Oregon Zoo 125

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.