The Oakland Zoo Is Your Zoo

A world-class destination, a small sparkling gem, in our very own back yard.


(Editor's note: Sidney Simpson has been a docent at the Zoo for three years and has been a Patch contributor in the past.)

The Oakland Zoo is your zoo.  It belongs to all of us--a small but dazzling jewel among zoos, and it is ours. Growing up in the Bay Area, I remember this zoo in the 50s and 60s, when it was known as the Knowland Park Zoo. It has come light years.  I have volunteered as a docent for the last three years and am constantly blown away by the quality and integrity that I see around me.

The Oakland Zoo is known nationally as a leader in animal management and for creating exhibits that emphasize a natural, stimulating, and enriched environment. We are known and respected for raising the bar in elephant care and for rescuing wild animals from circuses and private collections.

 We are on the forefront of animal conservation--both for animals in Africa and in the rain forests and for wild animals right here, such as the puma and the California condor. We are also known for quality education of the youth in the Bay Area.  Our education program is cutting-edge and fills in much needed gaps in the education of Bay Area youngsters--providing services to over 350,000 a year. 

How fortunate we are to have this world-class zoo at our doorsteps.  Keeping it that way--maintaining the exhibits, animal care, and quality education is crucial, and that's where your help comes in. Measure A-1 provides a $1 per-  month parcel tax that will allow the zoo to continue to provide superior animal care and education.

Please join with me and with veterinarian associations, education groups, the East Bay Regional Park District, animal welfare groups such as the Humane Society, and many others, and vote yes on Measure A-1.

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Tyler October 18, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Thank you, Tom. The opposition summary is here: www.saveknowland.org. There are a lot of great reasons to oppose this 25 year tax measure. Bad tax policy, loss of urban open space, paving over rare and endangered habitat, a bad building plan (fencing off 57 acres of public open space to build a 37,000 square foot office/restaurant/visitor center so far away from the zoo and up a hill, you've got to take a gondola to get to it!). Anyway, there are so many calls for your tax money on the ballot this November, I hope you'll find schools, police and firefighters a higher priority.
Tyler October 18, 2012 at 11:55 PM
It seems the Zoo has been resorting to illegal campaign and accounting practices. I wondered if the press would get their hands on "our" zoo's books... http://www.eastbayexpress.com/92510/archives/2012/10/18/oakland-zoo-operators-violate-election-laws
Fran October 19, 2012 at 12:20 AM
I was on the 580 earlier and noticed the signs were gone, I figured there were complaints. I also saw some signs on Washington (near Bally's gym) by the railroad tracks. I wonder if they're still there.
Tom Abate October 22, 2012 at 04:09 PM
KQED will have a Forum at 9:30 am Monday on this; that's NOW! If it's not too late and have the time to tune in: http://www.kqed.org/a/forum/R201210220930
Tyler November 02, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Interesting to see who is on "our" zoo's board of independent citizens: Real Estate Developers, a partner in a SF real estate law firm, a couple of serious "Biz-Dev" guys, some 'wealth managers' and a couple of VPs from Chevron and Clorox. MBAs from Harvard and Cornell, JD's from private law colleges. Pretty much an "A" team. Not exactly the type you expect to lose sleep over "lion treats". I imagine they're not even losing sleep over a tiny $72m development. These are big money cats. Wonder what ELSE they've got in mind for your money?


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