Zoo to open early, close early on Aug. 13 2nd Tuesday

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Reduced admission, double MAX discount let visitors see zoo for just 50 cents

Visitors who travel by MAX can see the Oregon Zoo for just 50 cents a person Aug. 13 — and zoo officials are encouraging them to get an early start.

The zoo will close at 4 p.m. that day to set up for a private event in the evening. To make up for lost time, gates will open an hour early at 8 a.m. and the zoo is knocking an additional 50 cents off its standard admission discount for Second Tuesday, sponsored by the Walmart Foundation.

Admission for the day will be $3.50 instead of $4; as always, children 2 and younger are admitted free. Visitors already in the zoo by 4 p.m. may stay on grounds until 5 p.m. The zoo will also double its standard $1.50 discount for visitors who arrive by MAX or a TriMet bus (proof of ridership is required).

"With a $3.50 admission price and a transportation discount of $3, you can see the zoo for only 50 cents on Aug. 13," said Kim Smith, zoo director. "Plus you'll avoid the traffic and won't have to worry about parking."

Over the past five years, the zoo has averaged more than 14,000 visitors on its August reduced-admission day, with the parking lot usually reaching capacity well before noon.

"We don't want anyone to miss out, so we're encouraging people to come early and ride MAX," Smith said. "Not all of the animals are visible at 8 a.m., but it's fun to see them as they first come out. It's a time when they're usually quite active."

Among the zoo's early risers are bald eagles, salmon, frogs, turtles and waterfowl in the Great Northwest area; Humboldt penguins and Inca terns in the Penguinarium; birds in the Vollum Aviary; naked mole rats and spiny mice in the Africa exhibit; fish and reptiles in the Amazon Flooded Forest; insects in the Insect Zoo; and sometimes elephants.

The zoo's popular Second Tuesday admission-discount program, presented by the Walmart Foundation with additional 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.