Media Resources

Zoo breaks ground on 'Elephant Lands' habitat

Golden shovels were on hand, but the Oregon Zoo broke ground today elephant-style: with a 30-ton excavator. Construction of the 6.25-acre Elephant Lands habitat — the most ambitious project in Oregon Zoo history — officially kicked off with massive displacement of earth, making way for the Asian elephant herd's new home and a new era of animal welfare.

Zoo grant helps Portland Audubon take the lead on lead

On May 13, the Audubon Society of Portland's Wildlife Care Center received a call about a bald eagle that seemed unable to fly. Care center operations manager Lacy Campbell headed to the site in Longview, Wash., fording a creek to bring the 3-foot-tall bird back to Audubon, where a blood test revealed it to be suffering from severe lead poisoning. The eagle is not only in treatment now at Audubon, but is also contributing to research that may help protect other wildlife from lead.

Rama the elephant is being treated for tuberculosis

Rama, a 30-year-old Asian elephant at the Oregon Zoo, has tested positive for tuberculosis, zoo officials learned yesterday. The zoo routinely tests all its elephants for TB by taking an annual trunk culture (collecting fluid from the animal's trunk and sending it to a certified laboratory for testing) as part of its comprehensive health program and in compliance with U.S. Department of Agriculture standards.

Eclosing time: Sunny streak sets zoo butterflies aflutter

In all of nature, nothing perhaps is so magical as the moment a butterfly first unfurls its wings. Now, for what is believed to be the first time ever, Oregon Zoo videographer Michael Durham has captured that transformative moment in the life of a rare Taylor's checkerspot, one of the Northwest's most beautiful — and most endangered — butterflies.

Zoo breaks ground on California condor habitat

Though native to the region, and commonly seen here during the time of Lewis and Clark, California condors haven't soared through Northwest skies for more than a century. The Oregon Zoo would like to see that change. At today's ceremonial groundbreaking for the new Condors of the Columbia exhibit, officials announced plans to give zoo visitors an up-close look at these highly endangered birds next spring, while also advocating for the eventual return of free-flying condors to the region.

Oregon Zoo seeks photos (of photos) for 125th Anniversary

Got any old zoo photos? As its 125th anniversary approaches, the Oregon Zoo is seeking help in tracking down and sharing memories from throughout its history — and the older, the better, zoo officials say.
"It's amazing to think about," said Kim Smith, zoo director. "On Nov. 7, 1888, when this community zoo was founded, there were no cars, no planes, no TV, no radio. But there were cameras — the first Kodaks actually came out that same year. We're not expecting to see any pictures quite that old, but we'd love to see what zoo experiences people might have saved on film over the past 125 years."

'Legos at the Zoo' will celebrate rhinos, math, pastry

Future engineers, inventors and roboticists from Oregon Episcopal School's "Lego Physics" program will show off their animal-themed creations at the Oregon Zoo this weekend: dozens of elaborate Lego constructions involving motors, programmable bricks, sensors and computers. The annual Legos at the Zoo science fair, free with regular zoo admission, takes place May 18-19 in the Kalahari Room, beneath the AfriCafe restaurant adjacent to the zoo concert lawn.

Zoo summer camps connect kids with nature

Northwest campers should be prepared for encounters with bears, cougars and bobcats this summer — not to mention giraffes, elephants and flamingos. The Oregon Zoo's popular summer camps return June 17, with programs for children 4 years of age through eighth grade. "Zoo camp is a great way for kids to have active outside fun and connect with nature," said Jennifer Whitener, program supervisor. "We'll be hiking, observing native wildlife, learning about animals — every day is an adventure."

Tilly's 'tough love' wins out: otter is named Zoo Mom of Year

Talk about your political animals... The race to determine the Oregon Zoo's 2013 Mother of the Year grew heated at times but was thoroughly engaging, as keepers rallied behind their favorite animals and voters participated in record numbers. In the end, Tilly the river otter came out ahead with 47 percent of the vote, outpacing Asian elephant Rose-Tu (38 percent) and DeBrazza's monkey Brooke (15 percent).

Zoo conservationists to go 'Bowling for Rhinos' June 15

It's a critical time for rhinos worldwide. Conservationists estimate that in South Africa alone, a rhinoceros is killed every 15 hours. And with two of the five rhino species perilously close to extinction, the Oregon Zoo's Bowling for Rhinos fundraiser, now in its 24th year, is more important than ever. "Bowling for Rhinos is a great opportunity to help some of the most endangered animals on the planet," said zoo curator Michael Illig, who's helped organize the fundraiser since 1990. "Rhinos are in serious trouble, with poaching and illegal trade at their highest levels in more than 20 years."

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