Oakland Zoo Takes Action for Wildlife by Hosting Discovering Primates Gala and Silent Auction for Chimpanzees of the Budongo Forest

Oakland, California (EastBayDaily) — On Tuesday, October 7, 2014, from 7:00pm – 10:00pm, Oakland Zoo welcomes the public to attend a gala to celebrate primates. Evening festivities will feature unique silent auction items, which include exclusive behind- the-scenes experiences at Oakland Zoo. Delectable refreshments will be served accompanied by beer and wine from Oakland Brewing Company and Rockwall Wine Company.

Admission price for the gala is $40.00 per person at the door. All proceeds from this event will be donated to the Budongo Snare Removal Project in Uganda. This innovative conservation effort helps chimpanzees by removing snares set by poachers, supplying goats as sustenance to ex-hunters, and educating the community about the environment. This project serves as a model for others facing the growing challenges around human-wildlife conflict.

“I am so proud of the work of the Budongo Snare Removal Project. These creative and compassionate people have found ways to work in partnership with the local community living near primate habitat. Their innovative approach to conservation ensures a future that is healthy for humans, the environment and chimpanzees.” Amy Gotliffe, Conservation Director.

According to conservationists chimpanzees are endangered worldwide: There was a time when more than one million chimpanzees used to live in the forests of at least twenty-five countries in Africa. Since the 1960s, the figure has dropped to as low as 150,000 residing in only six countries, making chimpanzees an endangered species per the IUCN. Habitat loss through agriculture, logging and illegal cutting has been a leading cause of the decline, as well as poaching for the illegal bushmeat industry or illegal pet trade. Programs that protect the forest and offer people sustainable livelihoods help secure a future for chimpanzees.

“Thank you to all of you over there in Oakland and the Bay Area,” said Vernon Reynolds, Founder of the Budongo Field Station. “You do so much each year; you work so hard to help our project and the snare removal scheme we run every single day of the year. We remove snares from the forest and by supporting us, you save the lives of our chimps, and stop them getting serious injuries to hands and feet. That is so worthwhile! You also support our goat scheme, which is a bargain between us and the hunters – we give them goats and they stop putting snares in the forest. This truly helps the people of this region and offers them a livelihood they can be proud of. Again, you are saving our chimps from a life of misery, and helping people, as well. That is real conservation.”

The evening’s activities will also feature a talk about cotton-top tamarins, one of the most endangered animals at Oakland Zoo. Guest speaker, Rosamira Guillen, Executive Director of Project Tamarin, a Colombian based organization that conserves the endangered cotton-top tamarin will give an inspiring message about a smaller primate that needs help to survive.

For additional information about the primate gala, please contact Amy Gotliffe, Conservation Director, at amy(at)oaklandzoo.org. Oakland Zoo’s 2014 Conservation Speaker Series is sponsored by Bishop O-Dowd High School.

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. Oakland Zoo supports wildlife conservation both locally and globally. 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.


Nicky Mora, Senior Manager, Marketing/PR


Amy Gotliffe, Conservation Director

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