Oregon Zoo Plans Renovations to Address Accreditor’s Concerns

Among the slew of proposed projects: a modernized penguinarium and giraffe exhibit.

Buttercup (Courtesy Oregon Zoo)

An inspection report by the Oregon Zoo’s national accreditor outlines concerns raised during a site visit last summer.

In the report, obtained by WW, the Association of Zoos & Aquariums found no major problems but listed several “lesser concerns,” including “limited holding capabilities” at the giraffe barn, an outdated Family Farm barn, a penguin exhibit that is not “aesthetically pleasing,” and a damaged boardwalk and railing at the black bear and mountain goat enclosures.

The zoo is working on fixes, it says. “We’ve already addressed two of them: boardwalk resurfacing and repairs, and assessment of educational programs. But the others—penguin, giraffe and family farm areas—are more complex projects, and we’re working on those now through the campus planning process,” says zoo spokesman Hova Najarian.

The zoo has spent $150 million in the past decade modernizing nearly half of its campus with funding approved by voters in 2008. Now, it proposes a slew of projects to modernize the other half, including the penguinarium and giraffe exhibit that were the subject of AZA concerns, according to a staff report presented to Metro councilors earlier this month.

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