Big things are happening over at the Oakland Zoo (and we don’t mean the elephants in the African Savanna exhibit)! Expansion is underway and when completed, it will increase the zoo’s size to a massive 100 acres. The new California Trail exhibit will include animals that are native to California and education on why these animals are important to both our history and future. Read on to see what plans the zoo has in store!

A Bird’s Eye View
Views of the San Francisco Bay will make the journey to the zoo’s new hilltop restaurant inside the Kaiser Permanente Visitor Center a real treat. But the ride itself is the first part of the fun. The zoo will be adding 16 electric gondola cars that will each transport up to eight people at a time. These gondola cars are both ADA-accessible and stroller-friendly. The price of admission includes the gondola ride.

Visitors will glide above a herd of bison and also a protected landscape of maritime chaparral – a rare habitat dominated by woody shrubs such as manzanitas and California lilac, and home to threatened species like the Alameda whipsnake. Both the gondola and hilltop restaurant will open in June of this year.

Going Native
Native California species are the focus of the California Trail exhibit. When the animal exhibits are completed in the summer of 2018, zoo visitors will be able to see bison, grizzly bears, bald eagles, California condors, gray wolves, mountain lions and event jaguars. Conservation education will be a large focus of this exhibit as the zoo aims to educate the next generation of environmental stewards.

Coming this Summer
The expansion also includes a California Interpretive Center, a camping area with platform tents for overnight experiences at the Zoo, and a children’s play and learn area. Mark your calendar for June to plan a trip to the zoo to ride the new gondola!

Oakland Zoo
9777 Golf Links Road
Oakland, Ca
Admission: $19.75 ages 15-64, $15.75 kids 2-14 and seniors, under 2 are free
Online: californiatrail.org

What are you looking forward to seeing at the Oakland Zoo? Let us know in the comments!

–Kate Loweth

Photos courtesy of the Oakland Zoo.