Oakland Zoo was first established in 1922, but it didn?t find its permanent home until 1939, when it was thoughtfully constructed amid the rolling hills of Knowland Park. Today, Oakland Zoo is home to more than 660 animals, who thrive in biomes designed to mimic their natural environments.
The sprawling African savannah is one of the zoo?s largest habitats, housing hyenas, zebras, elephants, and giraffes. The centerpiece is a 1.5-acre lion exhibit called Simba Pori, which translates to lion county in Swahili. Inside, a pride of lions freely roam an enclosure outfitted with kopje rock structures, a pond, and a booth where the king can sign autographs.
Over in the rainforest habitat, chimpanzees and white-handed gibbons swing through the treetops. Emus and wallaroos?a cousin of the wallaby and the kangaroo?roam freely in the Wild Australia exhibit, accessible via one of the zoo?s rides, Outback Express Adventure Train. Other rides include the Endangered Species Carousel and Sky Ride, a chairlift that soars above the habitats and offers Bay Area skyline views.
This zoo received its first animal in 1889—a grizzly bear believed to be the last in captivity. More than a century later, it shelters 1,000+ exotic and endangered animals. It’s also home to the a six-acre petting zoo, plus the largest outdoor lemur exhibit in the country and the largest colony of Magellanic penguins in the world.
Founded to provide financial support for the Micke Grove Zoo, Society provides educational opportunities and community involvement in the zoo's growth for its members. Members and their families get free access to the zoo itself, where they can visit tamarins, Madagascar tortoises, and a golden eagle. It also hosts hands-on animal encounters for families and school groups where students get a chance to learn about the behaviors and habitats of some of the zoo's denizens. Members also gain discounts in the gift shop and at other zoos and aquariums across the country.
Just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, experience an introduction to coastal cousins?northern elephant seals, california sea lions, and harbor seals, at the Marine Mammal Center. Open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week, the center's docents and experts teach visitors about these aquatic creatures, and the pollution that endangers them and their ocean ecosystems. Visitors can see the marine mammal patients from the observation deck and watch volunteers and veterinarians in action. Through donations and programs like Adopt-A-Seal, any animal-lover can buy fresh fish and medicine for a rescued seal or sea lion.
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Parking: Free street parking
Most popular offering: Free and paid experiences
Pro Tip: Admission is immediate credit toward most purchases
Good for Kids: Yes
Walk-ins Welcome: Yes
Q&A with Robert Coral, President / Ceo
What sets your business apart from your competition?
We are the largest reptile attraction in Northern California.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
We offer birthday parties, guided tours and field trips as well.
What is the best reaction you?ve ever gotten from a customer?
Many people leave saying that their visit was better than going to the zoo.
What?s your favorite part about your job?
Working with the animals and being able to improve the lives of our customers' animals through proper education.
Traditionally, the zoo provides the comfort of seeing animals that could not make a surprise visit to your backyard; this is a comfort CuriOdyssey dispatches to give weight to its message of science education. The menagerie of nearly 100 mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and birds primarily showcases local species like the Channel Island fox and the red-shouldered hawk, which have relatively small niches that have been squeezed by environmental degradation and human encroachment. Native species can be glimpsed within a complex of 25 lush habitats, including a 4,000-square-foot walk-through aviary and a replica of the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Sunny, outdoor gardens fill more than 1.3 acres with plots that rotate with the seasons and plants to attract butterflies and hummingbirds for live study. Among the science exhibits, Forces explores fundamental forces in nature such as gravity and magnetism. All the exhibits are designed to enable close observation and experimentation characteristic of the scientific method. This aim is supported by shows, such as daily otter feedings—spied from behind the glass of a cross-sectioned riverbank—and a variety of classes.