AAA Editor Notes
Oregon Zoo is at 4001 S.W. Canyon Rd. The zoo entrance welcomes visitors to the alpine atmosphere of a mountain village. The plaza overlooks a simulation of the Cascade Mountains, with mountain goats and a snow cave. Exhibits replicate the natural environments of zoo inhabitants.
The Great Northwest exhibit offers visitors a close-up view of black bears, bobcats, cougars and eagles, while the Africa Savanna features giraffes, hippopotamuses and a black rhino. The Africa Rain Forest includes bats, colobus monkeys and tropical birds. Streams, foliage and thunderstorms in the Bamba du Jon Swamp provide a habitat for crocodiles, fish and reptiles.
More than 25 elephants have been born here, including the zoo’s most famous resident, Packy, born in 1962. Elephant Lands, the zoo's 6-acre home for its elephant family, opened in late 2015. Featuring five outdoor habitats and Forest Hall, an indoor habitat, Elephant Lands is designed to allow elephants freedom of movement among stimulating environments that include feeding stations, sand and mud wallows and a large pool that can accommodate the whole elephant clan.
Predators of the Serengeti features cheetahs, lions and African wild dogs in a re-created environment that includes grasslands, traditional African huts, a waterfall and a replica of a baobab tree. The three-story Condors of the Columbia aviary is home to three adult birds that cannot be released in the wild.
In the summer and during ZooLights, the zoo's winter festival, visitors can board the Zoo Railway for a 4-mile ride through the zoo and surrounding wooded hillsides to the International Rose Test Garden and Portland Japanese Garden before catching a later train back to the zoo.
Parking sometimes is limited; taking MAX Light Rail is a convenient alternative to driving.
Food is available. Time: Allow 3 hours minimum.