Happy 125th Birthday, Oregon Zoo!
This November, the Oregon Zoo - one of the oldest in the country - officially turns 125 years old. It's amazing when you think about it: The zoo has been community supported since 1888 – a time when there were no cars, no planes and only 38 states in the union.
The zoo did not start with a grand intention but with an unexpected gift. When the City of Portland accepted bears, monkeys and birds from a former sailor on November 7, 1888, it hadn't planned to create a zoo. The community, though, was instantly enamored of these new animals living in a park above the city. And so it began.
As a gift to our community, we're offering our 125th anniversary edition ZooTracks member magazine as a free download here. In this issue, we trace the zoo's progress from its beginnings as a collection of exotic animals to what it is today: a place where the joy of a child's discoveries merge with the knowledge of a responsibility we all share — to conserve the world's wildlife and natural habitats for future generations.
As we reflect on the zoo's history — the achievements, the milestones and the growing pains — it is clear that the Oregon Zoo did not become what it is today, overnight. It is also clear that there are many things to be proud of: among them, the incredible community that has made this zoo part of the fabric of the Portland region since 1888.
Zoo125 Photo Contest
The Oregon Zoo kicked off its 125th anniversary by inviting the community to share old photos and memorablia in the Zoo125 Photo Contest. More than 300 people participated, sharing an amazing collection of memories, some more than a century old.