From The Oregon Zoo
Asian elephant calf Samudra will reach two milestones this month. He turns 3 years old Tuesday, Aug. 23, and by his birthday, keepers project he will weigh almost 3,000 pounds. Sam is currently gaining about 3 pounds a day – quite an achievement for the zoo’s littlest elephant!
At 11:15 a.m. on Sam’s birthday, visitors can attend a keeper talk and watch Sam enjoy his birthday cake. Guests can also sign a giant birthday card for the giant birthday boy.
Keepers say Sam maintains his impressive growth rate by nursing and eating lots of hay and produce. Like many 3-year-olds, he prefers fruit to vegetables. In total, Sam and his mother Rose-Tu are offered 100 pounds of fresh food each day.
The Oregon Zoo is recognized worldwide for its successful Asian elephant breeding program, which has spanned nearly five decades. More than 25 elephants have been born at the zoo, beginning with Packy in 1962. Samudra is the first third-generation elephant to be born in the United States. The Oregon Zoo’s central role in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan for Asian elephants has earned it an international reputation for its research and commitment to helping this endangered species.
The 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, pygmy rabbits, Oregon silverspot and Taylor’s checkerspot 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 travel to the zoo via 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 (ages 12-64), $9 for seniors (65 and up), $7.50 for children (ages 3-11) and free for those 2 and younger; 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.