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The Oakland Zoo is a zoo located in the Grass Valley neighborhood of Oakland, California , USA. Established in 1922, it is administered by the Conservation Society of California, 501(c)(3) a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of wildlife both locally and globally. The zoo is home to more than 700 native and exotic animals. It is recognized for its outstanding animal care , particularly its elephant care program, and its Leed Certified, 17,000 square foot, state-of-the-art veterinary hospital — the largest wildlife veterinary facility in Northern California.


The Oakland Zoo was established on 6 June 1922, when the Oakland institution, then known as the Snow Museum, was officially opened to the public. Since 1988, Oakland Zoo has been accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), a national organization that sets the highest animal welfare standards for zoos and aquariums.


July 2018 introduced Oakland Zoo guests to a whole new experience, the California Trail, a monumental expansion that furthers our commitment to animal welfare , education and conservation with a focus on this state 's remarkable native wildlife — both past and present.


Oakland Zoo is managed by the Conservation Society of California, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of wildlife locally and globally. The Zoo is home to more than 750 native and exotic animals. We are recognized for our outstanding animal care , particularly our elephant care program, and our Leed Certified, 17,000 square foot, state-of-the-art veterinary hospital — the largest wildlife veterinary facility in Northern California.


The East Bay Zoological Society (EBZS), founded in 1936 by Henry Snow 's son, Sidney, had a long relationship with the Oakland Zoo. At the time of its founding, EBZS was known as the Botanical and Zoological Society of Alameda County. In August 2017, the East Bay Zoological Society was renamed the Conservation Society of California (CSC) to better reflect the changing purpose and mission of the zoo in terms of its commitment to conservation.


Although EBZS has always been involved in zoo projects and operations to some extent, it was not until after the major development of the zoo from 1958 to 1965 that the role of EBZS increased dramatically. Through their efforts, money was raised to develop the African Veldt (1965), the Australian Outback (1975) and the original Tiger Exhibition (1980). In 1977, EBZS bought food, rides and children's zoo concessions. In 1982, the EBZS entered into an agreement with the City of Oakland to manage the zoo and develop it on a non-profit basis. Joel Parrott, DVM, was hired as Executive Director of the Oakland Zoo in 1985.


A number of new exhibits have been created, including those for hamadryas baboons and chimpanzees. A new, spacious elephant display was built in 1987. The current exhibition of sun bears was completed in 1995 and featured in the Animal Planet Ultimate Zoos. The white-handed gibbons now live on a lush island in the Rainforest. The African Savannah, with camels, lions, elephants, sea cats, hyenas and more, was completed in 1998.


The Education Center opened its new doors in 1999, followed by a new main entrance soon after the summer of 2001. A new squirrel monkey exhibition opened in the autumn of 2001, along with a larger, newly renovated tiger exhibit. In the spring of 2007, the four dromedary camels were moved uphill from their old enclosure to a larger, fenced enclosure.


A fully funded LEED-certified veterinary hospital opened in 2012, followed by the opening in 2013 of the Oakland Zoo Biodiversity Center and the inauguration in 2014 of the Condor Recovery Center at Oakland Zoo. Each of these projects has improved the care of zoo animals as well as the conservation of wild species.

This amazing landmark is just one of the many must-see sights you don’t want to miss in Oakland, California:

  • Angel Island

  • Jack London Square

  • Tilden Regional Park

  • Lake Merritt 

  • Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park

  • Chabot Space & Science Center

  • USS Hornet - Sea, Air and Space Museum  

  • Children's Fairyland

All of these wonderful attractions are located just a short distance from our location located at 555 12th Street, on the 5th Floor 
in Oakland! Stop by for a visit anytime!

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