Oakland Zoo Invites Public to Relinquish Personal Effects Made From Exotic Animals To Help End the Illegal Wildlife Trade

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With the opening of a new exhibit earlier this year in a campaign against wildlife trafficking, Oakland Zoo launches first-ever “End the Trade Day”

Exterior of the ‘Inside the Illegal Wildlife Trade’

"Inspiring the next generation to become conservation ambassadors is a vital component to putting an end to the illegal wildlife trade in the future. We take pride at Oakland Zoo in being an educational resource for wildlife conservation to the public", says Nik Dehejia, CEO at Oakland Zoo.

Oakland Zoo launched 2021 with ‘Taking Action Against the Illegal Wildlife Trade’, a multi-platform campaign, to advocate for the end of this disastrous, widespread industry. This campaign is at the heart of the Conservation Society of California's mission. In addition to this initiative, the Zoo is hosting an 'End the Trade' Day this Saturday, September 18, inviting guests to relinquish wildlife-based souvenirs they possess either while traveling abroad or through family generations, and learn about the best ways to join the Zoo in Taking Action For Wildlife and to #endthetrade.

Combatting the wildlife trade not only protects animals and their species – many of which are on the brink of extinction – but it also protects people from zoonotic diseases* worldwide.

"Inspiring the next generation to become conservation ambassadors is a vital component to putting an end to the illegal wildlife trade in the future. We take pride at Oakland Zoo in being an educational resource for wildlife conservation to the public", says Nik Dehejia, CEO at Oakland Zoo.

At the 'End The Trade Day' event, the Zoo will accept any wildlife-based items containing tusks, horns, bones, furs, turtle shells, reptilian skins, exotic feathers, and coral from guests. These animal products can appear as jewelry, souvenirs, hair accessories, fashion accessories (purses, belts, clothing), carvings, instruments, and more.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife – who are participating in the Zoo’s event - will use the animal products for training wildlife enforcement and K9 units, DNA sequencing and geolocating, and their reference database, preventing future wildlife crimes.

"People who choose to let go of these items are Taking Action for Wildlife directly. Their efforts offer hope that our society is moving towards a humane and sustainable future", says Amy Gotliffe, Vice President of Conservation at Oakland Zoo.

Aside from relinquishing wildlife trade items, guests can enjoy activities throughout the Zoo during the 'End the Trade Day' event. Children are given the opportunity to become honorary 'Wildlife Science Investigators' as they complete their #endthetrade investigation.

As the Zoo heads into its Centennial year, it will continue to find impactful ways to make a difference in the lives of the animals that call the Zoo home and to wildlife globally.

"Oakland Zoo, an AZA-accredited facility, is a leader in conservation which is underscored by their commitment to combat wildlife trafficking. I applaud their efforts to bring awareness to this important issue and provide members of their community with an actionable way to protect elephants and other endangered species from the illegal trade of wildlife", says Dan Ashe, President, and CEO, of the Association of Zoos and Aquarium.

For more information on the Oakland Zoo's 'Taking Action Against the Illegal Wildlife Trade' campaign, please go to: oaklandzoo.org/endthetrade

*A zoonotic disease is a disease that can transmit from animals to people or, more specifically, a disease that generally exists in animals but that can infect humans.

End the Trade Day – Event ‘Drop-off’ Details:

Two ways to drop-off your items:

10:00am to 3:00pm at the Illegal Wildlife Trade Exhibit in the Zoo (Zoo admission ticket required)

Drop-off items at the Illegal Wildlife Exhibit in the African Savanna. Talk with California Department of Fish and Wildlife wardens and other conservation organization about the work that they do.

Bring the kids for onsite activities and the chance to become an honorary Junior Wildlife Conservation Investigator as you "investigate" at activity tables throughout the zoo. Visit the Rainforest for solutions to #EndTheTrade as we stop the demand for these products.

2:00pm to 7:00pm at the Snow Building on Zoo grounds (Drive-up & Drop-off only, No Zoo admission ticket required)

Simply drop-off items at the Snow Building. Drive-up & drop-off or stay around to talk with CDFW wardens and learn more about CSI (Conservation Science Investigation).

Surrendering items is anonymous, no forms, no questions asked.

Contact:

Isabella Linares
Oakland Zoo
ilinares@oaklandzoo.org
Office: 510-632-9525 ext. 239

Erin Harrison
Oakland Zoo
eharrison@oaklandzoo.org
Office: 510-632-9525 ext. 120

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ABOUT OAKLAND ZOO AND THE CONSERVATION SOCIETY OF CALIFORNIA:
Oakland Zoo, home to more than 850 native and exotic animals, is managed by the Conservation Society of California (CSC); a non-profit organization leading an informed and inspired community to take action for wildlife locally and globally. With over 25 conservation partners and projects worldwide, the CSC is committed to conservation-based education and saving species and their habitats in the wild. Oakland Zoo is dedicated to the humane treatment of animals and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the national organization that sets the highest standards for animal welfare for zoos and aquariums.

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Isabella Linares
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