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Animal well-being

The combination of science and compassion required to provide a high quality of life for animals guides every decision we make at the Oregon Zoo.

Keeper Ali Azevedo with Maple the beaver

Oregon Zoo endocrinology lab

Welfare science

Animal welfare refers to an animal's collective physical, mental, and emotional states, measured from poor to excellent. 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.

Polar bear Nora in Polar Passage habitat

Zoo habitats and well-being

Animal well-being 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.


RIng-tailed lemurs with camellia enrichment


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