(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.