Road trip: Oregon Zoo in Portland, Oregon

On a weekend of not doing anything, or having anything planned when you live in Oregon means, you either head to the coast, or head out on a daytrip somewhere. Most days in the summer months are taken up by time spent in our own backyard, but the zoo was calling us. The last time we went to the Oregon Zoo was when The Bean was about four-years-old. We were definitely due for a trip. Of course, it was a sweltering 98 degrees when we went, but thanks to the zoo putting up many water misters it helped take away the heat of the day a bit.

Being such a hot and humid day we headed straight to the otter, sea lion, and seal cave. It is mostly underground and the temperature of the area is a tolerable 70-75 degrees even in the dry summer heat of Oregon. The sea lions diving in and out of the water was such a treat to watch, as well as the otters crunching on ice cubes on the other side of the tank.

Such a pretty area with the blue from the lights and water. It's one of our favorite spots at the Oregon Zoo.

The Oregon Zoo's newest elephant Sampson. He sure put on a show for us and we got a lot of great shots. Elephants are such incredible beings. We loved how calm, collected, and extremely patient the trainer was. We didn't catch her name, but she is definitely living her best life right now being an elephant trainer.

Crossing over this wooden footbridge took us right to the bear's den. These are black bears that are prevalent here in Oregon. They are good swimmers, climbers, and can run upwards of 30 miles an hour.

Mountain goats where along the other side of the wooden footbridge and the babies were definitely bringing a crowd of kids. Even though it was so hot that day, close to 98 degrees, these little goats were having a ball jumping back and forth over logs, rocks, and even the older goats.

The Bean, always looking like the tourist with his camera and hat. ♥ (Go Hogs!)

Inside the Family Farm barn they had domesticated animals such as common goats, cats, pigs, and a few chickens running around. 
...And a few ride ons for the kids.

The next section was the leopards, tigers, and birds of prey area. As hot as it was most of the large cats were laying down in shaded areas in their enclosures. 

It's interesting to know that Condors wouldn't exist today had it not been for zoos and their conservation and recovery efforts of the birds. The Oregon Zoo has taken great strides in helping keep the Condor numbers up. These are California Condors and the Oregon Zoo has done its part in bringing the numbers up since they were the first species to be listed under the Endangered Species Act in 1973.

The enclosure to these eagles gave you a front row seat with no net, or barrier, keeping them from swooping in toward you and landing on the same walkway we were standing on. It was a great up close encounter to these birds of prey. Unfortunately, these eagles were picked up as wounded birds and can't be released back into the wild. They seemed pretty content with their living quarters and seemed to enjoy having their pictures taken. 

Next up was the penguin exhibit. We just happened to have visited their enclosure during feeding time and it smelled fishy, but we had a lot of fun in this enclosure and the seagulls and penguins definitely put on a show. 

By the time we were heading out a lot of the animals were going to sleep. We happened to glance into the river otter and the meerkat on the way out and they were both already snoozing.


A lot of the park benches throughout the Zoo had cute bronze sculptors on them that drew your attention in. These one of the "Lunch thief" was one of our favorites.

You can find out more about the Oregon Zoo here and also more about their animal rehabilitation programs here, as well as their conservation efforts here. One last thing, if you'd like to support the Oregon Zoo you can find out how and where your money actually goes right this way here.
Find ways to support other zoos, too. Even ones in your own area!

Au Naturale

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