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Oakland Zoo Celebrates 100th Birthday in 2022

The Zoo celebrates its big 100th with a Centennial Birthday Celebration at Lake Merritt on June 5
By - posted 1/19/2022 No Comment

Oakland Zoo is celebrating 100 years this year. 1922 was quite the year. You could buy a brand-new car for about $1,000, automated telephone service just began, the White House installed its first radio, Betty White was born, and five zoos opened worldwide. One of those was the Oakland Zoo.

This is the launch of Oakland Zoo’s centennial year. Since June 6, 1922, the Zoo has evolved from a single building in Snow Park near downtown Oakland, to Joaquin Miller Park in 1926, to its current location in the hills of Knowland Park in 1939. Today, the Oakland Zoo has evolved greatly with the changing times and attracts almost 900,000 guests per year and is 100-acres large; and is one of the four largest zoos in California.

While growing in size, Oakland Zoo has also become a pioneer in animal welfare over the years, and proudly partners with animal rights organizations including PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Some techniques, such as ‘protected contact’ management for elephants, are now practiced by zoos worldwide. The Zoo is a leader in animal rescue by providing animal care, rehabilitation, and sanctuary for animals rescued from human-wildlife conflict, the exotic pet trade, or natural disasters. Oakland Zoo is also dedicated to youth education and partners with over 25 conservation organizations globally, equally committed to preserving species and their habitats in the wild.

One of the most significant Oakland Zoo projects in the past decade is the opening of the California Trail. A 45-acre, transformational project which furthered the Zoo’s commitments to animal care, education, and conservation. The California Trail expansion spotlights the significance of the state’s unique environmental history and what we can all do to ensure the future of California’s wildlife and the nature that surrounds us.

The next 100 years will lead a purpose-driven future focused on the pursuit of excellence in animal care and welfare, the rescue and rehabilitation of animals in the wild, and the conservation of threatened species everywhere. Education programs will expand, and work to inspire youth in natural sciences to find solutions to the growing climate challenge, the preservation of nature and the importance of wildlife.

Our centennial is a time of celebration, and we have many events happening throughout the year to mark the occasion. You, our members and guests, are our extended Zoo family and we exist today because of your support. So, we thank you and invite you to join us for an event during this special milestone. Some events are new and exclusive to this year only, some are long-standing traditions that we haven’t had for a while (and are excited to bring back!), and some are ongoing events that we are making even more special for 2022.

Centennial Birthday Celebration at Lake Merritt
June 5, 2022

The official date of our founding is June 6, 1922, and we’re celebrating our actual birthday at our original birthplace, Snow Park, in downtown Oakland next to Lake Merritt. This extra special day will be full of fun and festivities for all ages to enjoy, free of charge. There will be live music, performances, food, drink, activities for the kids, and more. Mingle with us and other Oakland-based business and organizations that will be present at the event. It will be a day to celebrate not just the Zoo, but all of Oakland—the great city we live in and the history we all share together!

Learn about Oakland’s Zoo Centennial