Out like a lion: zoo smashes March attendance records

April 9, 2013 - 9:24am

This week's Second Tuesday lets community see more zoo animals for less

The Oregon Zoo shattered attendance records in March, as nearly 160,000 visitors flocked to the park to see new additions like pink flamingos, a baby DeBrazza's monkey and a river otter pup just learning to swim.

This week, the zoo's monthly discount day offers a chance to see more animals for less. Second Tuesday is tomorrow, April 9, and admission is just $4.

"There's always something new to see at the zoo," said Kim Smith, zoo director. "The flamingos look gorgeous — they've been making themselves at home in the remodeled Africa Rainforest aviary. Our 2-month-old river otter, Molalla, is getting swimming lessons from his mom. And in the Africa Savanna habitat, four new Speke's gazelles are roaming around with the zebra and giraffes."

The zoo's popular Second Tuesday admission-discount program, sponsored by the Walmart Foundation with support from The Standard, offers a reduced admission price of $4 on the second Tuesday of each month, a discount of more than 65 percent from regular zoo admission. As always, children 2 and younger are admitted free. Visitors who ride MAX light rail or the bus to the zoo will receive an additional $1.50 off general admission and are not required to pay the $4 per vehicle parking fee. (MAX and bus discounts require proof of ridership.)

In March, the zoo welcomed 159,718 visitors, a record for the month. The zoo also set attendance records for Rabbit Romp (15,885), Easter Sunday (9,446 visitors) and spring break week for Portland Public Schools (86,131 visitors from March 23-31; the previous record of 64,732 had been set in 1992).