Alyson Yarus, senior associate at Noll & Tam Architects and Planners, discusses the Oakland Zoo's California Trail project. Opponents to Measure A1 claim that funds from the parcel tax would have gone toward the expansion project.

Alameda County’s Measure A1, which would have created a parcel tax to fund animal care and educational programs at the Oakland Zoo, set off a stir of claims and counterclaims between zoo officials and local and state environmental groups. Roughly 62 percent of the county’s voters finally voted in favor of the measure—but because it was a tax, that fell short of the two-thirds majority of votes needed for approval.

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Maria Trenary, a senior veterinary technician at Oakland Zoo, describes an anesthesia mask meant for larger animals like lions, at the grand opening of the zoo's new veterinary hospital on Thursday.

The veterinary facility at Oakland Zoo was once so small and cramped that during one surgery, senior veterinary technician Maria Trenary had to crawl under an operating table, navigating beneath the dangling limbs of an anesthetized tiger, just to get to the other side of the room and continue working.

Now, at the zoo’s new veterinary hospital, which celebrated its grand opening Thursday afternoon, a camel, a bison or even a juvenile giraffe can be easily accommodated in one of the hospital’s revamped surgery suites.

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