Oakland Zoo Announces Extended Closure Due to Major Sinkhole Damage Caused by Rain

Oakland Zoo
January 1, 2023

OAKLAND, CA – January 1, 2023...Oakland Zoo is closed and will be unable to reopen until January 17th, or possibly later, due to a major sinkhole caused by a collapsed culvert located under the vehicle entrance to the Zoo at Golf Links Road. The culvert, overburdened by the historic and unprecedented amount of rainfall throughout the region over the past few days, serves as a connect for Arroyo Viejo Creek and runs beneath the entry road to the Zoo. The sinkhole is approximately 10 feet wide and approximately 10 feet deep and is impassable to vehicles, prohibiting guests from entering the Zoo.

Engineers called to the site yesterday say that with additional rain expected in the next several days, the sinkhole could worsen during the time. Zoo officials are working with a local company specializing in engineering, design, and construction to repair the sinkhole as soon as possible, and were advised it may take an estimated 2 weeks or more for materials to arrive and the work to be completed.

In other areas of the Zoo yesterday, the volume and velocity of the water flowing across the Zoo grounds caused incredible soil erosion, eucalyptus trees to fall, flooding in various buildings, and overwhelmed drainage systems. Electricity went out at times and our internet and ticketing systems were intermittently working.

All animals and staff are fine and remained safe during the extreme weather. While closed, Zoo staff will continue to be onsite to take care of the animals, provide maintenance needs, and conduct clean-ups from damage caused by the rain.

Guests with reservations, at any time between today and January 17th,  to visit the Zoo or attend Glowfari, will receive an email about receiving a refund for their tickets.

Once reopened, the Zoo is looking into possibility of extending the popular Glowfari event into February, and will announce soon.