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Proposed “Oregon Zoo Phase 2” Bond Measure

Community support has long been essential to the Oregon Zoo’s mission of connecting people with the wonder of wildlife.

Sea otters Juno and Uni Sushi in Steller Cove.

In May 2024, voters in Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties have the opportunity to vote on a proposed Oregon Zoo bond measure. If passed, the measure would fund new projects to protect animal health and well-being, provide conservation education, and conserve water and energy at the zoo; the proposed measure is not estimated to increase current bond tax rates.

The last zoo bond measure, which voters approved in 2008, modernized roughly 40% of the zoo, with projects including Elephant Lands, Primate Forest, Polar Passage, the veterinary medical center and the education center. 

If the new bond measure is passed, it would initiate a second phase of projects in parts of the campus not improved through the 2008 bond. These include some of the zoo’s oldest animal areas, educational exhibits, visitor facilities and infrastructure. 

Proposed priorities

Proposed projects, identified in an investment framework adopted by the Metro Council on Feb. 1, 2024, include the following:

  1. Updating aging exhibits with more natural, modern habitats, including but not limited to penguins, sea otters and giraffes.
  2. Improving facilities to enhance educational opportunities for children and other zoo visitors to learn about animals and habitat conservation.
  3. Conserving water and energy in zoo operations and updated infrastructure.
  4. Improving facilities supporting the zoo’s conservation work protecting and restoring threatened and endangered species in the Northwest and beyond.
  5. Increasing accessibility for visitors of all abilities, including improved paths and exhibits.
  6. Improving protection from heat and extreme weather for animals and visitors.
  7. Improving facilities to prepare for animal care in a natural disaster or emergency.

If the measure passes, a detailed bond implementation plan will be presented to the Metro Council within four months of the election.

If the measure does not pass, these bonds would not be authorized, and the proposed zoo habitat, facility and infrastructure improvements would not occur.