PORTLAND, Ore. - The Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the Oregon Zoo kick off the 85th annual AZA Conference next week at the Oregon Convention Center. The conference runs Sept. 14-17.
"The Oregon Zoo is rolling out the red carpet for nearly 2,000 zoo and aquarium professionals from around the globe," said Jim Maddy, AZA president and CEO. "The leadership and staff of the Oregon Zoo not only run a first-class zoo but are truly leaders in conservation."
"We're grateful for the opportunity to host the annual AZA conference, which will give a great boost to the economy of Portland," added Mike Keele, the Oregon Zoo's acting director. "The opportunity to showcase our zoo -- including the new Predators of the Serengeti exhibit and our successful elephant conservation program -- to professional colleagues is a real honor for the zoo and its hardworking staff."
The conference's citywide economic impact is estimated at $2.35 million.
The keynote speaker for the conference will be Jane Goodall, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and U.N. Messenger of Peace. Her message of hope for the future and inspiration to make a difference -- for people, animals and the environment - will set the tone for the week's events, according to Maddy.
The conference will feature 67 program sessions on topics ranging from climate change and corals to nature education to polar bear sustainability. In addition, zoo and aquarium professionals will hold 70 committee and animal program meetings, sharing best practices and demonstrating close collaboration as accredited zoos and aquariums work to advance animal welfare and conserve imperiled species.
The Oregon 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 who ride MAX receive $1.50 off zoo admission. Call TriMet Customer Service, 503-238-RIDE (7433), or visit www.trimet.org for fare and route information.
General admission is $10.50 (12-64), seniors $9 (65+), children $7.50 (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.
Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) is a nonprofit 501c(3) organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation. Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting an institution dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. With its more than 200 accredited members, the AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in their native habitats.