Experience grizzly bears, bison, and grey wolves that once roamed the California landscape.

Learn how humans can successfully co-exist with mountain lions, Tule elk, black bears, bald eagles, and other native species

Understand the remarkable story of the California Condor and what Oakland Zoo and its conservation partners are doing to help.

Feel good about the role you can play in keeping wild California alive and thriving.

{ California Trail History }


Our Master Plan began with enhancements to the lower Zoo that you can enjoy today, including a new front entrance and renovations of existing animal exhibits such as our award-winning elephant enclosure. Other updates included construction of the Maddie’s Center for Science and Environmental Education, with classrooms and the Marion Zimmer Auditorium for conservation programming. The opening of the Wayne and Gladys Valley Children’s Zoo in 2006 set the standards for new exhibit development at Oakland Zoo.  Find out more ...


Today we are better partners with local wildlife and conservation organizations. Thanks to our new state-of-the-art Veterinary Hospital, we have increased capacity to care for our existing animals as well as the new animals in the California Trail exhibit. The hospital has also enhanced our ability to contribute to the scientific community through research projects, veterinary training, and providing temporary housing and care for wildlife such as mountain lions while they await relocation away from urban areas.


In 2013, Oakland Zoo opened a Biodiversity Center, a facility devoted to the conservation of animals, plants, and habitats, through collaborative research initiatives, captive breeding, and education programs. Several California native species are currently benefiting from activities in the Biodiversity Center, including Western pond turtles and mountain yellow-legged frogs. Learn more about our partners on the Conservation page.


Recently, Oakland Zoo received federal permits to house sick and injured California condors in a specially-designed facility located on-site. Our veterinary staff have undergone extensive training to care for these amazing birds in preparation for taking on the responsibility of being the only care facility in Northern California. On May 1st, 2014, Oakland Zoo welcomed our first “patient” to the Steve and Jackie Kane Condor Recovery Center. Condor #444 (aka “Ventana”) was successfully treated for lead poisoning and released back into the wild. Learn more on our Conservation page.


We have come a long way, and are grateful for the support from our members and donors, the scientific and conservation communities, and partner zoos throughout California.


Because of your belief in the future of Oakland Zoo, we were able to break ground on California Trail in 2015, and will soon fulfill this tremendous promise to the East Bay and the Greater San Francisco Bay Region.