Visitors ages 65 and older can enjoy exploring the zoo

by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: KATHY STREET - Lily, a young Asian elephant calf at the Oregon Zoo, splashes with her big brother, Samudra. Zoo visitors can check on the progress of Lily and the rest of the herd during the zoos annual Senior Safari. Anyone 65 or over (along with one companion) can visit the zoo for free on Tuesday.Local seniors can reconnect with wildlife on Tuesday during Senior Safari, a free day at the Oregon Zoo for anyone 65 or older.

“People often think of the Oregon Zoo as a great place for kids to learn about wildlife — and it is — but it’s also a great place for older adults to connect with animals,” said Kim Smith, zoo director. “People of all ages love the zoo, and this day has been planned especially for the seniors in our community.”

From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., seniors (who may each bring along one free companion for the day) can pet animals at the Trillium Creek Family Farm, attend animal talks, ride the zoo train and take in a special animal painting demonstration near the picnic shelter. A senior lunch special will be available at the Tiger Plaza picnic shelter and in zoo restaurants.

Visitors can also catch up with some of the zoo’s own senior citizens — such as 51-year-old Packy, the oldest male Asian elephant in North America — or check in on some of the younger generation of zoo residents, like Molalla the river otter, born there this spring.

The Zoo Store has wheelchairs and electric scooters for rent on a first-come, first-served basis. The supply is limited, so visitors who need wheelchairs are urged to bring their own if possible.

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