Hands-On Wildlife Programs Run Through Labor Day at Oregon Zoo

Get up close and personal with the critters of Oregon Zoo during Labor Day weekend By: Marty Wentzel
Porcupine at the Oregon Zoo // (c) 2010 Oregon Zoo
Porcupine at the Oregon Zoo // (c) 2010 Oregon Zoo

It's not too late to check out Oregon Zoo's Jungle Journey and Predators of the Sky programs, allowing clients to interact with animals in a more intimate fashion than usual. The popular summer presentations run through Labor Day.

During Jungle Journey programs, clients get a chance to see and touch animals like a prehensile-tailed porcupine in an informal setting, while talking to their handlers and taking pictures.

Predators of the Sky, a free-flight bird show, features eagles, owls, hawks and vultures.

These on-grounds programs, which are free with zoo admission, are a great way to see and feel animals up close and on a more personal level, said Oregon Zoo director Kim Smith. “When a bald eagle flies a few feet overhead, or pygmy goats relax while you brush their coats, you really feel a connection to these animals.

Since the June 19 start of the zoo's summer season, the shows have drawn huge crowds, which may account for the increase in overall zoo attendance -- more than 40,000 visitors over last year, zoo officials said.

Shows takes place daily (except on concert days) on the concert lawn at 12:30 p.m. through Labor Day.

General admission to the zoo is $10.50 per adult, $7.50 for children (ages 3-11) and free for kids 2 and younger. (www.oregonzoo.org)

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