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Birthday party set for Lily the baby elephant on Satuday

by: METRO/OREGON ZOO - The public is invited to Lily's birthday party on Nov. 30 at the Oregon Zoo.Lily the baby elephant at the Oregon Zoo turns one on Saturday and the public is invited to join the party.

Zoo keepers will present Lily with a birthday cake at 1 p.m. on Nov. 30. She may eat or roll around in it.

“She’s definitely not shy,” said Bob Lee, the zoo’s elephant curator. “She competes with the bigger elephants for enrichment toys and treats. She doesn’t just wait for her turn — she’s right in there with the others being a true member of the herd. She likes all kinds of fruit — bananas, apples, melons.”

Lily weighed 300 pounds when she was born Nov. 30, 2012. She now weighs around 1,130 pounds is described by zoo animal-care staff as a “spitfire,” who has energized the rest of the herd and inspired visitors.

For a look back over Lily’s first year, visit bit.ly/LilyOneYear.

The zoo is a service of Metro and is dedicated to its mission of inspiring the community to create a better future for wildlife. It is recognized worldwide for its Asian elephant program, which has spanned more than 50 years. In June, the zoo broke ground on Elephant Lands, a project that will quadruple the animals’ space and dramatically enhance their experiences and daily routines. The new habitat is scheduled to open in 2015.

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 trimet.org for fare and route information.

General zoo admission is $11.50 (ages 12-64), $10 for seniors (65 and up), $8.50 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 $4 per car is also required. Additional information is available at oregonzoo.org or by calling 503-226-1561.