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

May 16, 2013 - 9:55am

Portland’s community zoo, one of the oldest zoos in the country, turns 125 in November

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."

Here's how to participate:

  1. Find any photo taken at the zoo (of yourself, family and friends, Oregon Zoo animals, Oregon Zoo landmarks, etc.) — or find a piece of Oregon Zoo memorabilia (ZooKey, mug, Packy ears, map, etc.).
  2. Take a picture of your picture — or a picture of your memorabilia — and upload it to the zoo's Facebook page, or to Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #zoo125.
  3. Vote on your favorites, and get your friends to vote.

The photo with the most votes will be featured in an exhibit at the Oregon Historical Society this fall, tracing the zoo's progress from a small collection of exotic animals at a downtown pharmacy to a national leader in conservation, education and animal welfare.

In addition, the zoo will select 125 winning photos based on originality, historical value and the number of votes received. Each winner will get a stainless steel water bottle commemorating the zoo's 125th anniversary.

Photos may be submitted through noon on Tuesday, June 11.