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Zoos: Oakland Zoo – a Potted History

Oakland Zoo is a zoo located in the south-east of the city of Oakland, California. 

Although not a large zoo, it is very popular due to its modern exhibits and to the fact that many of its animals are kept in areas which are as close to their natural habitats as possible. The zoo has also been praised for its excellent elephant exhibit where the elephants are able to roam quite freely. 

Although the zoo has been relocated several times since it was created by the naturalist Henry A. Snow back in 1922, its current location is on the exact same site as its first home almost 90 years ago.

Since 1983, the zoo has been run by the East Bay Zoological Society and much of its present day success can be put down to its Executive Director, Dr. Joel Parrott, who has been involved with improving the zoo for the past 26 years. 

Today, the zoo is home to over 440 species of both native and exotic animals. It is divided into separate, distinctive areas. 

The African Savannah is home to giraffes, cranes, gazelles and even vultures. The Rain Forest is an abundance of colour including the yellow billed toucan, the Taiwan Beauty Snake and is also home to gibbons, chimpanzees, macaws and siamangs. Big cats such as the tiger and lion also feature at the zoo.

In 2005, a popular new addition to the zoo was unveiled. Named the ‘Wayne & Gladys’ Valley Children’s Zoo’, it is part zoo, part playground and part museum. Its aim is to encourage younger children to learn all about animal care, education and conservation through exploration and play. Here you can see pot-bellied pigs, bats, lemurs, tortoises and river otters as well as much more besides and there are several interactive exhibits.

There are also special events at the zoo which even allow you to see what goes on as you stay overnight and can experience adventures such as studying the relationship between predator and prey and learning all about what happens in the rain forest after the sun goes down. 

See also:
Amusement Parks: Happy Hollow Park and Zoo – a Potted History
Water Parks: Pharaoh’s Theme and Water Park – a Potted History
Amusement Parks: Children’s Fairyland – a Potted History
Aquariums: Birch Aquarium at Scripps – a Potted History

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