OAKLAND (KCBS) – A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Thursday for the Oakland Zoo’s new biodiversity center, which will serve as an education center, captive breeding facility, and place of conservation for endangered and threatened animals, plants and habitats.

“The biodiversity center is a big step forward for us because it actually consolidates our conservation activities into one facility now,” declared Zoo president and CEO, Dr. Joel Parrott. “And it’s actually great for what we call institute conservation, where the zoo can play a role to actively help species in the wild.”

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“It also introduces captive breeding to help reintroduce into the wild amphibians that are now severely threatened in the wild,” he continued. “There are so many frogs and amphibians in crisis right now, that’s where we would now like to play a role.”

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“We will be having small groups, primarily middle school and high school students,” added Bo De Long-Cotty during a tour of the biodiversity classroom. “A lot of them will be working on watershed restoration at their schools.”

The biodiversity center is located in a back area of the zoo.

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