Portland- Oregon’s largest city- is known for many things; Bicycling, coffee, eco-friendliness, and the Oregon Zoo.
If you’re staying in the area, make a day out of all those things. Wake up early and grab a latte. Then bike on over to say hello to the animals.
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Oregon Zoo isn’t it’s original name. When it was founded in 1888, it was called the Portland Zoo. Later on, it evolved into the Washington Park Zoo. Finally, it received its current name in 1998.
It’s the oldest zoo west of the Mississippi River. And with about 1.6 million visitors in any one year, it is easily Oregon’s most visited attraction.
Oregon is known for being eco-friendly. So, it shouldn’t surprise you that their zoo is also passionate about biodiversity and the health of the planet. It is considered a world leader when it comes to animal welfare and conservation. Some of it’s efforts include: using paperless offices, LED lights, onsite composting, and green roofs.
In 2018, they banned all single-use water bottles, utensils, and straws on their site. And they’ve also discovered a way to save 12 million gallons of water each year. One way is through the use of native plants on their land which don’t require watering.
Animals and Exhibits
There are over 1,800 animals from 200 different species. Because Oregon Zoo believes wildlife conservation starts at home, they are working hard to fight extinction specifically in the pacific northwest region. They are on a mission to restore the endangered or threatened native species in the area like the California Condor, Western Pond Turtle, Oregon Spotted Frog, Oregon Silverspot Butterfly, and Taylor’s Checkerspot Butterfly.
There is a nice mixture of animals to see, and plenty of stuff to do inside. If you’re exploring by foot, there are many great walking paths. The terrain is easy to travel. However, if you get tired or you’re visiting with little ones in tow, there is also a train tour you can take.
Some popular exhibits include the Elephant Lands, Penguinarium, Polar Passage, and Family Farm.