Return The Tusk

Turn in items made from exotic animals (ivory, reptile leather, furs, etc.) to help combat the Illegal Wildlife Trade!

Snow Building

September 18, 2021

All Ages

2:00pm - 7:00pm


Zoo admission not included

Souvenirs and amulets carved from Ivory for sale at market

Do you own an item made from exotic animals? Maybe you inherited it from a family member, or you go it as a souvenir on a trip years ago. You have it but don't know what to do with it and want to get rid of it? Bring it to the Oakland Zoo during "Return the Tusk"!

“Return the Tusk”  is a surrender event where anyone can anonymously and legally donate items made from exotic animal parts (ivory carvings, reptile handbags, feather fascinators, etc.). A California Department of Fish and Wildlife warden will be on hand to evaluate and receive items. Stop off to learn how detectives evaluate items as a "CSI: Wildlife Trafficking" table.

Relinquishing these heirlooms will ensure these items will never be available on the black market and, in turn, reduce the demand for these products. The United States is a significant market for these products, which means that demand from American consumers greatly influences whether these animals will become extinct within our lifetime.

Items we are accepting: We collect any wildlife-based items containing tusks, horns, bones, furs, turtle shells, reptilian skins, exotic feathers, and coral. 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 will use the animal products for training wildlife enforcement and K9 units, DNA sequencing and geolocating, and their reference database.

Email Adrienne Mrsny, Conservation Manager if you have questions about the event.

“Because the demand for ivory products is driving elephants toward extinction, consumers hold the key to ending the scourge of wildlife trafficking. By putting our actions in line with our values, we can work together to protect elephants and other treasured species for the benefit of our planet, our security, and future generations.”  -Dan Ashe, President, and CEO of, Association of Zoos & Aquariums.

Oakland Zoo is dedicating 2021 to combatting the Illegal Wildlife Trade. Join us in Taking Action for Wildlife, buy relinquishing an item during “Return the Tusk.” Learn more about how you can End the Trade.