While Zoos get a bad reputation, many are a final destination for animals who could not fend for themselves in the wild, says conservationist Phillip Elden. Here, the Oregon native shares information on a few of the state’s finest zoological parks.
The Oregon Zoo, according to Phillip Elden, works tirelessly to promote preservation of the world’s most at-risk animals. In addition to its exhibits of local and global wildlife and habitats, the zoo operates a number of wildlife conservation projects on site, including the California condor breeding facility. It is currently working with organizations throughout the state to help protect Western pond turtle hatchlings.
Phillip Elden also enjoys the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Here, children can learn about jellyfish, sea turtles, coastal mammals, and more. The aquarium also hosts dozens of beach cleanup days throughout the year. Education programs are available for children of all ages on everything from anemones to plankton. For adventurous kids and their families, the aquarium also offers the opportunity to sleep under the tunnels and enjoy more personal attention from staff.
The Wildlife Safari homes more than 500 animals, including reptiles, birds, and mammals of all sizes. Phillip Elden notes that the park is a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and operates accordingly. The Safari Park is the second largest cheetah breeding organization on earth and provides conservation-minded people a chance to meet and greet these amazing creatures; a cheetah ambassador program operates on the property.
Oregon is home to a plethora of owl species, making the Cascades Raptor Center an important education facility for both visitors and residents of the state, says Phillip Elden. The center currently provides treatment for more than 250 injured, orphaned, and ill birds each year. Those who are unable to return to the wild are given a home at the center and protected for life.