Secret Santa Gives Oakland Zoo $1 Million

Anonymous donation comes two months after voters narrowly rejected a parcel tax.


Bay City News

Christmas came early for the Oakland Zoo this year in the form of an anonymous $1 million check.

Zoo officials announced this week that an anonymous donor said the money could be used for the zoo's general purposes.

"Every now and then, something truly extraordinary occurs at the Oakland Zoo that causes me to just shake my head in disbelief and be thankful," said Zoo President and CEO Joel Parrott. "This has never occurred on this scale before. It is simply a gift."

The donation comes nearly two months after a parcel tax to help cover animal care, facility maintenance and other costs narrowly missed getting the two-thirds margin it needed to pass.

"This contribution will have a huge impact on our ability to plan for the New Year," said Emma Lee Twitchell, the zoo's director of development.

Anyone interested in making their own contribution to the zoo may do so by contacting Parrott at (510) 632-9525 ext. 172 or Twitchell at ext. 153.

John Esmeyer December 24, 2012 at 03:41 AM
Those evil greedy millionaire that only want to keep their money, oh wait did you just say they gave? Doesn't they president say they are evil, greedy and keep their money in vaults like Scrooge McDuck? Thank God, and God bless them and for people that still have the heart to give, especially with these troubling times ahead.
x December 24, 2012 at 04:09 AM
No you had to write the first time. The millionaires that own the place are probably the ones that donated it to save their butts during tax season .
Paulina December 24, 2012 at 06:22 PM
Dear Mr. Abate, Why are people so angry? The only other nice one on here is Jill. I know we're in tough times (I even need a job and I'm sorry I couldn't even get my son a Christmas tree this season even though that's not the real point of Christmas. Not a sorry sap, just a fact and as people say, "It is what it is"). I would think a million dollars would go towards much improvement and more space for our animal friends at the zoo. Food too. The caretakers are the ones who make the environment as comfy as possible for their animal friends and more than likely deserve great recognition for all of their hard work. A millionaire who is actually generous? Most people with money (only in my experience) are tight and stingy towards others. Mr. or Ms. Millionaire? Please don't let the grumps get to you. You are a generous, thoughtful person no matter what anyone says. My comment above made me feel selfish in a way in regards to "If I had an extra million I would do the same thing towards any animal to keep them safe, warm and well-cared for". Selfish because I should have made it plural. If I had a few extra million, I'd donate 1 million to Autism Speaks in New York too. Be well Mr. or Ms. Millionaire. I just can't get over the rude comments above. You simply don't deserve such audacity. Merry Christmas to you and yours.
Charlie Goldie December 24, 2012 at 06:52 PM
Paulina, thanks for saying it. I read the comments earlier and thought seriously about the ones who condemned all zoos. There are probably some strong points that the animals are not as happy as they might be in the wild. Yet, many are animals with conditions which would prevent them from surviving in the wild. And young people who see these zoo animals are experiencing real fellow members of the earth which otherwise could only be seen by going to their natural homes. Many cannot do that. Children can learn about life and nature by watching and reading about animals and their unique life practices. As for the donation. Money given to better our public areas is positive. I cannot understand how a donation by a millionaire would increase the creed of people who control the zoo. Tax write-offs are legal and real. Again, Paulina, thanks for supporting the donation and the zoo.
Paulina December 24, 2012 at 07:20 PM
Thank you Mr. Goldie! All the best to you and yours.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »