Media Resources

Zoo rings in Year of the Snake with free admission - Feb. 10

Bubba, the Oregon Zoo's impressively huge Burmese python, will be slithering into the spotlight soon. The zoo is offering free admission Feb. 10, celebrating the start of the Lunar New Year — and, according to Chinese astrology, this one will be the Year of the Snake. Visitors to the zoo Feb. 10 can take in animal talks, have an up-close encounter with a live snake, and learn more about conserving endangered Asian wildlife.
"Celebrating the Lunar New Year helps us bring attention to Asian animals that are imperiled, including snakes," said Kim Smith, zoo director. "We want visitors to make a connection with the animals here — even the cold-blooded ones — so that they leave the zoo wanting to make the world a better place for wildlife."

Zoo to Punxsutawney Phil: You ain't nothin' but a groundhog

Punxsutawney Phil may hog most of the attention on Groundhog Day, but Oregon Zoo traditionalists say Jabari the hedgehog is the one to watch. The spiny little creature, whose name is Swahili for "brave one," will boldly make his prediction Saturday, Feb. 2, at 10:30 a.m. in the zoo's entry plaza: Will it be an early spring this year, or should we hunker down for six more weeks of winter?

City OKs all the Oregon Zoo's remodeling plans

The City of Portland has granted land-use approval to the Oregon Zoo for improvements to be made across the zoo site over the next decade. The decision, which took effect Jan. 28, allows work to proceed on the full complement of zoo projects approved by metro-area voters in 2008. In all, these projects will transform nearly 40 percent of the zoo site.

"We're very grateful for this vote of confidence from City of Portland and equally grateful for the community's ongoing support," said Kim Smith, zoo director. "The zoo prides itself on doing the right thing — for the animals, of course, but also for our neighbors, for our visitors and for the entire community. The next 10 years should be among the most exciting in the zoo's 125-year history."

Two for the road: zoo finds home for orphaned cougar cubs

A pair of young cougar cubs found orphaned and starving near Missoula, Mont., have briefly taken up residence behind the scenes at the Oregon Zoo while they await a flight out of town this evening en route to a new, permanent home at Tennessee's Chattanooga Zoo. Oregon Zoo keeper Michelle Schireman described the 5-month-old siblings, one male and one female, as "intensely cute, but far from cuddly." "The cubs are about as large as medium-sized dogs, with paws as big as bread plates," Schireman said. "They still have a bit of blue about their eyes and the fuzzy spotted coats you see on younger cougar cubs, but both the blue and the spots have begun to fade."

Masto-gone: zoo's ice age visitor to return to Smithsonian

The Oregon Zoo’s Lilah Callen Holden Elephant Museum — home to elephant-related art, historical artifacts and a 7,000-year-old fossilized mastodon skeleton — will close its doors for good this month, as the zoo prepares for construction on Elephant Lands, a dramatic expansion of the Asian elephant habitat. Zoogoers wishing to see the museum one last time may visit Jan. 11-21, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Oregon Zoo’s top ten conservation stories of 2012

From pinhead-sized caterpillars to California condors, spanning locations as far flung as Uganda, Peru and Estacada, the Oregon Zoo's conservation efforts made a difference for dozens of threatened and endangered species in 2012. Here's a look back at our conservation highlights from the past year.

ZooLights ends season with free New Year's Eve train rides

ZooLights, the Oregon Zoo's winter wonderland of sparkling lights and colorful hues, closes out one of its most successful years ever Monday, Dec. 31. To celebrate, officials are treating visitors to a free New Year's Eve ride on the light-bedecked zoo train.

Wrinkles in time: a trunkful of memories from 2012

It's been a big year for Oregon Zoo elephants, from the 50th birthday of Packy in April to the birth of the newest member of the herd, Lily, in November. As the zoo celebrates a half-century of working with elephants, it looks forward to breaking ground on a visionary expansion of the Asian elephant habitat next spring.

Zoo to ring in holidays with "Presents for Primates"

The holidays will come a little early this year for the non-human primates at the Oregon Zoo. Chimpanzees and orangutans will receive food-filled gift boxes and quilts from their Secret Santas — i.e., primate keepers — during the zoo’s annual Presents for Primates, Saturday, Dec. 22 (chimps), and Sunday, Dec. 23 (orangs), at 10:30 a.m.

Zoo's new giraffe Desi is 10 feet tall and growing

He may be 7 feet shorter than his roommates, but it's no stretch to say Desi — the newest resident of the Oregon Zoo's Africa Savanna habitat — is now the tallest 2-year-old in town. The 10-foot-tall reticulated giraffe arrived from the St. Louis Zoo last month and has been warmly welcomed by Oregon Zoo keepers and staff, who think the young fellow will be a good companion for the zoo's two other giraffes, both 17-footers.

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