Animal welfare

"Animal welfare" refers to an animal's collective physical, mental, and emotional states, measured from poor to excellent. An excellent state of welfare requires that an animal is in good health, well nourished, able to express innate behavior and not suffering from pain or distress.

The combination of science and compassion required to provide a high quality of life for animals is referred to as animal care or husbandry, and it guides every decision we make at the Oregon Zoo.

Welfare science

By monitoring an animal's behavior, body condition and reproductive and stress hormones, we can form a clearer picture of its physical and psychological state. That information helps us better care for animals and improve their quality of life.

Zoo habitats and welfare

Animal welfare is the most important guiding principle in zoo habitat design. A state-of-the-art veterinary center, behavior monitoring lab, endocrine lab and nutrition center round out the high level of animal care at the Oregon Zoo.

Animal enrichment

The Oregon Zoo is a pioneer in animal enrichment – the act of improving animals' lives through stimulating and challenging environments, objects and activities.