Oakland, California (EastBayDaily) — Oakland Zoo, in partnership with Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and zoos across the country, is celebrating North America’s largest land mammal, the buffalo, otherwise known as the American bison. On this day, Oakland Zoo is asking the public to “Vote for Bison” by urging Members of Congress to cosponsor the National Bison Legacy Act. This act would make bison the United States’ National Mammal, a symbol that will become an American icon, like the bald eagle. To Vote Bison and establish National Bison Day as a permanent day, go to: https://secure3.convio.net/wcs/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=591
Oakland Zoo will acknowledge National Bison Day with interactive activities such as “Beards for Bison,” where guests of any age can pose for photos with beards and take a stand for bison. Beards for Bison along with education stations will take place in the Zoo’s Flamingo Plaza from 10:00am – 3:00pm. Guests will have the opportunity to learn about bison and the projects that conserve native California species at Oakland Zoo. “Oakland Zoo is proud to provide a home for our beautiful bison, and to utilize their presence to share their story with our visiting students and public,” said Amy Gotliffe, Director of Conservation at Oakland Zoo. “We are deeply committed to the conservation of native wildlife and celebrate the animals that have shared our habitat, and could do so again someday.” The Zoo will also be encouraging letter writing to Congress members and will offer a drawing for an exciting behind-the-scenes Bison Feeding. The winner will be drawn at the Bison Station at 1:30pm. The winner can either enjoy the experience Saturday afternoon (11/1/2014) or save the adventure for a future date.
ABOUT AMERICAN BISON: Bison are North America's largest land mammal, averaging six feet tall at the shoulder and often weighing more than 2,000 pounds. They have a massive head and forequarters and are covered with long, dark brown, woolly hair. The massive animals are often described as having a short, broad, forehead, a short neck, high humped shoulders and a tufted tail. Their horns are short, sharp, and up-curved. During spring, a shaggy winter coat falls off in patches – the fur is a dark brown during winter and lighter in color throughout summer months. After being hunted to near extinction in the 1800s, Theodore Roosevelt and the Bronx Zoo began one of the first wildlife restoration efforts in North America to try to save the bison. Today, bison populations hover around 450,000 – but with the majority on private farms, only 20,000 of them are free-ranging in National parks. Bison are considered a sacred and religious symbol to many Native American tribes. In the United States, bison are featured on many flags, currency, school mascots, and are a symbol of the pioneering spirit.
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 525-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.
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
Amy Gotliffe, Director, Conservation