Big changes are happening at your zoo
In 2008, our community voted to invest $125 million in the zoo to protect animal welfare, increase access to conservation education and improve sustainability. Thanks to your support, the zoo's vision for a better future for wildlife is taking shape, with nearly half the zoo grounds getting an upgrade. Construction on the last three habitats—Polar Passage, Black Rhino and Primate Forest—has begun and will wrap up in 2021.
What to expect
Visitors will see crews and equipment in action. All paths will be open in 2019. In 2020, a modified route will provide new viewing opportunities. The polar bear, primate and rhino habitats will be closed, but be on the lookout for fun activities and new animal experiences elsewhere in the zoo. Visit Today at the Zoo to see specific animal areas that are closed.
Delivering on our promise
When the last three bond projects are completed, we will have transformed nearly 40 percent of the zoo. Scroll down to learn more about each project.
Coming in Spring 2021
This expansive new space will include natural landscaping, deep saltwater pools and extraordinary viewing opportunities. Bears will be able to patrol their habitat and take in views across the zoo.
Coming in January 2021
Design concepts for this new habitat include complex and stimulating outdoor areas, allowing freedom of movement for chimps while providing guests with exciting views and observations.
Coming in late Spring 2021
In the near future, visitors will be able to explore an expanded rhino habitat from multiple angles. Looking ahead, the zoo's 20-year master plan calls for construction of an Africa savanna habitat shared by a number of large grassland species including rhinos, gazelles and giraffes.
Completed in 2017
This beautiful and sustainably-built learning and activity center includes classrooms and meeting spaces, gardens and a Nature Exploration Station. Home to zoo camps, classes and fun programs offered by community conservation and education partners, the center will inspire you to get outside, learn about nature and take meaningful action on behalf of the natural world.
Completed in 2015
This world-class habitat provides the entire herd great health and welfare, along with opportunities to make their own choices. Visitors will discover these graceful giants moving through meadows, hills, mud wallows and pools. Join us in creating one of the most inspiring elephant experiences in the world.
Completed in 2014
The three-story Condors of the Columbia aviary includes an elevated viewing area offering visitors a rare up-close look at these massive birds – the largest in North America. Interactive displays guide visitors through the Oregon Zoo's decade-long effort with partners to recover these critically endangered birds.
Completed in 2012
Equipped to meet the medical needs of animals ranging from newts to bears, the LEED Gold-certified VMC building also includes a rainwater capture system, solar-heated water and an energy-efficient electrical system. The center provides comforting, climate-controlled spaces that support animals' health and healing.
Completed in 2011
To keep the penguins' water clean and clear, the zoo historically filled, dumped and refilled their pool. In 2011, the zoo installed a new modern life-support system that recycles water in the penguin pool and reduces water usage by more than 80 percent, saving millions of gallons annually.