Oakland Zoo Veterinary Hospital

Our state-of-the-art, 17,000 square-foot Veterinary Hospital was designed to accommodate all current and future animals at Oakland Zoo as well as visiting rescues, from small birds to large tigers and grizzly bears. It features radiology and surgical suites, a small laboratory, a pharmacy, wide transportation docks, and LEED Gold certification. Take your next Zoo visit to a whole new level with a tour of our amazing veterinary hospital.

“We take great joy in providing high quality and compassionate care for all the animals at Oakland Zoo, and those that come to our veterinary hospital through our conservation programs. It’s hard work, but we love what we do and give every animal the best quality care - whether a rescued mountain lion, tiny poison dart frog, California condor, or giraffe”

Dr. Alex Herman, VP, Veterinary Services

Animal Care

Smiling Vet Hospital Staff
Oakland Zoo Veterinary Hospital Staff

Animal Comfort and Effective Treatments

The Animal Care Wing reflects the best in animal hospitalization and rehabilitation design. It was created with the care and comfort of the Zoo’s animals in mind and is situated in the quietest point in the building to allow animals to recuperate without any added environmental stress.

• Aquatic room with a pool for animals like river otters

• Aviary with flying space that is both covered and heated

• Room with padded walls for hoof stock

• Climate-controlled rooms for reptiles

Treating a California Condor

Collaborative Research

The Veterinary Hospital serves as a nucleus of research with a diagnostic lab that includes both a blood chemistry and CBC analyzer to provide critical patient information within minutes of sample collection. Digital radiographic imaging produces superior quality diagnostic radiographs (x-rays) with less radiation exposure. Diagnostics include new endoscopy equipment that expands the Zoo’s medical capabilities, while decreasing the invasiveness of sample collection and promoting faster recovery. In addition, a large laboratory facilitates collaborative research, fosters work with universities and furthers animal nutrition and pharmacology studies.

Education and conservation are at the heart of the hospital.

Education Opportunities


The education of our children is always of the utmost importance in any Zoo project and the Veterinary Hospital is no exception. It is designed with wide hallways and large, low windows offering views into treatment rooms, which accommodates the variety of guests touring the facility.

Veterinary Students

Currently, our only veterinary opportunity outside of hospital tours is an externship designed for veterinary students currently in their clinical year. Please see the externship description and application process on the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians website under educational opportunities here. We do not offer veterinary volunteer opportunities for non-veterinary students at this time.


Take your next Zoo visit to a whole new level by touring our hospital! For more information and to reserve your tour click here.

Wildlife Partnerships

Thanks to the scope of the Hospital, the Zoo is able to deepen its relationships and become a regional resource in the care of animals associated with our wildlife partners.

The hospital was designed and built with the planet in mind.

About the Facility

Responsible, Sustainable Design

The Veterinary Hospital is a green facility, and has been certified LEED Gold. The hospital’s design features extensive daylight from sky lights reducing the need for artificial lighting, and a 50-kilowatt roof-mounted solar system comprised of 154 solar panels (donated by SunPower Corporation). Architects incorporated recycled content including fly ash and steel, as well as renewable materials such as FSC wood, icynene insulation (castor oil), and bamboo throughout the facility. There is in-slab radiant heating for the animals, an electric vehicle charging station, and water runoff goes into bioswale for treatment. Even the courtyard pavers are water-permeable.

Important to the facility’s design was the inclusion of over 70 plants and 115 trees representing the countries of origin for our current animal collection as well as 15 species of grasses and plants native to California and the animals we look forward to exhibiting in the planned California Trail expansion.

Special Thanks

Foundations and Corporations

Wayne and Gladys Valley Foundation

Lakeside Foundation

DMARLOU Foundation

S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation

Thelma Doelger Trust for Animals

HEDCO Foundation

SunPower Corporation

Koret Foundation

Thomas J. Long Foundation

The Clorox Company Foundation


Fremont Bank Foundation


Warren and Mary Brown

Neil, Diane, and Brian Goodhue

Linda Hart Huber

Eleanor B. Moore

Oakland Zoo Docents

Joel Parrott, DVM and Laura Becker, DVM

Reid and Amy Settlemier

George and Lorri Zimmer

Building Information

Architect: Noll & Tam Architects

Structural Engineer: Kenneth R. Hughes

Electrical Engineer: O’Mahoney & Myer

Mechanical and Planning Engineer: Richard A. Charles and Interface Engineering

Civil Engineer: Aliquot Associates, Inc.

Contractor: Alten Construction

Construction Manager: Howard Fuchs

Solar Energy: SunPower Corporation

LEED Certification: Swinerton Management & Consulting