Zoo to implement non-smoking policy May 26

The zoo will go tobacco-free in compliance with new Metro policy

The Oregon Zoo is going smoke-free. Starting May 26, the use of tobacco products, including cigarettes, will be prohibited on zoo grounds as part of a wider policy that affects all Metro-operated facilities. Smoking has long been prohibited inside zoo buildings, but has previously been allowed in designated outdoor areas.

"Eliminating tobacco and its byproducts, particularly secondhand smoke, will help us provide a healthy, safe environment for visitors, staff and animals," said Kim Smith, zoo director.

Last May, the Metro Council unanimously approved a policy limiting the use of all tobacco products on Metro grounds. The policy is a part of larger efforts at Metro to promote healthy and sustainable communities and maintain clean outdoor spaces free of pollutants. It also supports the agency's primary responsibility of preserving and enhancing the quality of life and the environment for future generations.

The council decided to implement the policy in a series of four phases over the course of a year. Now, the Oregon Zoo, part of the final phase, is emptying its ashtrays for the last time.

Metro, the regional government that serves 1.4 million people who live in the 25 cities and three counties of the Portland metropolitan area, provides planning and other services that protect the nature and livability of our region.

The Oregon Zoo is a service of Metro and is dedicated to its mission of inspiring the community to create a better future for wildlife. Committed to conservation, the zoo is currently working to save endangered California condors, Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits, Oregon silverspot and Taylor’s checkerspot butterflies, Western pond turtles and Oregon spotted frogs. Other projects include studies on black rhinos, Asian elephants, polar bears and bats.
The zoo relies in part on community support through donations to the Oregon Zoo Foundation to undertake these and many other animal welfare, education and sustainability programs. The zoo is located five minutes from downtown Portland, just off Highway 26 at exit 72. The zoo is also accessible by MAX light rail line. Visitors who travel to the zoo via MAX receive $1.50 off zoo admission. Find fare and route information online or by calling TriMet Customer Service at 503-238-RIDE (7433).
General zoo admission is $10.50 (ages 12-64), $9 for seniors (65 and up), $7.50 for children (ages 3-11) and free for those 2 and younger; 25 cents of the admission price helps fund regional conservation projects through the zoo’s Future for Wildlife program. A parking fee of $4 per car is also required. Additional information is available by calling 503-226-1561.

Media contact: 

Hova Najarian at 503-220-5714 or hova.najarian@oregonzoo.org
Chelsea Mitchell at 503-220-5716 or chelsea.mitchell@oregonzoo.org