Zoo digs out, plans to reopen for Feb. 11 'Second Tuesday'

February 10, 2014 - 5:23pm

Officials will conduct morning safety inspection before 10 a.m. opening

After a record February snowfall shuttered the Oregon Zoo over the past four days, officials say the popular destination is set to reopen in time for its monthly discounted-admission day Tuesday, Feb. 11. Depending on weather conditions, some animals may remain off-exhibit. The zoo's popular Second Tuesday admission-discount program, sponsored by the Walmart Foundation, 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. As always, children 2 and younger are admitted free.

"Our visitors didn't get to see it, but it's been beautiful up here on the hill," said Kim Smith, zoo director. "Unfortunately, all the ice that looks so pretty up in the trees can become a hazard when it starts to thaw and fall. We'll be walking through the zoo grounds before opening time to make sure it is safe for visitors."

The zoo is currently operating on its winter schedule, with gates open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and grounds open until 5 p.m. Although current plans are to open on schedule, Smith said visitors should check the zoo's web and social media sites for updates before heading out. She also noted that the city parking lot adjacent to the zoo and many of the nearby roadways could still have snow and ice.

"We urge anyone driving here to use extra caution," Smith said. "And we also hope that a lot of people opt to take MAX instead. The Washington Park stop lets passengers off just outside the zoo's main entrance."

Visitors who ride MAX light rail or a TriMet bus to the zoo will receive an additional $1.50 off their already discounted Second Tuesday admission with proof of ridership. For fare and route information, call TriMet customer service at 503-238-RIDE (7433), or visit www.trimet.org.