By Beth Moseley
Someone told me it’s all happening at the zoo
I do believe it, I do believe it’s true.
(Simon & Garfunkle. Lyrics to “At the Zoo” www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/simongarfunkel/atthezoo.)
One of the 2019 Birdathon trips that can’t be missed this year is Behind the Scenes at the Oakland Zoo. You will be treated to private talks with several zoo keepers and animal experts. The tour will highlight major recent additions to the Oakland Zoo including a new aviary and the California Trail dedicated to the Golden State’s most iconic native wildlife. You are even likely to see a California condor or two during your visit!
I took part in the 2015 Behind the Scenes Oakland Zoo tour and had a memorable time. While your 2019 experience will no doubt be unique and wonderful I would like to share some highlights from my day at the zoo.
We saw an elephant get a pedicure. Yes, a pedicure!
We listened as Zoo staff told us about the Conservation Society of California and efforts at the zoo to “go green” as well as its North America and global partnerships to take action for wildlife. We took the Outback Express Adventure Train and saw emus and wallaroos in the Wild Australia exhibit.
The best part of the tour for me was visiting the Oakland Zoo Veterinary Hospital. The 17,000 square foot state-of-the-art, LEED-certified veterinary medical hospital opened in October 2012. It is the largest wild animal veterinary facility in Northern California. The staff at the facility regularly collaborates with regional organizations such as the California Condor Recovery Team and the UC- Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.
The vet staff would prefer to do treatments on sick and injured animals in their own habitat. But when the situation calls for a visit to the hospital, the facility can easily accommodate bears, lions and other large animals with its big doorways that open to even bigger operating rooms. The zoo’s facility is furnished with the latest high-tech equipment for X-rays, blood tests, and other medical procedures.
Dr. Andrea Goodnight, Associate Veterinarian, lead us on a tour of the facility including the room where they keep the tranquilizer guns in the event of an escape. The operating rooms are spacious and immaculately clean.
We visited some patients in the hospital including a family of meerkats who were removed from the rest of the meerkat habitat for “bad behavior” and a female hornbill who was separated from her abusive mate.
The 2019 Oakland Zoo birdathon trip will include lunch (on your own) at the new Landing Café boasting spectacular views of the Bay Area. After lunch, your day continues with a guided walking tour of the new California Trail and the opportunity to observe training sessions.
The Behind the Scenes at the Oakland Zoo experience guarantees you a rare and exclusive look into the workings of a zoo recognized for its outstanding commitment to animal care, education and conservation. Sign up now for the March 24 trip.
And the animals will love it if you do. (Ibid)
Beth Moseley is the assistant to the Executive Director of Research Development at UCSF at Mission Bay. When not yelling at her cat Rupert Garcia (that really is his name), she devotes volunteer time to habitat restoration projects with Golden Gate Audubon and the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department Natural Resources Program as well as special event coordination for several non-profit organizations in the Bay Area.
Editor’s Note: You can join Beth on this year’s trip (yes, she enjoyed it so much she is going again) by clicking HERE.
Go to https://goldengateaudubon.org/birdathon-2019-fundraising-trips/ for a complete list of Birdathon 2019 trips.