Oakland Zoo Celebrates Elephants by Giving Them Their Own Day

The Oakland Zoo is the only zoo in Northern California with African Elephants.

Photo courtesy Oakland Zoo
Photo courtesy Oakland Zoo

Oakland Zoo declares a Saturday -- May 24 -- a day to celebrate elephants.

 “Celebrating Elephants” is an annual event designed to spread awareness about elephants in captivity and in the wild. This daytime event is included with regular Zoo admission ($15.75 for adults, $11.75 for children/seniors, $8.00 for parking) and takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

It features hands-on activities, a research camp, learning stations, and behind-the-scenes elephant barn tours. The Zoo is home to four African elephants named Donna, Lisa, M’Dunda, and Osh. Guests are given the opportunity to learn fascinating facts about these enormous animals and learn what wild elephants are facing right now with poaching and the illegal ivory trade.

Family friendly activities consist of a mock research camp – giving guests the opportunity to feel like field biologists as they learn how to tell the four elephants apart. Barn tours ($10 per adult and $5 per child) take visitors behind-the-scenes to see an elephant up-close and witness how these massive-sized animals are cared for by zookeepers. 

The tour even includes a pedicure of the elephant-kind. Circus Finelli, an animal free circus, performances are taking place in the Clorox Wildlife Theater. Show times are 12 noon and 2 p.m. and feature comedy, acrobatics, juggling, dance, and live music. Engaging elephant stations, such as, touching gigantic pachyderm bones, holding an eleven-pound tooth, and stepping into an elephant-sized footprint are also showcased throughout the park.

“We are the only Zoo in Northern California with African Elephants and we are an organization that is outspoken when it comes to how these animals should be treated in captivity and in the wild,” said Colleen Kinzley, Director of Animal Care, Conservation, and Research at Oakland Zoo. 

“‘Celebrating Elephants Day’ is an entire day dedicated to elephants - where families can learn more about an animal that has a massive memory as well as a massive body. The day is filled with ways to stay entertained, but our goal is to also spotlight the illegal ivory trade and spread awareness about thousands of elephants in the wild that are being killed for their tusks. We hope this day offers excitement, hope, and inspiration for all our guests to take action for elephants.”

For more information about Celebrating Elephants, please call 510-632-9525 or visit the zoo website at www.oaklandzoo.org. All proceeds from the elephant barn tours at Celebrating Elephants will be donated to the Amboseli Trust for Elephants, which helps ensure the long-term conservation and welfare of Africa’s elephants through scientific research, training, community outreach, public awareness and advocacy. World renowned Dr. Cynthia Moss started the now famous Amboseli Elephant Research Project in Kenya more than thirty years ago. 

For more details, please go to http://www.oaklandzoo.org/Amboseli_Trust.php.


The 18th annual “Celebrating Elephants” event will be in honor of “96 Elephants,” a campaign created by Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), designed to spread awareness about African elephants. 96 elephants a day are being killed for their tusks. The campaign aims to stop the demand of ivory by educating the public about ivory's deadly toll. The true cost of ivory is dead elephants - a fact that many people simply don't know. 

Through the 96 Elephants campaign, the goal is to call attention to the ivory crisis and collaborate with many partners to spread the message far and wide.

 Working together, “96 Elephants” and WCS plan to reduce consumer demand for ivory by 25% by 2016. http://www.oaklandzoo.org/96_Elephants.php

—Information submitted by Oakland Zoo


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