Oregon Zoo Foundation Milestones

What began as a collection of exotic animals gifted to the City of Portland in 1888 has become an internationally recognized institution through generations of incredible community support, making the Oregon Zoo part of the fabric of our region. Since 1997, OZF has contributed more than $47 million to the zoo in support of new exhibits, education programs and state-of-the-art veterinary care.

Learn about important milestones in OZF's history below, and then explore the ways you can join in this tremendous history to support the zoo's education, conservation and animal welfare efforts.

1980 to 1996

OZF support helps the zoo complete exhibits and facilities:

  • Cascade Stream and Pond
  • Alaska Tundra
  • Africa exhibits
  • Lilah Callen Holden Elephant Museum
  • Center for Endangered Species
  • Renovations to the elephant yards

OZF helps fund elephant reproduction research and education program development.

1994

Zoo membership: 25,000 households

1997

OZF merges with the zoo's development office.

1998

OZF secures over $1 million in zoo support, including funds to complete the Cascade Crest exhibit.

2000

Zoo membership: 30,000 households
Zoolala raises $104,000 for Eagle Canyon, a record for a zoo fundraising event.

2002

Zoo membership: 36,000 households
Annual OZF support approaches $4 million.

2003

OZF completes its first comprehensive capital campaign, securing over $2 million to build the Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation, the world's fourth breeding facility for the endangered California condor.

2006

Zoo membership: 41,000 households
OZF embarks on "Predators of the Serengeti: Bring Back the Roar!" capital campaign to secure the $5 million needed to build the multi-species exhibit.

2007

Future Zoo Vision Plan serves as catalyst for a planned zoo improvement bond measure, shepherded by a OZF-led public support campaign.

2008

Voters approve a $125 million bond measure to support six new animal exhibits, a conservation education center and a veterinary medical center.
Predators of the Serengeti campaign ends. OZF provides $6 million to build and help operate the exhibit.

2009

Predators of the Serengeti opens to the public and helps the Oregon Zoo set an annual attendance record of 1.6 million visitors.

2010

Zoo membership: 49,000 households
Predators of the Serengeti receives the top exhibit award from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
Red Ape Reserve exhibit opens, with funding assistance from OZF.

2011

More than 500 donors fund equipment for the new Veterinary Medical Center.

2012

Veterinary Medical Center opens.