A new zoo

Big changes are happening at your zoo.

The transformation is under way. Thanks to your support, the zoo's vision for a better future for wildlife is taking shape, with nearly half the zoo grounds getting an upgrade. Scroll down to explore visionary new habitats like Elephant Lands and Condors of the Columbia. Discover how these changes will advance the zoo's world leadership in animal welfare and sustainability. And follow our New Zoo blog for information on what's happening and how to get involved.

Penguin filtration upgrade

Completed in 2011

To keep the penguins' water clean and clear, the zoo historically filled, dumped and refilled their pool. In 2011, the zoo installed a new modern life-support system that recycles water in the penguin pool and reduces water usage by more than 80 percent, saving millions of gallons annually.

Veterinary Medical Center

Completed in 2012

Equipped to meet the medical needs of animals ranging from newts to bears, the LEED Gold-certified VMC building also includes a rainwater capture system, solar-heated water and an energy-efficient electrical system. The center provides comforting, climate-controlled spaces that support animals' health and healing.

Condors of the Columbia

Completed in 2014

The three-story Condors of the Columbia aviary includes an elevated viewing area offering visitors a rare up-close look at these massive birds – the largest in North America. Interactive displays guide visitors through the Oregon Zoo's decade-long effort with partners to recover these critically endangered birds.

Elephant Lands

Completed in 2015

This world-class habitat provides the entire herd great health and welfare, along with opportunities to make their own choices. Visitors will discover these graceful giants moving through meadows, hills, mud wallows and pools. Join us in creating one of the most inspiring elephant experiences in the world.

Education Center

Completed in 2017

This beautiful and sustainably-built learning and activity center includes classrooms and meeting spaces, gardens and a Nature Exploration Station. Home to zoo camps, classes and fun programs offered by community conservation and education partners, the center will inspire you to get outside, learn about nature and take meaningful action on behalf of the natural world.

Polar Passage

Coming in 2019

This expansive, two-tiered habitat will include natural ground materials, shallow and deep pools and extraordinary viewing opportunities for visitors. Bears will be able to patrol their habitat as they would in the wild and take in views across the zoo.


Primate habitat

Coming in 2020

Design concepts for the new primate habitat include complex and stimulating outdoor areas and "treeway" thoroughfares – pathways that link one habitat within the exhibit to another, allowing primates freedom of movement overhead while providing guests with exciting views and observations.

Rhino habitat

Coming in 2020

The zoo's master plan calls for construction of an African savanna habitat shared by a number of large grassland species. Rhinos can share habitat with gazelles and giraffes, and visitors will be able to explore an expanded rhino habitat from multiple angles.