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Discover Your Mammal Brain at the Zoo

Oakland, United StatesPart of the Airbnb Animals collection

Animal experience hosted by Loretta Graziano

2 hoursHosted in English, Spanish, and French
Committed to safety
This host committed to Airbnb’s COVID-19 safety guidelines.
Up to 10 people
Includes food

What you'll do

I will explain an animal's response to dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, endorphin and cortisol while you watch the animals in action. When you know how these brain chemicals work in animals, you understand their impact on YOU.

We will start with small-brained animals and work our way up to the apes. You'll find out how animals make decisions all day in order to survive. Happy chemicals reward an animal for steps that meet a need, and unhappy chemicals alert it to potential threats.

We'll stop for a jungle-themed snack/rest since the zoo is a bit hilly and the must-see elephant are at the far end.

Your questions are welcome! I can address specific interests since I have written many books on the animal brain. This is a new view of emotions based on evolutionary psychology.

Admission to the zoo is a separate ticket fee, so please check the zoo’s availability of timed tickets here (click the dark blue button that says “Select Date/Time for Admission"): https://tickets.oaklandzoo.org/Webstore/shop/viewitems.aspx?CG=GATtix&C=TTix

- Logistics: The zoo has two entry gates so we will text. I can provide transportation advice.
- Well-behaved children are welcome; I can explain everything in a family-friendly way.
- I speak Spanish & French. The tour is in English but I can translate some phrases.
- Flexible: contact me to arrange an alternate time.
I will explain an animal's response to dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, endorphin and cortisol while you watch the animals in action. When you know how these brain chemicals work in animals, you understand their impact on YOU.

We will start with small-brained animals and work our way up to the apes. You'll find out how animals make decisions all day in order to survive. Happy chemicals reward an animal for steps that meet a need, and un…
Guidelines created with World Animal ProtectionLearn more

What's included

  • Food
    Healthy snacks, which we'll eat animal style. What does that mean? Come and...

Meet your host, Loretta Graziano

Host on Airbnb since 2013
  • 6 Reviews
  • Identity verified
I'm Founder of the Inner Mammal Institute, and have written many books about the brain that we've inherited from earlier mammals. I was a docent at the Oakland Zoo for 5 years. I love teaching people about their inner mammal and its power over their brain chemistry! I am Professor Emerita of Management at California State University, East Bay. I can schedule alternative times/places on request. Find out more about me at my website: InnerMammalInstitute.org. And start learning about your inner mammal in my books, such as "I, Mammal" and "Habits of a Happy Brain: Retrain your brain to boost your serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin and endorphin levels."
I'm Founder of the Inner Mammal Institute, and have written many books about the brain that we've inherited from earlier mammals. I was a docent at the Oakland Zoo for 5 years. I love teaching people about their inner mammal and its power over their brain chemistry! I am Professor Emerita of Management at California State University, East Bay. I can schedule alternative times/places on request. Find out more about me at my website: InnerMammalInstitute.org. And start learning about your inner…
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From $39
/ person
Thu, Jun 17
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Fri, Jun 18
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$39 per person
Sat, Jun 19
$39 per person
$39 per person
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Responsible interactions

All hosts must follow guidelines created with World Animal Protection.

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Diverse animals

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Where you'll be

The Oakland Zoo.
It's in the beautiful Oakland hills, with amazing views of the whole San Francisco Bay from their Gondola.
We'll meet at the MAIN entrance Members Desk. (If Main parking is full, you'll be sent to the Lower Entrance, so I'll give you my mobile number just in case.)
I can schedule other zoos on request.

Rated 5.0 out of 5 from 6 reviews.

Thomas
January 2020
This was just fascinating. Loretta was a great guide with a fun personality and tremendous knowledge of the animals, the zoo, and the underlying brain chemistry that drives animal behavior. She knows the best spots to view the animals, has lots inside-baseball type stories about the zoo and the animals there, and has an excellent grasp of evolutionary psychology, and how different species have evolved different behavior patterns and physical characteristics to adapt to their environments. This would be a great tour for all ages and all levels of education. I’m a clinical psychologist and I found this to be extremely informative and educational.
This was just fascinating. Loretta was a great guide with a fun personality and tremendous knowledge of the animals, the zoo, and the underlying brain chemistry that drives animal…
Lynn
June 2019
Loretta gives a unique tour of the Oakland zoo, animal behavior and dynamics. This wasn’t our first time here, but seeing the zoo with Loretta gave us new insight into these wonderful creatures....and us as well. We did this as part of a birthday outing, and had a great time!
Loretta gives a unique tour of the Oakland zoo, animal behavior and dynamics. This wasn’t our first time here, but seeing the zoo with Loretta gave us new insight into these wonder…
Ron
May 2019
I really enjoyed my visit to the Oakland Zoo guided by Loretta. Although the subject matter was unique for a zoo visit, (how the brain works in the context of animal behavior) she also has good knowledge of the animals and the zoo from having worked for the zoo previously as a guide. So, on all levels she was well informed/informative. She communicated well and in an engaging way which conveys her own interest and enthusiasm for the knowledge she shared with us.
I really enjoyed my visit to the Oakland Zoo guided by Loretta. Although the subject matter was unique for a zoo visit, (how the brain works in the context of animal behavior) she…
Deborah
May 2019
This was one of the most fun, exciting, informative, meaningful, illuminating experiences of my life! Loretta's background as a zoo docent who knew all the "insider" secrets, as well as her profound mastery of neuroscience and animal behavior, made this tour so worthwhile and fun. We got to ask all our questions, and Loretta provided extremely fascinating responses to each one. She couldn't have been more kind, gracious, generous, smart, or funny. MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
This was one of the most fun, exciting, informative, meaningful, illuminating experiences of my life! Loretta's background as a zoo docent who knew all the "insider" secrets, as we…
Stuart
May 2019
Loretta's deep knowledge of the mammal brain based on her years of research proved to be one of the most fascinating days ever. She beautifully drew the parallels between human and animal brains, plus gave us constant, surprising insights as to why animals (and we!) acted the way we did. We will never look at animals in quite the same fashion thanks to her. I cannot recommend a tour with Loretta any more highly. You'd be lucky to enjoy it!
Loretta's deep knowledge of the mammal brain based on her years of research proved to be one of the most fascinating days ever. She beautifully drew the parallels between human an…
William
June 2019
Loretta told entertaining and insightful stories about the animals and their interactions. I recommend her highly.

Choose from available dates

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Things to know

Cancellation policy

Any experience can be canceled and fully refunded within 24 hours of purchase, or at least 7 days before the experience starts.

Guest requirements

Up to 10 guests ages 9 and up can attend. Parents may also bring children under 2 years of age.

What to bring

Buy your zoo admission ticket immediately on confirmation of this tour, since zoo admission is by advance ticket only. Click dark blue button that says “Select Date/Time for Admission." https://tickets.oaklandzoo.org/Webstore/shop/viewitems.aspx?CG=GATti

walking shoes, camera