Located in the West Hills of Portland in Washington Park, Oregon Zoo is another perfect place to watch the world, spending some magical moments with wild animals. Oregon Zoo sits on a massive 64-acre piece of land in Portland receiving an average of 1.5 million visitors annually. The zoo is primarily for conservation, education and animal welfare. It is a model of sustainable conservation of natural resources operated by Portland Metro Area. Portland's Zoo was established in 1888 after a Portland pharmacist who collected animals donated them to the city. The zoo began with grizzly and brown bears named Grace and Brownie accordingly; today it is home to about 2,000 animals representing 232 species of mammals, birds, amphibians, fish, and invertebrates. More than 1,000 species of native plants have been cultivated to create natural exhibits and pathways within the zoo.
The zoo became famous across the world in 1962 when heavily pregnant Belle delivered Packy, the first Asian zoo star elephant born in the West. As of 2010, Packy was the tallest elephant in the United States. He sired seven calves marking the most successful zoo elephant-breeding program. Packy was euthanized in 2017 at the age of 54 (the oldest living Asian elephant in North America) after a long-term struggle with drug-resistant tuberculosis.
Oregon Zoo survival plans of 19 endangered species and 9 threatened species have been hugely successful. Asian elephants, Amur cats, California condors, Western pond turtle, Oregon spotted frog, African lions, and others have been bred successfully. The zoo has 24 exhibits including Africa Rainforest, Africa Savanna, Great Northwest, Amazon Flooded Forest, Black Bear Ridge, Black Bear Ridge, Condors of the Columbia, Cougar Crossing, Polar Bears, Predators of the Serengeti, and some more.
The zoo is the most popular attraction in Oregon. It is easy enough to navigate and is worth taking a leisurely day to view all the amazing animals and birds, such as bears, bobcats, cougars, wolves, mountain goats, condors, and bald eagles.
The Oregon Zoo hosts summer evening concerts from June to September and a holiday light display with over one million LED lights from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day.
If you plan to visit other places in Washington Park, ride The Zooliner, The Oregon Express, or the 4-4-0 No. 1, Oregon on Washington Park & Zoo Railway (WP&Z). Open from Memorial Day to Labor Day daily, it provides connections between Oregon Zoo, Hoyt Arboretum, International Rose Test Garden, and the World Forestry Center. The train, also, runs during holiday lights season. Admission required. Do not forget to purchase admission to the zoo if you board at International Rose Garden.
A free shuttle service is available in Washington Park from May to October, providing transportation between Washington Park MAX Station, Japanese and Rose Gardens, and Hoyt Arboretum.
Hours: Summer 9:30 am - 6 pm; Fall & Spring 9:30 am - 4 pm; Winter 9.30 am - 4 pm.
If you ride the bus or MAX light-rail train, show your TriMet pass and get $1.50 off the price.
$2.00 discount with a military or veteran organization ID.