A new zoo

Big changes have happened 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 has taken shape, with nearly half the zoo grounds upgraded. Construction on the last three habitats—Polar Passage, Black Rhino and Primate Forest — wrapped up in 2021.

Delivering on our promise

With the last three bond projects now completed, we have transformed about 40 percent of the zoo. Scroll down to learn more about each project.

polar bear in habitat
Polar Passage

Completed in 2021

This expansive new space includes natural landscaping, deep saltwater pools and extraordinary viewing opportunities. Bears can patrol their habitat and take in views across the zoo.

chimpanzee climbing in habitat
Primate Forest

Completed in 2021

This new habitat includes complex and stimulating outdoor areas, allowing freedom of movement for chimps while providing guests with exciting views and observations.

Rhino in habitat
Rhino Ridge

Completed in 2021

Visitors are 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.

Education Center

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.

Elephant Lands

Completed in 2015

This award-winning, 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.

Condors of the Columbia

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.

Veterinary Medical Center

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.

Penguin filtration upgrade

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.