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

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Exterior of the  ‘Inside the Illegal Wildlife Trade’ 400 square foot exhibit  which addresses and demonstrates the effects and devastation of the illegal wildlife trade industry – including the decimations of many animal species and the spread of many zoonotic diseases.

Oakland, CA – September 13, 2021… 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 18th, 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.

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This African leopard was hunted as a trophy and subsequently donated to Oakland Zoo to help the Zoo spread the message that trophy hunting is bad for wildlife and wild places.

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 collected at the event 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.

Post based on press release to ZENNIE62MEDIA,Inc, from The Oakland Zoo.

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