland Zoo’s evolving purpose and mission in its commitment to conservation, the Zoo is launching a new campaign which includes a more prevalent focus on conservation messaging, a new logo and a name change to the Zoo’s governing organization; the East Bay Zoological Society (EBZS). As since 1922, the Zoo will remain the Oakland Zoo, and legally the East Bay Zoological Society will now be known as theConservation Society of California.

“Conservation is the core of our organization, and adopting a name to reflect that purpose is how we can better communicate that,”says Dr. Joel Parrott, Oakland Zoo’s President and CEO of 34 years.“For almost one hundred years, families have been coming to Oakland Zoo and enjoying our animals, but now we can articulate that their visits help us continue and expand our conservation work – in education, hands-on field work and financial support to our conservation partners worldwide.”

In the past decade alone, through the Zoo’s conservation efforts, the Zoo has invested over $1,000,000 in contributions supporting partnering conservation organizations in saving animal species worldwide. Zoo-based education efforts in conservation are extensive and growing, as is expanding existing zoological programs such as re-populating critically endangered species back into the wild and collaborating with conservationists locally and abroad in research studies to benefit animals both captive and in the wild.

"Oakland Zoo has been a steadfast friend of ARCAS and Guatemalan wildlife for the last nearly 20 years. Working in a country with such pressing needs and with such instability, it's heartening to know that we have in the zoo an ally with a similar vision, that understands the importance of preserving the earth's biodiversity, and the difficulties that this work entails," says Colum Muccio, Executive Director, ARCAS, Guatemala.

As an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Oakland Zoo is part of the largest conservation organization in the nation. These 230 AZA-accredited zoo and aquarium institutions contribute over $160 million every year to wildlife conservation. AZA insitutions also train 40,000 teachers every year, supporting state science curricula with teaching materials and hands-on opportunities for students who might otherwise have no first-hand experience with wildlife.

Over the decades, Oakland Zoo has been evolving, improving, and growing; and the East Bay Zoological Society has been the driving force behind the Zoo’s evolution. EBZS has worked purposefully behind the scenes, doing business as the Oakland Zoo. Community leaders who have served on the EBZS Board of Trustees throughout the years dedicated their efforts to ensure that the Zoo continued to grow into one of California’s finest wildlife conservation and educational institutions. Supporting conservation has always been priority in their efforts, from the Zoo’s 25 conservation partner organizations globally to species rescue, recovery and re-introduction into the wild to educating 60,000 students annually through conservation-based education programs. EBZS has quietly and successfully guided the Zoo through the development of all of this.

Over the past year, through a collaborative process engaging constituents of the Zoo and research, the Oakland Zoo and the EBZS began talks in undergoing a renaming and rebranding campaign. As a result of the gathered research, it was discovered that the name, the East Bay Zoological Society, was not recognized among the Zoo’s audiences.

“For every paid admission to Oakland Zoo, a contribution is made to saving species in the wild. The Conservation Society of California recently doubled its existing allocation, and expanded it to also include a portion of Zoo membership households. We expect our efforts to raise over a quarter of a million dollars this fiscal year,”says Patrick Sherwood, Board Co-Chair, CSC.

It bears noting that community research highlighted that many in the Bay Area community view Oakland Zoo as primarily a place to bring the kids and spend family time outdoors.“The name of Oakland Zoo will never change. The Zoo will always be a great place to bring families and children, and we believe conservation begins with a great family experience. This is our opportunity to instill and inspire people that the future is conservation,”says Dr. Parrott.

Over the next few weeks and months, the Zoo plans to roll out their new Conservation Society of California campaign, showcasing engaging conservation-minded messaging and programs. For almost 100 years, the Zoo has built a strong reputation as a community asset and has been the location for numerous family memories, stories and traditions. A world-class and leader in animal welfare and conservation, the Zoo is strongly positioned to continue contributing to the important role of securing a future for our wildlife worldwide.

About Oakland Zoo and the Conservation Society of California

Oakland Zoo, home to more than 700 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.


Erin Dogan Harrison

Director of Marketing & Communications

510-746-7120, eharrison@oaklandzoo.org