Displaying items by tag: oakland zoo

Talkin' Pets News

June 22, 2019

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Jillyn Sidlo - Celestrial Custom Dog Services

Producer - Zach Budin

Network Producer - Quin McCarthy

Social Media - Bob Page

Special Guest - Author Stephen Nash, "Grand Canyon For Sale" will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 6/22/19 at 5pm ET to discuss and give away his new book

**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**

 

 

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Oakland, CA …October 19, 2016 – Oakland Zoo has bred almost three thousand Puerto Rican Crested Toad tadpoles which today zookeepers are packaging for the cargo hold of a Delta airlines flight to Puerto Rico tonight to be released into the wild. The species was thought to be extinct from 1931 to 1966 – and is now  listed as Critically Endangered by the International Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).

The Puerto Rican Crested Toad (PRCT) was once common throughout Puerto Rico and Virgin Gorda. Unfortunately, habitat loss and the introduction of the non-native animals have almost decimated the species.

In 1984, in an effort to save them from extinction, PRCT were the first amphibians to receive Species Survival Plan (SSP) status through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). In coordination with US Fish & Wildlife and the University of Puerto Rico, captive PRCTs are bred each year at Zoos and tadpoles are sent to Puerto Rico for release into closely monitored ponds in Guanica National Forest.

“The tadpoles that have been bred at Oakland Zoo this year will have a significant impact on this critically endangered species.  It’s been a fantastic effort and pleasure to work together with other AZA Zoos on this program to help protect this species - the only toad species native to Puerto Rico,” said Adam Fink, Zoological Manager at Oakland Zoo.

Joining the program in 2014, Oakland Zoo, along with three other AZA (Association of Zoo and Aquariums) accredited Zoos, have bred PRCTs in unison this season and their offspring is being flown tonight via commercial airline to Puerto Rico where they will be released into man-made, closely-monitored ponds in the Guanica National Forest of Puerto Rico in hopes of restoring their population in the region.

Last year Oakland Zoo bred and shipped 732 tadpoles for the program. This year, in today’s shipment, close to three thousand have been bred. Other Zoos participating in the program are Disney’s Animal Kingdom, North Carolina Zoo and Sedgwick County Zoo.

For high-res photos and video click here: https://www.dropbox.com/PRCT

For more information, please go to: http://www.oaklandzoo.org/Puerto_Rican_Crested_Toad.php

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 is dedicated to the humane treatment of animals and wildlife conservation onsite and worldwide; with 25¢ from each ticket donated to support conservation partners and programs around the world. The California Trail, a transformational project that more than doubles our size, opens in 2018, and will further our commitment to animal care, education, and conservation with a focus on this state’s remarkable native wildlife. 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, go to: www.oaklandzoo.org

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Oakland Zoo, PO Box 5238 9777 Golf Links Road, Oakland, CA 9460 United States

 

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 “Meet the Animal Artist” Experience Added to Oakland Zoo’s Animals Saving Animals Annual Art Auction

Video Download for Media: https://www.dropbox.com/s/z95s1cgbcfrvanq/ArtExperience.mov?dl=0https://www.dropbox.com/s/z95s1cgbcfrvanq/ArtExperience.mov?dl=0 

Oakland, Calif. -- September 15, 2016 -- Oakland Zoo has added a new twist to the third year of their annual “Animals Saving Animals Art Show” to raise money for animal conservation. Bidding winners get to come to the Zoo to be part of the painting experience with the animal artist.

Zoos across the country now sell animal paintings as a way to fundraise, but Oakland Zoo wanted to enhance the concept by personalizing the experience. “We saw that people bought these artworks to connect with the animals, so we decided to offer an experience where people could meet an animal artist up-close and behind-the-scenes, for the ‘creative’ painting process.’ It’s an amazing way to connect with animals at the Zoo, support animal conservation in the wild – and, of course, acquire unique artwork,” said Erin Harrison, Sr. Manager of Marketing & PR at Oakland Zoo.

Artwork created by zoo animals is up for auction on eBay now through Thursday, September 22 at 11am. Artists featured in the Animal Art Show Experience include an elephant, lemur, goat, sun bear, giraffe, parrot, and green monkey. For a complete list of artist names, biographies and bidding link, and additional information on Oakland Zoo’s Animal Art Show Experience, go to: http://www.oaklandzoo.org/Animal_Art_Show_2016.php

“The Animal Art Show Experience is a triple win; it provides fun enrichment activity for our animals, helps support the conservation of wildlife, and draws public attention to the various conservation challenges that animals face,” said Amy Gotliffe, Conservation Director at Oakland Zoo. “The Animal Art Show is also a perfect example of how the entire Oakland Zoo staff embraces our conservation efforts, from our Marketing Department to our Animal Care team. We hope the lucky winners of this unique art know that they took action for wildlife every time they look at it.”

None of the animals are forced or coerced into participating in the Art Show. The painting sessions are conducted with zookeepers, using only positive-reinforcement methods to encourage voluntary participation. The paint used is non-toxic and water based. All funds raised from the auction will benefit Oakland Zoo’s conservation partners, who are working in the field to save wild animals.

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 is dedicated to the humane treatment of animals and wildlife conservation onsite and worldwide; with 25¢ from each ticket donated to support conservation partners and programs around the world. The California Trail, a transformational project that more than doubles our size, opens in 2018,

and will further our commitment to animal care, education, and conservation with a focus on this state’s remarkable native wildlife. 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, go to: www.oaklandzoo.org

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Baby Wallaroo Emerges from Mom’s Pouch at Oakland Zoo

Oakland, CA…August 4, 2016 – A baby wallaroo, called a joey, has emerged from mom’s pouch at Oakland Zoo. Wallaroos are a species similar to but smaller than a kangaroo. Too early yet to determine the baby’s sex, ZooKeepers are waiting to name the joey until a gender can be determined.

Although it’s impossible to determine an exact birthdate, zookeepers estimate it between October - November last year. Joeys are technically born after only one month's gestational period - fur-less, blind, and about the size of a kidney bean (1’’ long). The tiny newborn will crawl unaided from the birth canal to the mother’s pouch where it begins to nurse. There it will continue to develop, not making an appearance until it is six to eight months old. (Zooborns. (n.d.) Retrieved from: http://www.zooborns.com/zooborns/2011/05/baby-wallaroo-peeks-out-of-the-pouch.html

“We’re very excited about the arrival of this new joey, who brings our wallaroo “mob” - the term for a group of wallaroos - to 12. For guests who get a peek from our Outback Adventure Train, the joey can often be seen near its mother, sometimes resting in the shade during the warm summer days or foraging on the lush grass in the cooler morning and evening hours,” Valerie Salonga, Zookeeper.

Since a Joey will not start coming and going from the safety of its mom’s pouch with any regularity until approximately ten months of age, only recently has the youngster begun grazing on grass, eating food-pellets, and spending time with female wallaroos in the mob other than its mother. More active every week, the joey is still quite shy and mom, Tallara, remains very protective.

Zookeepers are giving mom and joey plenty of privacy during this transitional period, providing a morning diet in a holding area and allowing Tallara to choose whether or not to go on exhibit each day.

 

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 is dedicated to the humane treatment of animals and wildlife conservation onsite and worldwide; with 25¢ from each ticket donated to support conservation partners and programs around the world. The California Trail, a transformational project that more than doubles our size, opens in 2018,

and will further our commitment to animal care, education, and conservation with a focus on this state’s remarkable native wildlife. 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, go to: www.oaklandzoo.org

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Oakland, CA...July 14, 2016 – Oakland Zoo’s elephant program contributed to a special collection of peer-reviewed scientific research articles resulting from a comprehensive study on North American zoo elephant welfare. The collections is available today in the scientific journal PLOS ONE. It includes nine research papers, an overview and formal commentary explaining the significance of the work and its importance to better understand and enhance zoo elephant welfare.

“Oakland Zoo applauds AZA for taking on such a massive institutional study to work on improving the livelihood of elephants in captivity. Being involved in elephant research and data collection in and out of the field for twenty years, Oakland Zoo is committed to continuously improving the lives of elephants, a sensitive, highly intelligent, sentient, and complex being. We understand that the more we learn about this species in the wild and in captivity, we can manage them appropriately to encourage species typical behaviors. This study is one step toward that goal,” said Gina Kinzley, Co-Lead Elephant Manager at Oakland Zoo. 

This is the first and only multi-institution study to comprehensively identify and measure variables that significantly contribute to North American zoo elephant welfare, thus allowing science to inform management practices, according to Anne Baker, Ph.D., one of several principal investigators of the project. “Many AZA-accredited zoos are already using knowledge we’ve learned from the research to improve the welfare of their elephants.”

The collection, titled Epidemiological Investigations of North American Zoo Elephant Welfare, is available online and is accessible to the public. (See journals.plos.org)

The research is the outcome of work by a 27-member study team, which includes independent consultants, zoo professionals, and faculty from three universities. The study was funded by an $800,000 leadership grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) awarded to the Honolulu Zoo Society and administered by Kathy Carlstead, Ph.D. Team members and dozens of research assistants from widely varied disciplines developed quantitative measures to assess multiple elephant-welfare indicators as well as a large variety of housing and management practices.

 “Zoo elephant welfare is a topic of public interest, but the lack of available data on this specific population made it difficult to differentiate fact from opinion, ” said Cheryl Meehan, Ph.D., the study’s consulting project manager and director of AWARE Institute, in Portland, OR. “The collection provides a scientific perspective on a number of issues that are important to the conversation about elephants in zoos, and it is forward-looking as a resource that can help shape and inform the future of elephant care.”

The collection resulted from a comprehensive study analyzing the daily lives of 255 Asian and African elephants in 68 North American zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Data were collected in 2012 and preliminary results presented at AZA conferences in 2013 and 2014. Research focused on factors related to the wellbeing of elephants that can be scientifically observed, measured, and analyzed, including: behavior, body condition, foot and joint health, female reproductive function, and walking distance -  Oakland Zoo's elephants were also part of the behavior studies which measured stereotypic behavior performance, walking distances and recumbence behavior. Nearly 96 percent of North American AZA-accredited zoos with elephants participated in the study.

Results showed that the elephants’ social lives play the biggest role in supporting behavioral health. For example, primary importance is for elephants to spend time in groups, and not be socially isolated.  Human care takers also can play an important role in an elephant’s social life through husbandry, training and interactive sessions.

 Although space is often linked to welfare in public discussions about elephants in zoos, researchers did not find evidence that the amount of enclosure space supports greater amounts of walking, decreased stereotypic behavior, improved body condition, or better foot and joint health.

The study did find that the quality of the space and management practices is important to elephant welfare. For example, the research demonstrated that decreased time spent on hard flooring significantly reduced the risk of foot and joint problems, which were found to be important health concerns for the population.

And the research team discovered a previously unknown link between the quality of enrichment and feeding programs and female reproductive health. This result indicates that day-to-day management practices could be an important tool in addressing the reproductive issues that are particularly common among female African elephants. 

“This groundbreaking approach provides a model for measuring welfare in managed animal populations with the potential to conduct similar studies to benefit many different species cared for in zoos and aquariums,” said Meehan. “And this research can be extended to inform elephant conservation efforts given that only a minority of free-ranging elephants exists in large undisturbed protected areas, while many “wild” elephants are managed in small reserves.”

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 is dedicated to the humane treatment of animals and wildlife conservation onsite and worldwide; with 25¢ from each ticket donated to support conservation partners and programs around the world. The California Trail, a transformational project that more than doubles our size, opens in 2018, and will further our commitment to animal care, education, and conservation with a focus on this state’s remarkable native wildlife. 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, go to: www.oaklandzoo.org

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(Photo Credit: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo)

Oakland, CA …July 8, 2016 – Three adolescent Southeast African lions are adjusting well to their new home at

Oakland Zoo after a mandatory 30-day quarantine at Oakland Zoo’s vet hospital and transition from holding areas.  The eighteen month-old lions are brothers, making up a ‘coalition’, meaning an all-male social group, that are rarely seen in AZA accredited U.S. Zoos.

 

The move was based on a recommendation made by the Species Survival Plan (SSP), a conservation-breeding program across accredited zoos to increase the genetic diversity and enhance the health of species populations. Named Tandie, Mandla and Gandia, the trio is now the juvenile neighbor to Oakland Zoo’s resident lion, Leonard, a senior at 16 years old. There are no plans to integrate Leonard and the coalition, as coalitions are known to fight fiercely with male lions unknown to them. Young male lions commonly form bachelor groups in the wild while developing skills to form their own prides later in life.

The lion brothers were transported by plane from Seattle on May 25th with the generous support of the employees at the local Merrill Lynch Wealth Management offices in Oakland and Walnut Creek. Hearing about the Zoo’s efforts to bring the lions over, they raised $7,500 through bake sales and other donation efforts  that was matched by Bank of America for a total of $15,000 to cover flight costs.

 

“Lion coalitions are often seen in the wild, but rarely in zoos; so most people find this normal aspect of lion sociality peculiar! We are excited for guests to see the three brothers lounging and interacting with each other, and to learn about the threats facing African lions. We are one of a few zoos chosen to work with Southeast African lions, and though there are no future plans for females or a breeding program, we have a very important story to tell!,” Darren Minier, Zoological Manager at Oakland Zoo.

With Oakland and Woodland Park Zoo’s strong dedication to animal welfare, the three lions were successfully crated at Woodland Park, transported to Oakland Zoo, quarantined, then re-crated and transferred to the Simba Pori exhibit using only voluntary, positive reinforcement training – no anesthesia, tranquilizers, or force was used at any time in the 12 week process. This aided in the least amount of stress possible for the lions at all points in the process, and was only possible through the skill of dedicated, knowledgeable, and caring keeper staff.

Southeast African lions are one on the remaining eight species of lion. It’s estimated that only 30,000 to 35,000 lions remain in the wild – a decrease of 30% in the past twenty years. Threats include hunting, human-wildlife conflict, human encroachment resulting in habitat loss, and prey-base depletion. Oakland Zoo supports lions in the wild through our conservation partner, the Uganda Carnivore Program. Visit Oakland Zoo on World Lion Day, August 6, to celebrate lions, learn more about the conservation challenges they face and the wild, and what you can do to help.

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 is dedicated to the humane treatment of animals and wildlife conservation onsite and worldwide; with 25¢ from each ticket donated to support conservation partners and programs around the world. The California Trail, a transformational project that more than doubles our size, opens in 2018, and will further our commitment to animal care, education, and conservation with a focus on this state’s remarkable native wildlife. 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, go to: www.oaklandzoo.org

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Oakland, CA…May 10, 2016 – Seven little piggies- that is, baby warthogs- are now on exhibit at Oakland Zoo. Almost three years ago, female warthogs Frenchie and Alice were brought to Oakland Zoo in hopes of a ‘love connection’ with Simon – the Zoo’s resident male. It took a little while but Simon has proven himself quite a catch – Alice and Frenchie have both given birth to litters exactly one week apart.

Frenchie birthed the first litter of three on May 6, and days later the second litter of four piglets was born to Alice on May 13 – both sows are also first-time moms. Zookeepers have been readying for the piglets’ arrival for months, via closed circuit cameras in the animals’ night house dens and continue to monitor the maternal care and the developmental milestones of the piglets.

“We are thrilled to have two litters of healthy piglets! Both sows, "Frenchie" and "Alice" are first time moms, and are doing a wonderful job and being very protective. All seven piglets are just now beginning to explore their surroundings under the watchful eyes of their moms and keepers,” Lovesong Cahill, Senior Zookeeper.

Zookeepers worked very hard preparing for the births by making changes to the warthogs’ night houses and exhibit; including modifying denning boxes to receive central heating, piglet-proofing gates and other areas the piglets will have access to, and monitoring the pregnancy progress through positive-reinforcement training. This training resulted in one of the mothers allowing ultrasound imaging of her piglets in utero.

Over the next couple months, both litters will have access to the exhibit, but may or may not be visible depending on their preference to come out or stay in the warthogs' night house. 

Warthogs typically birth two to three piglets complete with tusks to jockey for the best nursing position. The piglets, covered in a sparse coarse fur, are quite mobile soon after birth, but remain in the den for 10-20 days. They will wean from the sow at about three months old. Both sexes are born with the characteristic ‘mutton chops’, but males are easily determined by ‘warts’ that are visible at birth. Both sexes eventually develop ‘warts’, but boars display the most obvious protuberances of thick fleshy pads below their eyes and above their tusks, which protect their face when competing for females. None of the piglets have been sexed yet as Zookeepers are keeping their distance to allow the dams and piglets their privacy.

“Whenever animals breed at the Zoo, we plan not just for the health of the newborns and a great start to their life, but we also work with our animal expert colleagues at AZA accredited zoos across the country to plan for the often arduous task of social introductions,” said Darren Minier, Zoological Manager at Oakland Zoo.

The decision to breed our warthogs is based on a rigorous process with other AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) accredited Zoos, through a program called the SSP (Species Survival Plan), which tracks the genetics of individual animals, the social, environmental and health needs of each, and the overall needs of the population in zoos. The goal is to assure the best in welfare for each animal and the population as a whole. 

 

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ABOUT WARTHOGS: Warthogs have been known to live into their mid to late teens in captivity. They are found in sub-Sahara Africa, in the grassland and savannah habitats. Typically, these animals are seen eating, sleeping, and wallowing in the mud. They will rest frequently during the afternoon hours. Warthogs are in the pig family and can make the grunting and squealing sounds associated with that type of animal. When greeting one another through the fence or on exhibit, they make what is described by zookeepers as a low repetitious grunt. Gestation period is approximately 170 days.  Sows typically birth two-four piglets, each weighing about 6 pounds. Piglets will nurse up to four months of age, and become independent at six months.

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 is dedicated to the humane treatment of animals and wildlife conservation onsite and worldwide; with 25¢ from each ticket donated to support conservation partners and programs around the world. The California Trail, a transformational project that more than doubles our size, opens in 2018, and will further our commitment to animal care, education, and conservation with a focus on this state’s remarkable native wildlife. 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, go to: www.oaklandzoo.org

 

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Oakland, CA…May 24, 2016 – Construction of the Oakland Zoo’s new California Trail expansion, including a new state-of-the-art visitor center, is in full swing thanks to a generous $3 million grant from Kaiser Permanente’s fund at the East Bay Community Foundation.

Slated to open in Spring 2017, the Kaiser Permanente Visitor Center at Oakland Zoo’s California Trail serves as the entry point to the developing 56-acre expansion; with Zoo guests arriving via Northern California’s first urban gondola offering awe-inspiring views of the entire SF Bay Area. The 15,500 square foot building will also feature viewing decks from 625 feet above sea level and the upper level will house an expansive, family-friendly restaurant.

“The California Trail at Oakland Zoo will be the first-ever of its kind, giving almost a million visitors each year the opportunity to connect with and learn about many California native species, like the Grizzly bear, that vanished from our lands so long ago,” said Dr. Joel Parrott, President & CEO of Oakland Zoo, “We are so pleased to have Kaiser Permanente’s name added to this monumental structure which will serve as the first experience for guests exploring the many attractions of the California Trail.”

In addition to securing naming rights to the Kaiser Permanente Visitors Center, the organization’s investment will support two prominent educational programs for youth at the Zoo, the Teen Wild Guide program and Field Biology workshops. Both programs offer Bay Area tweens and teens long-term, hands-on learning and research opportunities focused on conservation and wildlife both at the Zoo and beyond.

“Kaiser Permanente is committed to improving the health of the communities we serve,” explained Vice President of External and Community Relations Yvette Radford. “We’re excited to help support the Oakland Zoo’s California Trail because it encourages people of all ages to enjoy outdoor physical activity and appreciate the beauty and environmental diversity of our incredible state.”  

As construction continues on the Kaiser Permanente Visitor Center and all of the exhibits and attractions within the California Trail, several naming opportunities remain for the many new habitats, viewing stations, pavilion, classroom and the only one of its kind in Northern California – urban gondola. The first animal residents are anticipated in the fall of this year with the addition of twenty American Bison from the Blackfeet Nation tribe in Montana. Other animals will be added to the Zoo family from both rescue situations and other Zoos in need of relocating animals. The California Trail is slated to open to the public in 2018.

**Click here for large versions of above images**

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ABOUT CALIFORNIA TRAIL AT OAKLAND ZOO:

California Trail brings to life the rich natural history of California in a whole new way.  Designed to be more like a wild animal park, California Trail will feature the state's historic and iconic animal species in large exhibits, including grey wolves, grizzly bears, jaguars, mountain lions, bald eagles, California condors, black bears, and American bison. Through the California Trail experience, Oakland Zoo presents a dynamic and inspiring story about finding balance in how we steward our state's natural legacy. Interactive features along the Trail will help to complete the animals' stories with a vision for their healthy future in the wild and opportunities for you to help them thrive. For more information, go to: www.californiatrail.org

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 is dedicated to the humane treatment of animals and wildlife conservation onsite and worldwide; with 25¢ from each ticket donated to support conservation partners and programs around the world. The California Trail, a transformational project that more than doubles our size, opens in 2018, and will further our commitment to animal care, education, and conservation with a focus on this state’s remarkable native wildlife. 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, go to: www.oaklandzoo.org

 

Oakland, CA …April 28, 2016 – Oakland Zoo and the Golden Gate Audubon Society (GGAS) have teamed up to help save fledgling Black-Crowned Night Herons and Snowy Egrets fallen from their nest trees onto the busy streets of Downtown Oakland. More than 75 nests have been identified by GGAS’s trained docents, and many young birds have been rescued this nesting season so far.

Oakland Zoo’s role in the rescue program is to retrieve the bird from its reported location, provide intermediary treatment, if necessary, and transport the bird to International Bird Rescue (IBR) in Fairfield for rehabilitation. Having the Zoo’s experienced animal handlers serving as on-call rescue dispatch was a crucial component missing from the program in previous years.

"We are so heartened by the crucial assistance we've received from the Oakland Zoo in helping to save the lives of these young herons growing up in the heart of downtown Oakland.  

The timeliness and professionalism of the Oakland Zoo's animal care team has inspired all of us," said Cindy Margulis, Executive Director of Golden Gate Audubon Society.

Once the birds reach IBR, a world-leading wild waterbird rehabilitative care center, care provided will also help them develop the full range of skills needed for survival once re-released in our region, such as self-feeding and flying.

“We are thrilled when our motto, Action for Wildlife, comes to life in our own backyard. It is very exciting to be part of a heroic effort to save these beautiful baby herons, and work with such respected partners as Golden Gate Audubon Society and International Bird Rescue. I am so proud of Oakland Zoo and the team effort we are putting forth to have a positive effect on the city of Oakland and the wildlife in our world,” said Amy Gotliffe, Conservation Director at Oakland Zoo.  

Earlier this month, GGAS launched public outreach efforts to educate residents of Downtown Oakland in what to do if they encounter a fledgling bird in trouble, through a sidewalk chalk-art event dubbed “Eco Art FlashMob: Chalkin’ it up to Compassion for #OaklandHerons.” GGAS has also been putting up educational posters and leading walking tours to inform people about the herons. Its docents have been trained to monitor the colony closely and watch for birds in trouble. 

The dramatic-looking Night-Herons are long-time residents of Oakland and can frequently be seen foraging for fish, insects, and other food around Lake Merritt and on the estuary shoreline. “They are an integral part of our local ecosystem and watershed,” said Margulis.

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More Photoshttps://www.dropbox.com/sh/ohxtqomak63v9s9/AAAZryy0TCpAU0WItDkrQniSa?dl=0

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ABOUT GOLDEN GATE AUDUBON SOCIETY

Founded in 1917, Golden Gate Audubon today serves over 7,000 members in San Francisco and the East Bay. GGAS engages people to experience the wonder of birds, and protect native birds and their habitats. .Its award-winning Eco-Education program provides hands-on nature education to over 700 students annually from twelve schools in disadvantaged areas. GGAS volunteers lead over 150 free public field trips every year, exploring local habitats and observing bird species.  

Among its many conservation campaigns, Golden Gate Audubon worked with the Cities of Oakland and San Francisco to enact the country’s first municipal bird-safe building standards aimed at preventing bird-window collisions. GGAS volunteers restore habitat and provide monitoring to protect at-risk species such as California Least Terns and Western Snowy Plovers.

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 is dedicated to wildlife conservation onsite and worldwide. 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 www.oaklandzoo.org

 

·         Historic bison translocation brings 88 Animals from Elk Island National Park, Canada to Blackfeet Reservation in Montana

·         Oakland Zoo to be new home of 20 “Pablo-Allard” herd descendants  

·         WCS, which runs the Bronx Zoo, has been involved in bison conservation for more than a century

BROWNING, MT (April 5, 2016) – The Blackfeet Nation,  Elk Island National Park in Alberta, Canada (Elk Island), the Oakland Zoo and WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) announced today that 88 plains bison have been transferred from Elk Island to the reservation of the Blackfeet Nation near Browning, Montana - the original homeland of the bison. This historic event cannot be overstated in its significance to the Blackfeet people and all tribes and First Nations in their quest to restore bison to native lands and re-establish ties to this cultural icon.

The bison calves transferred are descended from those captured on Blackfeet land in 1873 that became the noted “Pablo-Allard” herd.

“Today marks the long-awaited return of these buffalo to their original homeland,” said Ervin Carlson, Bison Program Director and President of the Intertribal Buffalo Council. “The Elk Island Buffalo originated from Blackfeet territory and their homecoming enhances the restoration of Blackfeet culture. These animals are culturally and spiritually connected to our people and I believe their homecoming will begin a healing of historical trauma to the Blackfeet people. These buffalo will begin the longstanding efforts to restore buffalo to their historical mountain front rangelands.” 

“This project has tremendous ecological, economic and cultural impacts to the Blackfeet Nation,” said Keith Aune, WCS Senior Conservationist. “It has been a great model of international cooperation and the melding of people from different cultures. We have been planning for this day for five years and are excited to see them finally come home. There is a lot of work to do yet to grow the herd and eventually place these bison on large landscapes along the mountains in the Blackfeet Reservation.”

Elk Island is a national park in Canada that has made lasting contributions to wildlife conservation for over a century. Biennially, Elk Island evaluates its bison herd to determine the number of animals they can keep without exceeding the capacity of the park. In late 2015, the Blackfeet Nation and WCS began a dialogue with Elk Island managers about repatriating some of their bison to the Blackfeet Reservation. The 88 transferred animals were considered surplus. In February, all the bison were tested according to federal regulatory requirements and found to be free of tuberculosis and brucellosis. Following a further 60-day quarantine, the bison were ready to be sent to their ancestral homeland.

“As a leader in conservation, Parks Canada recognizes the role of Indigenous Peoples in conserving, restoring, and presenting natural and cultural heritage and is honored to play a role in this special initiative,” said Stephen Flemming, Superintendent of Elk Island National Park.  "In providing plains bison to the Montana Blackfeet Nation Bison Reserve, we are contributing to the global survival and wellbeing of an iconic and majestic animal."

The calves were transported to the reservation by truck on April 4.th A stop was made during the six-hour journey for ceremonial blessings given by the tribe. Upon arrival, the bison were unloaded at the 9000-acre Buffalo Calf Winter Camp on the Two Medicine River in Montana. Here, they will be kept for another 30-day quarantine and retested to ensure they are disease-free. This herd will form the source stock for future restoration efforts on larger landscapes along the Rocky Mountains once final land arrangements are completed.

“The Blackfeet People were a buffalo people for thousands of years,“ said Harry Barnes, Chair of the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council. “The buffalo provided everything the people needed in the way of food, clothing, and shelter. It provided for so much of our physical needs that it filled our spiritual needs. It connected us to our animal and plant relatives in a way nothing else could provide. The elders have long believed that until the buffalo returned, the Blackfeet would drift. We have started the return.”

Buffalo to Roam at Oakland Zoo

While all the bison will initially be brought to Blackfeet land, approximately 16-17 females and 3-4 males will be moved to Oakland Zoo this fall as part of the zoo’s ‘California Trail’ expansion. The project, more than doubling the zoo’s size, will consist of 56 acres and exhibit several animal species native to California, including the iconic bison. The newly arrived bison will be allowed to breed naturally, and each year the yearling offspring will be returned to the tribal lands in Montana.

Both the Oakland Zoo and Blackfeet Nation will share in educational programs and support each other’s interest in promoting bison conservation and culture preservation.  This mutual relationship will include youth exchange for education, fundraising for projects, and promotion of eco-tourism programs.

President and CEO of the Oakland Zoo Dr. Joel Parrott said, “We are excited to be part of the Iinnii Initiative, to bring bison back to historic tribal lands and to provide the opportunity for buffalo to be free-ranging wildlife. This is a great opportunity for the Oakland Zoo to support conservation in the field, provide education programs about bison to our youth, and to expose the people of Northern California to the Blackfeet Nation effort to return buffalo to Blackfeet land.”

Zoos have played a key role in bison conservation; WCS’s Bronx Zoo was pivotal in restoring bison to the Great Plains more than 100 years ago.

Iinnii Initiative

The bison continues to sustain and provide cultural value to Native Americans and Indian tribes. More than 60 tribes are working to restore bison to over 1,000,000 acres of Indian lands in South Dakota, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Montana, and other states. Today, bison remain integrally linked with the spiritual lives of Native Americans through cultural practices, social ceremonies and religious rituals.

Leroy Littlebear said, “Two decades ago… a decade ago, who would have thought that the Buffalo would be coming back to its rightful home? Our Elders told us that its numbers may be few but the spirit of the Buffalo never left Blackfoot Territory. That spirit continues to manifest itself in our songs, stories, and ceremonies, so much so that a treaty between First Nations on both sides of the Canada – USA border was signed on September 23, 2014 called “The Buffalo Treaty: A Treaty of Cooperation, Renewal, and Restoration.” The Iinnii Initiative, a major proponent behind the Treaty, is realizing its dream unfold through this transfer of buffalo from Elk Island National Park to the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana. It is a good day for the Buffalo; it is a good day for us, and it is a good day for Blackfoot Territory.”

Beginning in May 2010, WCS invited members of the Blackfeet Confederacy to a series of transboundary dialogues among elders and tribal members—resulting in the Iinnii Initiative vision. The vision is to ecologically restore bison (or “Iinnii” in the language of the Blackfeet) to key lands adjacent to Glacier and Waterton National Parks in Montana and Alberta.

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About the American bison

The bison, North America’s largest land mammal, once roamed the continent and helped sustain plains and prairie ecosystems as a keystone species through grazing, fertilization, trampling, wallowing, and other activities. Bison shaped the vegetation and landscape as they fed on and dispersed the seeds of grasses, sedges, and forbs. Several plains bird species adapted to or co-evolved with grasses and other vegetation that had been, for millennia, grazed on by millions of free-ranging bison.

Bison have played an important role in America’s history, culture and economy. Before being nearly driven to extinction by westward expansion, between 30—50 million bison roamed across most of North America. In 1907, the American Bison Society ( with President Theodore Roosevelt as a member) began an effort to save the bison by shipping 15 animals by train from the WCS Bronx Zoo to Oklahoma’s Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. Many Native American tribes revere bison as a sacred and spiritual symbol of their heritage and maintain private bison herds on tribal lands throughout the West. Bison now exist in all 50 states in public and private herds, providing recreation opportunities for wildlife viewers in zoos, refuges and parks and sustaining the multimillion dollar bison ranching and production business.

The Pablo Allard Herd

The origins of this herd date back to 1873 when Samuel Walking Coyote of the Pend d’Oreille tribe and three Blackfeet companions captured between four and seven calves orphaned during a hunt on Blackfeet land. Instinctively, with their mothers killed, the calves shadowed the hunter’s horses for security, making them easy to capture.

By 1884, Walking Coyote’s herd grew to 13 bison. Ten of these were sold to Michel Pablo and Charles Allard and formed the Pablo-Allard herd on the Flathead Reservation. This herd eventually became the largest in the United States, numbering 300 head, and played a key role in the preservation of bison by restocking and supplementing many public conservation herds, including those at Yellowstone National Park and the National Bison Range herd in Montana. When the U.S. Government initiated plans to open the Flathead Reservation to homesteaders in1906, Pablo sought a large grant for grazing land to graze his herd but was denied. He eventually sold his herd to the government of Canada. The animals were shipped to Elk Island National Park by train with the last shipment sent out in June of 1912.

Elk Island National Park Initially created as a wildlife sanctuary for elk in 1906, Elk Island became a national park in 1913, the sixth in Canada's system. The park’s purpose is to protect a representative portion of the Southern Boreal Plains and Plateaux Natural Region and to enable present and future generations to appreciate and experience its outstanding and representative characteristics. The park is Canada's only fully fenced national park; in addition to elk, it protects herds of both plains and wood bison and has made lasting contributions to wildlife conservation through its ability to provide surplus animals to conservation initiatives throughout North America. Located near the growing urban centre of Edmonton, the park offers increasing numbers of visitors the opportunity to experience nature and enjoy wildlife viewing, including moose, deer, beaver, and over 250 species of birds.

 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 is dedicated to the humane treatment of animals and wildlife conservation onsite and worldwide; with 25¢ from each ticket donated to support conservation partners and programs around the world. The California Trail, a transformational project that more than doubles our size, opens in 2018, and will further our commitment to animal care, education, and conservation with a focus on this state’s remarkable native wildlife.  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.

 The Inter Tribal Buffalo Council is a federally chartered Tribal organization dedicated to the restoration of buffalo to Tribal lands in manner that is compatible with their spiritual and cultural beliefs and practices. ITBC has been working on this mission since 1992. Visit: http://www.itbcbuffalo.com  

The WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society)

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is a US nonprofit, tax-exempt, private organization established in 1895 that saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. With long-term commitments in dozens of landscapes, presence in more than 60 nations, and experience helping to establish over 150 protected areas across the globe, WCS has amassed the biological knowledge, cultural understanding and partnerships to ensure that vibrant, wild places and wildlife thrive alongside local communities. WCS was the first conservation organization with a dedicated team of wildlife veterinarians and other health professionals deployed around the world. The WCS Wildlife Health & Health Policy Program focuses on problem-solving at the wildlife / domestic animal / human health and livelihoods interface, as underpinned by a foundation of environmental stewardship.

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