Photo Gallery: Zoo animals and pumpkins

Photo Gallery: Zoo animals and pumpkins
An Amur Tiger enjoying a birthday celebration at the Oregon Zoo. © Oregon Zoo/photo by Julie Cudahy

From the Oregon Zoo

Trick-or-treaters can fill their bags with goodies and learn more about wildlife Oct. 30 and Oct. 31, during Howloween at the Oregon Zoo, presented by Sterling Savings and FedEx in association with the National Safe Kids Coalition. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is free with zoo admission.

See photos of zoo animals munching on pumpkins

“Most kids love trick-or-treating, and Howloween at the zoo provides a safe place for them to wear their costumes, have some fun and learn about animals,” said Kim Smith, zoo director.

In keeping with the zoo’s mission, Howloween aims to be educational as well as fun. An intriguing scavenger hunt directs trick-or-treaters to easily accessible activity stations throughout the zoo. Activities are themed to teach kids about animals around the zoo, and their habitats and adaptations. Goodie bags filled with candy and prizes will be given out for completed hunts at the zoo’s exit.

Additional support for Howloween is provided by Lärabar, Cascadian Farms and Stretch Island Fruits. Volunteers from FedEx will be at the zoo reminding children and adults to be safe and seen on Halloween. FedEx will provide reflective giveaways to increase children’s visibility during evening hours and present safety tips for parents and drivers.

Throughout the weekend, visitors can watch the zoo’s enrichment team provide animals with holiday-themed treats like pumpkins stuffed with snacks. Enrichment items such as pumpkins –– provided by Al’s Garden Center –– help keep the zoo’s animals mentally and physically stimulated.

“Enrichment is critical to the health and well-being of the animals,” said Smith. “It’s often done behind the scenes, but holidays like Halloween provide visitors with some unique opportunities to watch our animals interact with their treats.”

Saturday, Oct. 30:
11:30 a.m. – Chimpanzees
12:30 p.m. – African wild dogs
1:30 p.m. – Asian elephants
2 p.m. – Polar bears
2:30 p.m. – Black bears
 
Sunday, Oct. 31:

10:30 a.m. – Amur tigers
11:30 p.m. – Sea otters
12:30 p.m. – African wild dogs
1:30 p.m. – Orangutans
2 p.m. – Black bears
2:30 p.m. – Asian elephants

Guests can also say happy birthday to the zoo’s Amur tigers, Mikhail and Nicole, born on Halloween in 1998.

The zoo is a service of Metro and is dedicated to its mission of inspiring 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 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. 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.