Oakland, California (EastBayDaily) — The Bay Area’s Oakland Zoo believes now is a crucial time to care about and take action for wildlife and the environment. The Zoo is celebrating this notion by launching a new conservation concept, “Action for Wildlife.” On Saturday, 10/18 from 10:00am – 3:00pm, the day will highlight conservation partners that work in the field to save endangered animals. Activities during the event include: a selfie photo booth, face painting, beading for chimpanzees, and fun interactive education stations. A hot topic table focused on the palm oil crisis, an ingredient in many types of candy, explains the impact this additive has on animals such as orangutans, sun bears, and elephants. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn the best sustainable palm oil candy options to purchase for Halloween.
In addition to the activities happening inside the Zoo, the community is also invited to participate in other experiences: Volunteer with the Zoo’s Creek Crew from 9:00am – 12:00pm. The crew helps to restore a span of the Arroyo Viejo creek, which runs through the lower park of Knowland Park. For additional information, please contact Chantal Burnett, cburnett(at)oakalndzoo(dot)org. Baboon Experience: The baboon exhibit is home to three babies and those girls just want to have fun. Guests can participate in the behind-the-scenes experience which includes making enrichment/toys for the troops of baboons and watching them enjoy your creations. A limited amount of tickets will be sold, pre-registration is required. Cost is $10 per person, ages three and older. This opportunity will take place at 11:30am and 3:30pm. Contact Genny Greene to register in advance for the Baboon Experience (510) 632-9525 ext 167. Funds raised from this adventure benefit chimpanzees in Uganda. Veterinary Hospital Tour: Tour the LEED Gold certified Veterinary Hospital and find out how zoo veterinarians care for resident primates. This fascinating experience takes guests deep into the state-of-the-art center to see how an exotic veterinarian cares for resident animals. Tours are at 10:30am and 3:00pm. The cost is $20 per person. Contact Paula Booth to register in advance for a Veterinary Tour (510) 632-9525 ext 220. Funds raised from this adventure benefit chimpanzees in Uganda. “Through Action for Wildlife, we have a clear platform to spotlight the incredible animals on our planet, communicate their conservation challenges and introduce our partner organizations that are conserving them,” said Amy Gotliffe, Conservation Director at Oakland Zoo. “We also celebrate the Zoo's own accomplishments using our spectrum of resources to fully support these efforts. We aim to engage our visitors, members, students, and greater family in joining us to take action for wildlife and believe that our family of over 700,000 humans can make a huge difference in the lives of wild animals.”
Action for Wildlife Day kick starts a new year of Quarters for Conservation (Q4C); an Oakland Zoo program to promote wildlife conservation efforts, which to date has raised more than 300,000 dollars. Three of the Zoo’s conservation partners are: Big Life, an organization that helps to guard elephants from poachers in Kenya, Centre ValBio, which studies and conserves lemurs in Madagascar, and Ventana Wildlife Society, a Central Coast conservation group in Big Sur, California that supports the health and well-being of the California condor. All of the proceeds raised for Quarters for Conservation are collected from each general admission fee collected at the Zoo. By visiting the Zoo, guests take action for wildlife – twenty-five cents of entrance fees and a dollar of membership fees go directly to wildlife conservation. People can take action for elephants by refusing to purchase ivory, can help lemurs by avoiding the purchase of rosewood, and can conserve condors by refraining from hunting with lead bullets. These small actions can make a difference in saving animals in the wild.
“We at Big Life are truly honored to have been selected as one of Oakland Zoo’s Quarters for Conservation partners,” said Nick Brandt of Big Life Foundation. “Programs like this mean that visitors to the zoo know that they are helping contribute to the protection and preservation of all manner of species in the wild. We applaud and thank an enlightened zoo like Oakland Zoo for adopting such a simple but effective program, and for helping us conserve animals in their original habitat.”
"I am so excited to team up with Oakland Zoo to get more conservation done in Madagascar,” said Dr. Patricia Wright, Founder of Centre ValBio.
"Quarters for Conservation at Oakland Zoo adds up to significant support in keeping condors alive and well in Central California," said Kelly Sorenson, Executive Director of Ventana Wildlife Society.
During 2013-2014, guests of Oakland Zoo were encouraged to vote for conservation programs like: Leap into Action for the Mountain Legged Frog (Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog Project), Reach High for Reticulate Giraffe (The Reticulated Giraffe Project), or Look Out for Lions (Uganda Carnivore Program). The Quarters for Conservation Program raised more than $111,000 for Oakland Zoo’s conservation fund, Action for Wildlife. This is the largest sum of dollars that the program has raised to date.
“It’s an incredibly exciting time to be working for the good of wildlife, because people are waking up and wanting to make a difference,” said Amy Gotliffe,” Director of Conservation at Oakland Zoo. “On September 21, 2014 when over 400,000 people marched through the streets of New York and world-wide demanding attention be paid to global warming, it became clear that the citizens of the world care about our planet, its inhabitants, and want to transform that feeling into action. We believe they absolutely can with the proper inspiration and direction. Action for Wildlife is ready to provide both!”
Contact: Nicky Mora, Senior Manager, Marketing/PR (510) 632-9525 ext. 130 nmora(at)oaklandzoo(dot)org
Contact: Amy Gotliffe, Director, Conservation (510) 632-9525 ext. 122 amy(at)oaklandzoo(dot)org
ABOUT OAKLAND ZOO: The Bay Area’s award-winning Oakland Zoo is home to more than 660 native and exotic animals. The Zoo offers many educational programs and kid’s activities perfect for science field trips, family day trips and exciting birthday parties. Nestled in the Oakland Hills, in 500-acre Knowland Park, the Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links Road, off Highway 580. The East Bay Zoological Society (Oakland Zoo) is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization supported in part by members, contributions, the City of Oakland and the East Bay Regional Parks. For more information please visit our website at http://www.oaklandzoo.org.
Amy Gotliffe, Conservation Director