The Oakland Zoo is supporting Bay Area elephant activists planning to rally and march in San Francisco on Oct. 4, to call attention to the killing of thousands of elephants in Africa within the last year.

The San Francisco March for Elephants is part of an international effort to raise public awareness in regard to the elephant crisis. An estimated 35,000 elephants were killed last year in Africa, a large number of them to support demand for raw ivory, according to the March for Elephants organization.

The march is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 4, followed by a noon rally in Union Square. The public is encouraged to gather before the march at 10 a.m. in Portsmouth Square, 733 Kearny St., in San Francisco.

Zoo staff, volunteers and members will join the march, said Colleen Kinzley, Director of Animal Care, Conservation, and Research at Oakland Zoo.

"Thousands of elephants are being killed so their tusks can be sold to buy guns and to make high value carvings," Kinzley said. The goal is to bring attention to the crisis and urge world leaders to stop the illegal massacre of elephants, she said. "We can make a difference."

March for Elephants is dedicated to promoting global awareness about the elephant crisis, advocating for cessation of poaching in all regions where elephants live.


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The Oakland Zoo is home to four African elephants, three females and one male. Their names are Donna, Lisa, M'Dunda, and Osh. More than six acres make up their expansive exhibit, which includes a swimming pool, trees, hills, and areas for dust bathing, which is a natural behavior among elephants.