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Amur tiger sisters Bernadette and Eloise snuggle up for a nap at the Oregon Zoo. ©Oregon Zoo/ photo by Shervin Hess

Zoo will close to public starting March 17, following lead of public health authorities

The Oregon Zoo will be closing temporarily, effective Tuesday, March 17, following public health recommendations to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The zoo will tentatively remain closed through at least April 8, and will provide updates based on guidance from local and state authorities.

“Like most of this community, our goal right now is ‘flattening the curve’ so that our health system doesn’t get overwhelmed,” said Dr. Don Moore, zoo director. “We are committed to the safety of our staff, volunteers, guests and community. We’ll be ready to reopen as soon as health authorities recommend it.”

The zoo’s animal-care teams and staff responsible for other critical operations will continue working onsite, while other employees will work from home if possible.

“Our animals are doing well and we continue to provide them with dedicated, professional care,” Dr. Moore said. “All essential life-support and other vital systems continue to operate without disruption as well. We plan ahead for all sort of contingencies, and over the past weeks, we have developed plans to ensure our animals would be well cared for in the event of a disruption due to COVID-19.”

As part of the Metro family, the Oregon Zoo helps make greater Portland a great place to call home. Committed to conservation, the zoo is currently working to save endangered California condors, Oregon silverspot and Taylor’s checkerspot butterflies, western pond turtles and northern leopard frogs. Other projects focused on saving animals from extinction include studies on polar bears, orangutans and cheetahs.

Support from the Oregon Zoo Foundation enhances and expands the zoo’s efforts in conservation, education and animal welfare. Members, donors and corporate and foundation partners help the zoo make a difference across the region and around the world.


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