Portland, May 22nd, 2015. The Oregon Zoo is ready to welcome summer, with longer hours and a host of seasonal special events. Beginning Saturday, May 23, zoo gates will open at 9 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. Visitors may remain on grounds until 7 p.m. The photo is of Kamaria, a milky eagle owl, can be seen this summer during the Oregon Zoo’s “Wildlife Live” show, presented by Portland General Electric. (Photo by Michael Durham, courtesy of the Oregon Zoo.)

Lily, left, enjoys a game of King of the Mountain with her big brother, Samudra, who turned five. Photo by Kathy Street, courtesy of the Oregon Zoo.

Lily, left, enjoys a game of King of the Mountain with her big brother, Samudra, who turned five. Photo by Kathy Street, courtesy of the Oregon Zoo. 

Young visitors watch one of the Oregon Zoo’s Humboldt penguins. The birds returned to the Penguinarium this week following a much-needed filtration upgrade that will save 7 million gallons of water annually. Photo by Michael Durham, courtesy of the Oregon Zoo.

Young visitors watch one of the Oregon Zoo’s Humboldt penguins. The birds returned to the Penguinarium this week following a much-needed filtration upgrade that will save 7 million gallons of water annually. Photo by Michael Durham, courtesy of the Oregon Zoo.

On Monday, May 25, the zoo will mark Memorial Day by offering free admission for military veterans and active military personnel, as well as family members who accompany them to the zoo. To receive free admission Monday, May 25, visitors must show a military or veteran organization ID, discharge papers or other official military identification; families of deployed military personnel must show an active duty ID.

Along with more time to enjoy the animals, zoo visitors will be treated to a summer chock full of events, shows and happenings.

Beginning June 13, the zoo’s popular Wildlife Live program, presented by Portland General Electric, returns with free-flight demonstrations featuring bird species from around the globe. Due to construction around the concert lawn, shows will take place in Tiger Plaza this year. The Insect Zoo also opens for the summer on this day.

Summer camps begin June 15. As of this writing, spots are still available for most age groups, but they tend to fill quickly as the end of school draws near. For more information, visit www.oregonzoo.org/camps.

The zoo’s summer concert series kicks off with Chicago on June 21 and winds up on Labor Day weekend with a pair of sold-out shows by “Weird Al” Yankovic. Along the way, concertgoers can catch a variety of world-renowned artists — from new wave party-rockers the B-52s to reggae superstar Ziggy Marley to country legend Emmylou Harris, and more. The zoo’s summer concert series is presented by the Oregon College Savings Plan and Banfield Pet Hospital. For more information and a full schedule, visit zooconcerts.com.

Oregon Zoo supporters can enjoy beverages and culinary delights from more than 25 of the area’s top restaurants July 21 at the 13th annual Zoolala, an Oregon Zoo Foundation event. Photo by Andie Petkus.

Oregon Zoo supporters can enjoy beverages and culinary delights from more than 25 of the area’s top restaurants July 18th at the annual Zoolala, an Oregon Zoo Foundation event. Photo by Andie Petkus.

Later this spring, officials will announce the line-up of local bands for Sunset at the Zoo, presented by Banfield Pet Hospital. Free for zoo members, Sunset at the Zoo offers a rare chance to enjoy the zoo in the beautiful twilight hours of summer. Packed with a variety of al fresco dining opportunities, live music and activities for kids, Sunset evenings also give visitors the chance to get to know animals that are more active at dusk. Sunset at the Zoo events take place every other Wednesday, starting July 8.

July 18, zoo supporters can savor delicious local fare, dance under the stars, and hang out with some real “party animals,” as the Oregon Zoo Foundation hosts its 16th annual Zoolala, a gala fundraiser presented by Spirit Mountain Casino. For more information or to purchase tickets and tables, visit oregonzoo.org/zoolala.

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, Oregon silverspot and Taylor’s checkerspot butterflies, western pond turtles and Oregon spotted frogs. Other projects include studies on Asian elephants, polar bears, orangutans and giant pandas.

Support from the Oregon Zoo Foundation enhances and expands the zoo’s efforts in conservation, education and animal welfare. Members, donors and corporate and foundation partners help the zoo make a difference across the region and around the world.

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 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. Additional information is available at www.oregonzoo.org or by calling 503-226-1561.

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