From marching in a parade to going on a scavenger hunt—this Halloween event includes plenty of activities for the kids. Not only will they get to have some Halloween fun, they'll also see how the animals celebrate this festive holiday.
To see a list of activities for Boo at the Zoo, click here.
To get the best look at the tigers, come early. The zoo is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The tigers are most active and playful when they are first let out of their night house. Later in the day, they will find a comfy place to lie down and take a cat nap.
Watch as these four sleek, muscular girls dive in the pools, climb on the platforms, chase each other and stalk lizards in the grass.
Zoo guests say that they’ve never seen such a magnificent tiger exhibit. How proud I am of the Oakland Zoo and how lucky I am to be a part of this new exhibit as a volunteer.
The tiger has fascinated and attracted us for centuries. Part of the folklore, mythology and history of many Asian cultures, tigers continue to be admired for their beauty, size, and strength.
Ironically these very qualities have been the undoing of the tiger. Many cultures have valued tiger body parts for use in medicine, aphrodisiacs, jewelry, and amulets. Many believe that by consuming or possessing parts of this animal, they too would become endowed with its beauty, strength, and grace.
One hundred years ago, there were approximately 100,000 tigers in the wild. Now, there are less than 4,000. Three subspecies—Bali, Java, and Caspian—are now completely extinct.
Today there are many more tigers in captivity than in the wild. They are in zoos and in sanctuaries, but sadly they are also part of private collections, in circuses, and even in tiger factories where they are bred for parts to be used in alternative medicines. On the alternative-medicine or Asian market, a tiger can be worth up to $77,000.
Our own tiger population at the Oakland Zoo reflects the trend. Our eldest tiger was a rescue from a circus at the age of two. The four new tigers came from Texas, where they were part of a traveling “freak” show. They were privately owned and later confiscated.
For the Oakland Zoo, it is a win-win situation. We are now graced with five beautiful tigers. The tigers themselves can live a happy, healthy life in an exhibit that is filled with enrichment and free from harm.
Finally, our zoo visitors have an opportunity not only to see these incredible animals but also to learn what a treacherous existence other tigers are struggling with—not only abroad but also here, in the U.S.
Editor's Note: Castro Valley resident Sidney Simspon works as a volunteer at the Oakland Zoo and helps out at the tiger exhibit.