The Oregon Zoo is one of the most popular attractions in Portland, Oregon. The 227-acre zoo has more than 2,000 animals and 500 different species that call this place home. There are so many activities at the zoo, including feeding giraffes, trying on a polar bear costume, or even riding an elephant! But what makes it so unique? We’ll tell you eight reasons why everyone should visit this amazing place at least once in their lifetime.
The zoo is home to the world’s only albino koala bear! Her name is Kalia, and she’s a superstar at the Oregon Zoo. She was even given her own Facebook page with over 11,000 likes! You can visit her in the Koala Forest exhibit.
Did you know that a wallaby is a type of kangaroo? The Wallaby Walkabout exhibit lets visitors walk through with these animals and even feed them. This unique experience allows guests to get up close and personal with the zoo’s marsupials!
There are so many ways for kids of all ages to have fun combined with educational opportunities at the Oregon Zoo. Kids can learn about animal conservation in the Africa exhibit while playing in a giant sandbox! And who doesn’t love petting zoo animals? The Children’s Barnyard has goats, sheep, pigs, and more that kids can safely interact with.
The zoo is home to four species of penguins: Gentoo, King, Adelie, and Rockhopper. The Penguinarium is an excellent place to learn about these creatures and watch them swim and play.
In the Asia Forest exhibit, guests can find tigers, gorillas, and more! This area also has a beautiful garden with a waterfall perfect for photos.
Some of the zoo’s most famous animals are its elephants. The zoo’s herd of Asian elephants has been on exhibit since 1962, and they currently consist of three females (Dottie, Daisy, and Annie) and one male named Packy!
The Australia exhibits are filled with all kinds of kangaroos that guests can see up close or even feed if they’re feeling adventurous.
The zoo is also home to the world’s most extensive collection of orangutans! You can find these animals in the Great Ape Forest exhibit.
There you have it! Eight are eight excellent reasons why everyone should visit the Oregon Zoo at least once in their lifetime. We promise you won’t be disappointed!
History of Oregon Zoo
The Oregon Zoo was founded in 1888, making it the oldest zoo west of the Mississippi River. It was initially located in Washington Park but moved to its current location in 1973. In 2007, the zoo opened a brand new Elephant Lands exhibit that features African elephants.
In 2014, Packy the elephant celebrated his 50th birthday at Oregon Zoo! The famous pachyderm was born on February 14, 1962, and has been an Oregon icon ever since. In honor of this milestone anniversary, a massive party with live music, food, and more took place in his honor.
Facts About Oregon Zoo
– The Oregon Zoo is a zoo in Portland, Oregon, United States.
– The zoo opened covers 64 acres (260,000 m²).
– It is the oldest zoological garden in the United States west of the Mississippi River.
– It currently houses more than 2000 animals representing nearly 500 species.
– The Association of Zoos and Aquariums has accredited the Oregon Zoo since 1984.
– The Oregon Zoo is home to the world’s only albino koala bear, Kalia.
– The zoo has a herd of Asian elephants that have been on exhibit since 1962.
– In 2007, the zoo opened Elephant Lands, an $80 million exhibit featuring African elephants.
What to See in Oregon Zoo
The Oregon Zoo is home to a wide variety of animals worldwide. Some of the highlights include:
- A troop of gorillas including one of the largest silverbacks in North America
- Asian elephants, lions, tigers, and more
- Penguins, polar bears, and sea otters in the new Watershed exhibit
- A full spectrum of colorful birds
- A special Children’s Zoo, complete with farm animals and a hands-on water play area where kids can pet aquatic creatures, including turtles and stingrays.
As if it isn’t apparent from the above list of attractions at the Oregon Zoo, one of the most amazing things about this zoo is its diversity in animal species. Many zoos are home to a couple of hundred animals at best, but the Oregon Zoo has over 2000 animals on display! Whether you’re an avid zoo-goer or this is your first time visiting one, there’s something for everyone at the Oregon Zoo.
Activities and Events in Oregon Zoo
The best way to explore the Oregon Zoo is by tram. The tram runs throughout the park and stops at all significant exhibits. It’s a great way to get up close and personal with the animals.
Some of the Oregon Zoo highlights include the Asia Trail, which features tigers, elephants, and other exotic animals from Asia. The rainforest aviary is home to hundreds of tropical birds and the petting farm, where kids can pet and feed goats, sheep, and other farm animals.
The Oregon Zoo also has a carousel and train ride. The Conservation Carousel is a unique experience for kids, as it features endangered species from the zoo, such as Asian elephants, tigers, and orangutans. And if you enjoy trains, then definitely check out the Miniature Railroad that runs along much of the perimeter of the park.
The views of Mt Hood and downtown Portland from the Oregon Zoo are also worth checking out. Make sure to take some time to enjoy them while you’re there.
If you’re looking for a fun and educational activity for the whole family, then be sure to visit the Oregon Zoo. You won’t regret it!
What Not to Do in Oregon Zoo
- Do not leave the zoo without seeing the elephants. They are one of the main attractions, and their enclosure is enormous!
- Do not miss the penguin exhibit – it’s always a hit with kids (and adults too, of course).
- Do not forget to walk through the beautiful rose garden near the entrance.
- Do not forget to take a ride on the train. Kids will love it!
- Do not leave the zoo without having a snack or lunch at one of the restaurants. There are plenty of options to choose from, including vegan and gluten-free menus.
What to Bring in Oregon Zoo
- Sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses are a must if you’re visiting the Oregon Zoo in the summer.
- Be sure to bring your camera – there will be plenty of photo opportunities!
- Be sure to bring comfortable walking shoes. You’ll want to explore the zoo at your own pace, so it’s important not to wear anything too tight or restrictive on your feet.
Oregon Zoo Hours
The Oregon Zoo is open from Monday to Friday from 09:00 am to 05:00 pm, and on weekends and holidays from 09:00 am to 06:00 pm. It’s closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.
Oregon Zoo Admission
Admission to the Oregon zoo is $11 for adults, $11 for seniors (ages 65+), and $11 for children ages three to 11. Children under the age of three are free. Annual passes are also available. For more information, visit their website.
Oregon Zoo Location
The Oregon Zoo is located at 4001 SW Canyon Rd, Portland, OR 97221, United States. It’s just a short drive from downtown and next to the World Forestry Center and Hoyt Arboretum.
Oregon Zoo Phone Number
For more information about the Oregon zoo, you can call their main phone number (503-226-1561).
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