Oregon Zoo


Mon, 11/19/2007 - 8:23 AM — facadmin

Oregon Zoo

4001 SW Canyon Rd.
Portland, OR 97221-9704
USA

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Rose-Tu, One Of Oregon Zoo's Favorite Elephants Is In Labor Fri, 8/22/2008 - 7:13 PM — rudy

Zookeepers and veterinarians at the Oregon Zoo are on alert this morning, as Rose-Tu continues to show signs of the onset of labor. Rose-Tu's due date was mid-September so the first signs of labor were somewhat of a surprise to watchful keepers.

"With a 22-month gestation period, it is not unusual to have dates vary by a month or more," says Mitch Finnegan, the zoo's lead veterinarian.

Finnegan believes the birth may take place sometime within the next 24 hours. Signs of Rose-Tu's labor include mucous discharge and a drop in her blood progesterone levels.

"The birth of a new baby is the most enriching thing that can happen in an elephant herd," said Mike Keele, the zoo's deputy director, and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Plan coordinator for Asian elephants. "If all goes well, and we hope it will, the rest of the herd will tightly bond and protect the baby as if it were their own. There are some risks associated with being a first-time mother, but we're hopeful."

With more than 30 years of zoo experience, Keele is keenly aware that there is a 30 percent infant mortality rate among captive Asian elephants. There is no reliable data on the infant mortality rate in the wild.

"There can be complications to both mother and calf," said Keele. "A calf may be stillborn or get lodged in the birthing canal. We'll be monitoring her pregnancy very closely."

If the birth is successful, the baby will be Rose-Tu's first, and it will be the 28th baby elephant born at the Oregon Zoo. The father is Tusko.

Baby elephants normally weigh 225 to 325 pounds; however, when Rose-Tu was born she weighed 184 pounds. Elephants are able to stand within 45 minutes of birth.

If healthy, the new baby could be in the elephant viewing room, ready to see zoo visitors in a couple of days.

However, Finnegan warns that these things are on their own schedule.

"We're just waiting on Rose-Tu now. Even though Tusko sired this calf, there are a lot of expectant fathers here," Finnegan said.

Rose-Tu, born Aug. 31, 1994, was the last elephant born at the zoo. She is a popular elephant within the herd and with her keepers. She is always looking to tease her herd mates and shares a strong friendship with Chendra, who is nearly the same age. Rose-Tu is the second-smallest elephant in the herd, weighing about 7,600 pounds.

Tusko arrived at the zoo in June 2005 on a breeding loan. He has sired three calves in the past -- two while living in Canada and one in California.

In the fall of 2006, Tusko was introduced to Rose-Tu in hopes the two would make a love connection. The zoo monitors the female elephants' ovulatory cycles closely and planned the introduction for the appropriate time.

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Plan for Asian elephants recommended that Rose-Tu be bred with Tusko. The AZA, of which the Oregon Zoo is an accredited member, strives to maintain a sustainable population of the endangered elephants in North America. Currently, birth rates are lower than necessary to do so. With few bulls and low birth rates - combined with an aging female population - the North American elephant population is at of risk becoming extinct.

In the late 1990s, scientists warned zoos that unless a reproductive management program was undertaken, North America was in danger of not being able to sustain a viable elephant population. Statistics indicate that if females do not become pregnant by the age of 25, their ability to reproduce is severely diminished.

The Oregon Zoo has a renowned breeding program for endangered Asian elephants. More than 25 elephants have been born at the zoo, beginning with Packy in 1962. From 1994 to 2005, the zoo suspended its breeding program because it lacked the space to house four bull elephants. The zoo could not risk the 50 percent chance of having another male, which would grow up to be a powerful bull elephant, with no home in which to place him.

An endangered species, Asian elephants are represented by an estimated 38,000 to 51,000 individuals living in fragmented populations in the wild.
Agriculture, deforestation and conflict with humans pose a constant threat to wild Asian elephants.

The zoo opens at 8 a.m. daily and is located five minutes from downtown Portland, just off Highway 26. The zoo is also accessible by MAX light rail line. Zoo visitors are encouraged to ride MAX or take TriMet bus No. 63.
Visitors who take the bus or MAX receive $1 off zoo admission. Call TriMet Customer Service, 503-238-RIDE (7433), or visit www.trimet.org for fare and route information.

General admission is $9.75 (12-64), seniors $8.25 (65+), children $6.75 (3-11), and infants 2 and under are free; 25 cents of the admission price helps fund regional conservation projects through the zoo's Future for Wildlife program. A parking fee of $2 per car is also required. Additional information is available at www.oregonzoo.org or by calling 503-226-1561.
 

PHOTO #1:  Rose-Tu, left, and Tusko share a moment at the Oregon Zoo's Asian elephant exhibit. Photo by Mackenzie Reed, courtesy of the Oregon Zoo.

PHOTO #2:  Asian elephant Rose-Tu enjoys a swim at the Oregon Zoo. Photo by Michael Durham, courtesy of the Oregon Zoo

 

 


Oregon Zoo Is Pulling Out The Christmas Lights Already Thu, 8/21/2008 - 3:29 PM — rudy

When the animals go to bed, the lights come out to play.

This fall, more than a million bright bulbs will illuminate the zoo for the 21st annual ZooLights festival, beginning Nov. 29 at 5 p.m. This family tradition, presented by The Boeing Company, features life-size animal silhouettes and moving light sculptures on display throughout the zoo.

Families can expect to see their old favorites as well as some new surprises - including unicorns, dinosaurs and an animated, roaring lion in honor of the upcoming Predators of the Serengeti exhibit, scheduled to open in 2009.

"Every year, the zoo presents a stunning display of light and color," says Tony Vecchio, zoo director. "I know many people in our community eagerly anticipate ZooLights, and look forward to seeing the many new touches we add each year. It's so gratifying to know the Oregon Zoo has become an important holiday tradition to so many families."

The entry plaza transports guests to Bremen, Germany, with a glowing replica of its statue depicting the four farm animals from the Brothers Grimm fairy tale "The Bremen Town Musicians." As folks work their way from the plaza down the boardwalk, they'll encounter classic ZooLights scenes such leaping reindeer and tobogganing polar bears.

A right turn from the boardwalk deposits guests at the wheels of the famous Oregon Steamer train, decked out in luminous finery for a holiday express jaunt around the zoo.

Visitors can continue on through Tiger Plaza to meet up with Dorothy, Toto, the Cowardly Lion, and the good and wicked witches from the Land of Oz, relocated this year via a revamped cyclone from the zoo's Trillium Creek Family Farm.

Life-size, three-dimensional beasts linger on the zoo's concert lawn, which has been transformed into a 180-foot-long meandering river of LED lights.
Hippos graze near the water while crocodiles lie in wait, ready to snap their jaws on unsuspecting prey. From above, an African fish eagle swoops down and scoops fish from the river.

Much-loved displays from previous years make an encore appearance, including the trumpeting elephants and swinging siamangs. Visitors can dodge a dangling anaconda, watch playful penguins dive into arctic waters, and pass beneath a 35-foot-long dragon.

A huge polar bear, rebuilt and brighter than ever, makes his reappearance this year in recognition of the Year of the Polar Bear.

Music fanatics can enjoy the highly animated light silhouette of Mick Jaguar, who performs on the concert stage with his all-star animal band:
Packy Pachyderm tickling the ivories, Richard Lion playing guitar, Gerri Giraffe on bass, Billy Bear on trumpet, Orville Orangutan on drums and Willy Wildebeest on sax. The Ostrich Sisters add backing vocals.

Live music will resound throughout the zoo as well, with more than 100 schools, churches, professional groups and local dance troupes performing holiday musical selections.

Popular costumed characters and elves will greet zoo visitors and pose for pictures. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer joins Buddy Beaver, Honey Bear, Eliza Elephant, Lulu Lemur, Nate the Eagle, Rock E. Goat, Sandy Sea Otter and Titus Tiger as they mingle among guests. Some of the zoo's animals will also be visible, including mountain goats, elephants, primates, and pettable sheep and goats.

For last-minute shoppers, the zoo's gift shop is bursting with animal-related gifts. Paintings by the zoo's talented elephant Rama are available for purchase on zoo grounds during festival hours.

The Cascade Grill serves a holiday buffet on select nights and offers a limited menu on evenings when the buffet is not available. AfriCafe and food carts throughout the zoo will provide holiday treats and warm beverages every night during ZooLights.

To see a preview of the light display, visit www.oregonzoo.org/Events/ZooLights/preview.htm.

ZooLights runs Nov. 29 through Dec. 28. Hours are 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Guests have one hour past closing time to make their way back to the front gate. During this time, lights and other activities continue until the gates close. The festival is closed Dec. 24-25.

ZooLights package tickets, which include admission and a train ride, are $10 for adults (12-64), $8.50 for seniors (65 and older), $7 for children (3-11), and free for children 2 and under. For additional information, visit www.oregonzoo.org.

The zoo is a service of Metro and is dedicated to its mission to inspire the community to create a better future for wildlife. Committed to conservation, the zoo is currently working to save endangered California condors, Washington's pygmy rabbits, Oregon silverspot butterflies, Oregon spotted frogs and western pond turtles. Other projects include studies on black rhinos, Asian elephants, polar bears and bats.

The zoo opens at 9 a.m. daily and is located five minutes from downtown Portland, just off Highway 26. The zoo is also accessible by MAX light rail line. Zoo visitors are encouraged to ride MAX or take TriMet bus No. 63.
Visitors who take the bus or MAX receive $1 off zoo admission. Call TriMet Customer Service, 503-238-RIDE (7433), or visit www.trimet.org for fare and route information.

General admission is $9.75 (12-64), seniors $8.25 (65+), children $6.75 (3-11), and infants 2 and under are free; 25 cents of the admission price helps fund regional conservation


Put on Your Dancing Shoes and Head to the Oregon Zoo Sat, 8/2/2008 - 5:49 PM — rudy

"Folk punk"? "Grungegrass"? "Indie-roots"? The Avett Brothers' genre-busting take on Americana has left reviewers searching for new descriptions -- and new ways to say "awesome." Local music fans can see for themselves when the band plays the Oregon Zoo Sunday, Aug. 24, at 7 p.m., concluding the zoo's summer concert series presented by Fred Meyer and Wells Fargo. Also on the bill: alt-folk troubadour Shawn Mullins.

"The Avett Brothers take the traditional sounds you might expect from well-traveled bluegrass and country stars, then add an edge that surprises and thrills," said Krista Swan, zoo events coordinator.

Southern-born siblings Scott and Seth Avett began delving into country and bluegrass during breaks from their North Carolina rock band, Nemo. As they became more and more comfortable with the stylistic techniques of other genres, they joined upright bassist and vocalist Bob Crawford to form the Avett Brothers.

The Avetts' 2007 album "Emotionalism" reached No. 1 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart, and featured the pithy song "The Ballad of Love and Hate." The band is currently touring in support of its new EP, "The Second Gleam," released July 22.

To see a video of the Avett Brothers performing "Talk On Indolence," visit www.oregonzoo.org/VideoArchive/Concerts/Avettbros.htm.

Like the Avett Brothers, Shawn Mullins draws inspiration from his Southern roots. Born in Atlanta, Mullins left a military career to pursue his musical ambitions. His songs reflect the life experiences of a well-worn traveler.

Mullins' 1998 breakthrough album, "Soul's Core," went platinum and featured the Grammy-nominated Top 10 hit "Lullaby." The album was acclaimed both for its acoustic melodies and poignant lyrics. Chuck Eddy of Rolling Stone praised Mullins' "startlingly specific sense of storytelling," noting that the singer's "character sketches exhibit an eye for detail that any journalist would envy."

Mullins' latest album, "Honeydew," came out in March, inspired by and recorded in his home state of Georgia.

To see a video of Shawn Mullins' "Beautiful Wreck," visit www.oregonzoo.org/VideoArchive/Concerts/ShawnMullins.htm.

Tickets for the concert can be purchased at the Oregon Zoo for $17 each.
Tickets can also be purchased (with service charge) online or at Ticketmaster locations at area Fred Meyer stores. For more information on the concert schedule, to read artists' biographies or purchase tickets, please visit www.oregonzoo.org.

The Oregon Zoo has brought outdoor music to Portland for 30 years. In 1979, the zoo became the first zoo in the nation to host a summer concert series.
Since then, the series has become one of the top outdoor events in the Northwest, and is the region's longest-running outdoor series.

Fred Meyer and Wells Fargo are the presenting sponsors of the series. This year's series is also co-sponsored by KINK fm 102 and KATU Television and PDX magazine.

The zoo is a service of Metro and is dedicated to its mission to inspire the community to create a better future for wildlife. Committed to conservation, the zoo is currently working to save endangered California condors, Washington's pygmy rabbits, Oregon silverspot butterflies, Oregon spotted frogs and western pond turtles. Other projects include studies on black rhinos, Asian elephants, polar bears and bats.

The zoo opens at 8 a.m. daily and is located five minutes from downtown Portland, just off Highway 26. The zoo is also accessible by MAX light rail line. Zoo visitors are encouraged to ride MAX or take TriMet bus No. 63.
Visitors who take the bus or MAX receive $1 off zoo admission. Call TriMet Customer Service, 503-238-RIDE (7433), or visit www.trimet.org for fare and route information.

General admission is $9.75 (12-64), seniors $8.25 (65+), children $6.75 (3-11), and infants 2 and under are free; 25 cents of the admission price helps fund regional conservation projects through the zoo's Future for Wildlife program. A parking fee of $2 per car is also required. Additional information is available at www.oregonzoo.org or by calling 503-226-1561.
 


This Is A Very Popular Place Wed, 7/30/2008 - 6:44 AM — rudy

A popular new dinosaur exhibit, camps, concerts and family-friendly events helped boost the Oregon Zoo's attendance to 1,500,462 for the fiscal year ending June 30, the second-highest figure in the zoo's 121-year history. This marks the second time zoo attendance has topped 1.5 million, and falls just 8,102 admissions short of the previous record, set last year, when the zoo attracted 1,508,564 visitors.

Metro Council President David Bragdon is pleased by the strong community support.

"The strong attendance is a testament to the quality of our community's zoo," says Bragdon. "The zoo not only provides a wonderful family experience, but also supports conservation education and our vision to create a better future for wildlife."

Oregon Zoo Director Tony Vecchio attributes the near-record year to the zoo's excellent programs and special events -- and the popularity of its summer "Dinosaurs!" exhibit, which lets visitors meander through an ancient rain forest filled with lifelike prehistoric creatures.

"We're always trying to make new and innovative additions to draw in first-time visitors and bring back our loyal supporters," he says.

According to Bragdon, events such as ZooLights, the summer concert series and the World Animal Festival not only bring in more visitors, they also help fund the zoo's many conservation and education programs.

"We attract large audiences because of our commitment to offer new exhibits and programs," says Bragdon. "With work under way on the new Red Ape Reserve exhibit and the highly anticipated Predators of the Serengeti, I'm very optimistic that we'll continue to be the most well-attended zoo in the Northwest."

The first time the zoo's attendance topped 1 million was during 1962-63, the fiscal year immediately following Packy's birth in April 1962. The baby pachyderm drew 1,010,964 spectators from all over the Northwest, eager to see the first elephant born in the United States in 44 years. It wasn't until 1989 that the zoo broke the one million mark again. Since then, the zoo has welcomed more than a million guests in 17 of the past 20 years.

The Oregon Zoo continues to have the highest attendance of any fee-based tourist attraction in Oregon. Only Multnomah Falls and Spirit Mountain Casino, which do not charge admission fees, have more annual visitors.

The zoo is a service of Metro and is dedicated to its mission to inspire the community to create a better future for wildlife. Committed to conservation, the zoo is currently working to save endangered California condors, Washington's pygmy rabbits, Oregon silverspot butterflies, western pond turtles, and Oregon spotted frogs. Other projects include studies on black rhinos, Asian elephants, polar bears and bats.

The zoo opens at 8 a.m. daily and is located five minutes from downtown Portland, just off Highway 26. The zoo is also accessible by MAX light rail line. Zoo visitors are encouraged to ride MAX or take TriMet bus No. 63.
Visitors who take the bus or MAX receive $1 off zoo admission. Call TriMet Customer Service, 503-238-RIDE (7433), or visit www.trimet.org for fare and route information.

General admission is $9.75 (12-64), seniors $8.25 (65+), children $6.75 (3-11), and infants 2 and under are free; 25 cents of the admission price helps fund regional conservation projects through the zoo's Future for Wildlife program. A parking fee of $2 per car is also required. Additional information is available at www.oregonzoo.org or by calling 503-226-1561.

Photo: A T. rex roars at Andy, a 7-year-old visiting the Oregon Zoo's dinosaur trail. The popular dinosaur exhibit helped push zoo attendance past
1.5 million for the second year in a row during the fiscal year ending June 30. Photo by Michael Durham, courtesy of the Oregon Zoo.

OREGON ZOO ATTENDANCE HISTORY (Fiscal Year July 1-June 30)


YEAR----TOTAL
07-08-----1,500,462
06-07-----1,508,564
05-06-----1,365,459
04-05-----1,331,282
03-04-----1,318,458
02-03-----1,293,597
01-02-----1,319,459
00-01-----1,367,940
99-00-----1,226,002
98-99-----1,047,279
97-98-----1,004,795
96-97-----945,013
95-96-----1,052,810
94-95-----1,151,444
93-94-----1,104,369
92-93-----977,522
91-92-----1,162,078
90-91-----952,925
89-90-----1,080,342
88-89-----1,003,413
87-88-----892,220
86-87-----977,959
85-86-----794,578
84-85-----814,548
83-84-----738,444
82-83-----715,707
81-82-----694,994
80-81-----712,766
79-80-----675,877
78-79-----555,970
77-78-----562,645
76-77-----641,313
75-76-----556,675
74-75-----451,435
73-74-----475,903
72-73-----584,905
71-72-----594,180
70-71-----721,858
69-70-----739,082
68-69-----659,158
67-68-----720,892
66-67-----740,865
65-66-----712,029
64-65-----746,948
63-64-----837,322
62-63-----1,010,964
61-62-----915,911
60-61-----662,842
59-60-----665,775
 


New Animals and New Exhibits Thu, 7/24/2008 - 9:04 AM — rudy

Oregon Zoo Presents Its New Animals and Exhibits

Construction is under way on the new Predators of the Serengeti exhibit in the Oregon Zoo's Africa complex, but there's also activity in the zoo's Africa Savanna and Rainforest exhibits. Six new animals have arrived recently.

Averill, a 6-year-old male Allen's swamp monkey has been introduced to the two other swamp monkeys and four colobus monkeys in his Rainforest exhibit.
He's from Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo.

A DeBrazza's monkey, a gerenuk and three Speke's gazelles have new homes in the Savanna exhibit:

· The DeBrazza's monkey, a 7-year-old male named Gus, arrived from the
Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kan. He shares an exhibit with the zoo's female DeBrazza's monkey, Debra.

· Call him Mr. Brooks, please. The 2-year-old male gerenuk with the formal
name hails from the Oklahoma City Zoo.

· Three female Speke's gazelles from St. Louis and Los Angeles join a male
and female already residing in the zoo's Savanna exhibit.

"Our Africa exhibits are bustling with activity," commented Oregon Zoo Director Tony Vecchio. "We're excited to have all the new animals, and look forward to even more when Predators of the Serengeti opens next summer.
Fund-raising is exceeding expectations. When we meet the $300,000 challenge grant from the Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation and the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, we will surpass our goal."

Set to open in 2009, Predators of the Serengeti celebrates African predators large and small, including lions, cheetahs, African wild dogs, red-billed hornbills, dwarf mongooses and caracals. For more information, visit www.oregonzoo.org/ROAR.

The zoo is a service of Metro and is dedicated to its mission to inspire the community to create a better future for wildlife. Committed to conservation, the zoo is currently working to save endangered California condors, Washington's pygmy rabbits, Oregon silverspot butterflies, western pond turtles, Oregon spotted frogs and Kincaid's lupine. Other projects include studies on black rhinos, Asian elephants, polar bears and bats.

The zoo opens at 8 a.m. daily and is located five minutes from downtown Portland, just off Highway 26. The zoo is also accessible by MAX light rail line. Zoo visitors are encouraged to ride MAX or take TriMet bus No. 63.
Visitors who take the bus or MAX receive $1 off zoo admission. Call TriMet Customer Service, 503-238-RIDE (7433), or visit www.trimet.org for fare and route information.

General admission is $9.75 (12-64), seniors $8.25 (65+), children $6.75 (3-11), and infants 2 and under are free; 25 cents of the admission price helps fund regional conservation projects through the zoo's Future for Wildlife program. A parking fee of $2 per car is also required. Additional information is available at www.oregonzoo.org or by calling 503-226-1561.
 

Photo 1: African lions have not been seen at the Oregon Zoo for more than 10 years. That will change when Predators of the Serengeti opens in summer 2009. Photo by Michael Durham, courtesy of the Oregon Zoo.

Photo 2: Mr. Brooks, a handsome 2-year-old gerenuk from Oklahoma City, is one of six animals newly arrived at the Oregon Zoo's Africa complex. Photo by Michael Durham, courtesy of the Oregon Zoo.


Oregon Zoo's Pregnant Pachyderm: It's A Girl Thu, 7/10/2008 - 10:31 PM — rudy

In just a couple of months, Rose-Tu, the Oregon Zoo's pregnant Asian elephant, will be having a baby girl. Probably.

"We're pretty confident it's going to be a girl," said Mitch Finnegan, the zoo's lead veterinarian, "although I'm still not putting any money on it."

The announcement came following analyses of hormone levels in Rose-Tu's blood. Typically, Finnegan says, testosterone levels would be higher if the baby were going to be male. However, he adds, with so few elephants born in captivity, the sample size is fairly small and there is still a bit of room for error.

The much-anticipated addition to the zoo's elephant herd, conceived in late 2006, is due to arrive any time from late August to early October. Tusko, a 13,500-pound, 36-year-old Asian elephant, is the father.

Although Rose-Tu is nearly 20 months pregnant, you'll still need to look closely to spot her "baby bump," Finnegan says. The bulge that some visitors have been noticing is actually "part baby, part breakfast" -- the result of Rose-Tu's abdominal organs shifting to make room for the baby.

"For many wild animals," Finnegan notes, "the signs of pregnancy are a lot less obvious than they are in humans."

In the fall of 2006, Tusko was introduced to Rose-Tu in hopes the two would make a love connection. The zoo monitors the female elephants' ovulatory cycles closely and planned the introduction for the appropriate time.

"We were confident that when we introduced Tusko to the girls, sparks would fly," said zoo Deputy Director Mike Keele, who also serves as the Asian elephant Species Survival Plan coordinator for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. "From what we saw that day, Tusko was a quite the gentleman, a real 'lady's elephant' -- a true Casanova."

Rose-Tu gets along very well with Tusko and seemed receptive to his advances. Her keepers describe Rose-Tu as playful and highly intelligent; they hope she will be a doting mother.

"The birth of a new baby is the most enriching thing that can happen in an elephant herd," said Keele. "If all goes well, and we hope it will, the rest of the herd will tightly bond and protect the baby as if it were their own.
There are some risks associated with being a first-time mother, but we're hopeful."

With more than 30 years of zoo experience, Keele is keenly aware that there is a 30 percent infant mortality rate among captive Asian elephants. There is no reliable data on the infant mortality rate in the wild.

"There can be complications to both mother and calf," said Keele. "A calf may be stillborn or get lodged in the birthing canal. We'll be monitoring her pregnancy very closely."

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Plan for Asian elephants recommended that Rose-Tu be bred with Tusko. The AZA, of which the Oregon Zoo is an accredited member, strives to maintain a sustainable population of the endangered elephants in North America. Currently, birth rates are lower than necessary to do so. With few bulls and low birth rates -- combined with an aging female population -- the North American elephant population is at of risk becoming extinct.

In the late 1990s, scientists warned zoos that unless a reproductive management program was undertaken, North America was in danger of not sustaining a viable elephant population. Statistics indicate that if females do not become pregnant by the age of 25, their ability to reproduce is severely diminished.

The Oregon Zoo has a renowned breeding program for endangered Asian elephants. More than 25 elephants have been born at the zoo, beginning with Packy in 1962. From 1994 to 2005, the zoo suspended its breeding program because it lacked the space to house four bull elephants. The zoo could not risk the 50 percent chance of having another male, which would grow up to be a powerful bull elephant with no home to place him.

Rose-Tu, born Aug. 31, 1994, was the last elephant born at the zoo.

Rose-Tu is a popular elephant within the herd and with her keepers. She is always looking to tease her herd mates and shares a strong friendship with Chendra, who is nearly the same age. Rose-Tu is the second smallest elephant in the herd, weighing about 7,600 pounds.

Tusko arrived at the zoo in June 2005 on a breeding loan. He has successfully sired three calves in the past -- two while living in Canada and one in California.

An endangered species, Asian elephants are represented by an estimated 38,000 to 51,000 individuals living in fragmented populations in the wild.
Agriculture, deforestation and conflict with humans pose a constant threat to wild Asian elephants.

The zoo is a service of Metro and is dedicated to its mission to inspire the community to create a better future for wildlife. Committed to conservation, the zoo is currently working to save endangered California condors, Washington's pygmy rabbits, Oregon silverspot butterflies, western pond turtles, and Oregon spotted frogs. Other projects include studies on black rhinos, Asian elephants, polar bears and bats.

The zoo opens at 8 a.m. daily and is located five minutes from downtown Portland, just off Highway 26. The zoo is also accessible by MAX light rail line. Zoo visitors are encouraged to ride MAX or take TriMet bus No. 63.
Visitors who take the bus or MAX receive $1 off zoo admission. Call TriMet Customer Service, 503-238-RIDE (7433), or visit www.trimet.org for fare and route information.

General admission is $9.75 (12-64), seniors $8.25 (65+), children $6.75 (3-11), and infants 2 and under are free; 25 cents of the admission price helps fund regional conservation projects through the zoo's Future for Wildlife program. A parking fee of $2 per car is also required. Additional information is available at www.oregonzoo.org or by calling 503-226-1561.

 
PHOTO 1: Asian elephant Rose-Tu enjoys a swim at the Oregon Zoo. Photo by Michael Durham, courtesy of the Oregon Zoo.

PHOTO 2: Rose-Tu, left, and Tusko share a moment at the Oregon Zoo's Asian elephant exhibit. Photo by Mackenzie Reed, courtesy of the Oregon Zoo.


Oregon Zoo ¨ 4001 SW Canyon Rd. ¨ Portland, Oregon 97221 ¨ 503-226-1561 ¨ www.oregonzoo.org
 


Zoo opens earlier, offers special pricing Tue, 6/17/2008 - 1:52 PM — rudy

Everyone wants more time, and that's what the Oregon Zoo is giving its visitors this summer. Zoo gates open at 8 a.m. through Labor Day, allowing visitors an extra hour to roam the grounds.

 

"Many of our visitors like coming early to beat the crowds," said Oregon Zoo Director Tony Vecchio. "They also like seeing the animals as they first enter their exhibits, when they're usually quite active."

 

Among the zoo's early risers are eagles, salmon, frogs, turtles and waterfowl in the Great Northwest Exhibit; penguins and Inca terns in the Penguinarium; birds in the Vollum Aviary; naked mole rats and spiny mice in the Africa exhibit; fish and reptiles in the Amazon Flooded Forest; insects in the Insect Zoo; and sometimes elephants.

 

Visitors who'd like some extra cash to complement the extra time may take advantage of the zoo's special Park Package, which includes regular zoo admission, plus entrance to the dinosaur trail, dino train and dinosaur thrill ride. Prices vary depending on age, but visitors can save up to $3 per package over regular rates.

 

The zoo is a service of Metro and is dedicated to its mission to inspire the community to create a better future for wildlife. Committed to conservation, the zoo is currently working to save endangered California condors, Washington's pygmy rabbits, Oregon silverspot butterflies, western pond turtles, Oregon spotted frogs and Kincaid's lupine. Other projects include studies on black rhinos, Asian elephants, polar bears and bats.

 

The zoo opens at 9 a.m. daily and is located five minutes from downtown Portland, just off Highway 26. The zoo is also accessible by MAX light rail line. Zoo visitors are encouraged to ride MAX or take TriMet bus No. 63.

Visitors who take the bus or MAX receive $1 off zoo admission. Call TriMet Customer Service, 503-238-RIDE (7433), or visit www.trimet.org for fare and route information.

 



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