As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and days stretch into months, the Oregon Zoo is asking for the community’s help.
“Since closing to the public on March 17, we’ve lost our ability to generate revenue through admissions, events and sales,” said Don Moore, zoo director. “We planned for the future. We had reserves in place — but nobody was prepared for this level of catastrophe. In an instant, we lost 60% of our revenue.”
The Oregon Zoo Foundation, the private nonprofit fundraising arm of the zoo, is seeking donations through a newly established Emergency Recovery Fund, aimed at providing a critical $1 million infusion to support zoo operations during the closure. To contribute to the fund, go to oregonzoo.org/donate.
Dr. Moore praised the efforts of the zoo’s animal-care team, who “have not let COVID-19 slow down their important work,” but acknowledged that the future is uncertain.
“Animal welfare remains our top priority, and we’re working around the clock to make sure the animals in our care have everything they need,” said Bob Lee, who oversees the zoo’s animal-care programs. “We can get through this crisis, but only with the support of our community.”
Home to around 2,500 animals representing more than 200 species, the Oregon Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in the United States, first opening in 1888. Now recognized as a world-class center for wildlife preservation and field research, the zoo’s 130-plus-year journey has seen vast leaps in animal-welfare science, and an increasing focus on sustainable operations, wildlife education and conservation.
As a Metro enterprise fund, 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.
Source: Oregon Zoo