Oregon Zoo Celebrates Remarkable Life of One of World’s Oldest Penguins

Oregon Zoo Celebrates Remarkable Life of One of World’s Oldest Penguins

Portland, OR. The Oregon Zoo bid a sad farewell in mid-September to Mochica, elder statesman of the Humboldt penguin colony and a distinguished seabird ambassador for more than three decades. At 31 years old, he was one of the oldest — and best-loved — penguins on the planet.

“Mochica was the oldest male of his species in any North American zoo or aquarium, maybe the whole world,” said Travis Koons, who oversees the zoo’s bird populations. “His remarkable longevity says a lot about both his zest for life and the quality of care he received over the years.”

Mochica hatched July 6, 1990, at the Oregon Zoo and was hand-reared, a standard practice at the time. But Mo, as he was known for short, grew up different from the other chicks. More than any penguin in the zoo’s large Humboldt colony, he enjoyed spending time with people, often choosing keepers’ quarters over the company of his fellow birds in the Penguinarium.

Here’s a video about the special penguin:


“It was pretty common to walk into the keeper kitchen area and find Mo ‘helping’ with the food prep or just hanging out with care staff there,” Koons said.

Mo was equally fond of visitors to the penguin area, who would meet him on behind-the-scenes tours. Eventually, Koons said, he became the zoo’s “greatest ambassador,” personally greeting thousands — perhaps tens of thousands — of visitors, and helping to raise awareness about a species in decline. It was a role he seemed to relish. As one former keeper put it, “Mochica rarely met an arm he didn’t love to groom.”

Wild Humboldt penguins seldom live past 20, and Mochica, who turned 31 in July, had been slowing down for several years. Over the past couple of years, animal-care staff had been monitoring him closely and treating a variety of age-related ailments.

“He had a mature cataract in one eye, old-age haze in the other, bilateral arthritis in his hips,” Koons said. “He was just a very old bird. It was hard for him to see, and at times difficult for him to walk.”

Koons praised the efforts of care staff, who did everything they could to ease the elderly penguin’s discomfort, sneaking a daily dose of meloxicam into his sustainable-seafood breakfast and scheduling regular laser-therapy sessions with specialists from Kenton Animal Hospital. Eventually, though, Mo’s conditions deteriorated, and on Saturday veterinary and care staff made the difficult decision to humanely euthanize him.

“It’s an incredibly sad day for his care team and for everyone who spent time with this amazing bird,” Koons said. “We’ve all had times in our lives where animals have left an indelible mark on our hearts. Mochica has done that for thousands of people. He inspired generations.”

Koons hopes Mochica’s legacy will be continued conservation, particularly for Humboldts, which among the most at-risk of penguin species with a population estimated at just 12,000 breeding pairs.

“Humboldt penguins live in a region that’s greatly affected by human activity,” he said. “They need healthy ocean habitats to thrive, and we can help make a difference — even in simple ways like downloading the Seafood Watch app and choosing sustainable seafood.”

Native to the South American coastline off Peru and Chile, Humboldt penguins are classified as “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. They are threatened by overfishing of their prey species, entanglement in fishing nets, and breeding disruption due to commercial removal of the guano deposits where the birds lay their eggs.

The Oregon Zoo has supported Peru-based conservation organization ACOREMA’s work to protect the Humboldt penguin. ACOREMA monitors penguin mortality and works closely with San Andrés fishermen to mitigate the practice of hunting penguins for food. The group also trains volunteer rangers, reaching out to 3,000 students, teachers and Pisco-area residents a year to raise awareness about penguin conservation.

From Oregon Zoo:

About the Oregon Zoo

The 64-acre Oregon Zoo is located in Portland, a city and surrounding metropolitan area of 2.26 million people. Annual attendance is more than 1.5 million, making the zoo the top paid attraction in the Pacific Northwest. 

About the Oregon Zoo Foundation

The Oregon Zoo Foundation, the zoo’s philanthropic partner, plays an integral role in supporting the zoo’s animal welfare, conservation and education programs. Since its inception in 1997, the foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, has rasied more than $84 million for the zoo’s top priorities.

Bumble’s ‘Summer of Love’ Survey Find Desire for Vaccinated Partners

Bumble’s ‘Summer of Love’ Survey Find Desire for Vaccinated Partners

Lifestyle Story: Portland, OR. Bumble recently conducted research on how the pandemic has changed dating as singles head into the ‘summer of love.’ The women-first dating app and social networking platform, is revealing how the pandemic has shaped the way that single people are dating this summer and beyond as restrictions are beginning to ease and more people are becoming fully vaccinated within the United States every day.

Nearly 90%4 of American users who have selected their first date preferences within Bumble’s COVID Preferences Center are ready to date In Real Life (IRL) again. Of those ready for an IRL first date, there’s nearly an even split between those who are comfortable with a regular IRL first date (46%)4 or a socially distanced one (41%)4. Bumble has also seen growth particularly in those states and cities where there are higher vaccination rates.

“The pandemic has leveled the dating world like never before and has brought about meaningful changes in behavior that we see having a positive impact on our community long term,” said Whitney Wolfe Herd, CEO and Founder of Bumble. “Historically, this is a time of year where the dating industry sees a considerable increase in activity and we’re experiencing that more than ever heading into this summer season. As our research illustrates, daters are entering this ‘summer of love’ with more intentionality than ever before and are prioritizing safety, compatibility, and shared values as restrictions ease and vaccination rates increase.”

Ahead of the official first day of summer on June 20, Bumble is sharing new research and insights about dating during this ‘summer of love.’

Here’s all the current research from Bumble:

Dating has changed for the better. The time that people spent in lockdown really allowed them to focus on what they are truly looking for while dating, giving them a renewed sense of clarity and confidence in taking control of their dating lives as they begin to meet new people this summer. Through recent research, Bumble has found that people are now dating more intentionally than before the pandemic – they’re being more honest about what they’re looking for in a relationship, whether it’s something casual or serious.

  • 55%2 of Bumble’s global users have said that they are now feeling less willing to compromise on what they want and need from a potential relationship, according to a recent survey.

  • Nearly 40%1  (38%) of Americans surveyed have noticed an increase in clear communication of expectations and intentions while dating throughout the pandemic.

  • Nearly 30%1  (28%) have seen a meaningful decline in dead-end conversations as people are being more honest about what they’re looking for in a relationship.

  • Nearly 40%1  (39%) respondents have noticed a meaningful decline in ghosting while dating throughout the pandemic.

  • Over 30%1  (31%) have said that they noticed a meaningful decline in catfishing.

Online dating is just… dating

It’s no surprise that people have adapted to new ways of communicating and dating to find and explore meaningful connections throughout the pandemic.

  • 91%1 of the Americans surveyed believe that there is no longer a stigma attached to meeting someone online or through a dating app since the pandemic began.

  • An overwhelming two-thirds1 (65%) think that it’s possible to fall in love with someone that they’ve never met in person before.

  • Nearly 40%1 (38%) enjoy going on virtual dates as they find that it’s safer to engage with a match virtually before meeting in person.

    • 1 in 31 (31%) like virtual dates because it saves them time and money.

    • 1 in 41 (26%) appreciate that they only have to get partially ready (“half-glam”) when going on a video date.

  • Many are also leaning more into other means of virtual communication – 1 in 41 (25%) of those surveyed have sent someone an audio message this past year.

Safety is still top of mind

Following a year in quarantine, safety is still top of mind and many are continuing to prioritize discussions on precautions and COVID vaccination statuses before meeting someone in person for the first time.

  • More than 54%2  of Bumble’s global users feel more safety conscious than before the pandemic.

  • Vaccination status is essential to many, as 30%1 Americans surveyed would not go on a date or have sex with someone who hasn’t received the COVID vaccine.

  • Bumble announced its plans to launch a “Vaccinated” Badge in profiles this summer within the US and the UK. By adding the badge, people will be able to show on their dating profile whether they have been vaccinated for COVID-19. Bumble will also offer complimentary credits for premium features, such as Spotlight and SuperSwipe, to those who enable the “Vaccinated” Badge later this summer.

To help its community feel comfortable dating right now and to help normalize conversations about dating during the pandemic, Bumble has added a COVID Preferences Center that can be accessed by tapping the profile icon within the Bumble app. After matching with someone, both individuals will be able to see what the other person’s dating preferences are – such as meeting outdoors and in uncrowded places only – and what precautions they want to take.

Bumble also offers a Safety Center, which is available online and within the app by tapping the profile icon. Bumble’s Safety Center provides a compilation of resources and tools to help its community date confidently.

Shared values are more important than ever before

The way that people are now approaching conversations around race and intersectional inequalities while dating has completely shifted after a year that re-ignited powerful social justice moments.

  • Since the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement in 2020, nearly 2 in 53  (38%) Americans surveyed said that they have re-evaluated how they approach race and inequality in their romantic relationships.

    • This number is even more significant for Black respondents, as more than 1 in 23  (53%) Black Americans are now re-evaluating how they approach race and inequality while dating since last year’s events.

  • 62%3  of respondents say that it is important for them to talk about key social issues on a first date, such as gender equality, politics, race, or the environment.

  • 75%3  would only date someone if a majority of their political and social views align.

  • 1 in 23  (51%) respondents believe that activism is now a more important part of society than their parents considered it to be during their generation.

Wolfe Herd continues: “Over the course of the pandemic, we’ve remained intently focused on listening to our community to understand how their needs have evolved and we have continued to innovate our product to meet that demand. We are always looking for ways to enhance the user experience by listening closely to user feedback and will continue to do so moving forward.”

Over the past year, Bumble has made several updates to its platform, including introducing 150 new interest badges in dating profiles and launching its “Night In” feature, where two people can participate in an interactive game during a video chat. The company also recently launched Snap’s AR Lenses within Bumble video calls and launched video notes that utilize Snapchat’s technology.

Research background:

1 Based on insights commissioned by Bumble and carried out online by Censuswide. Surveys were conducted with a sample of 1,003 single adults in the United States between May 4th to 10th, 2021. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society, which is based on the ESOMAR principles.

2 Based on a survey conducted on the Bumble app among those based in Australia = 1,215, US = 1,598, UK = 1,272 during Q2 2021.

3 Based on insights commissioned by Bumble and carried out online by Research Without Barriers (RWB). The survey was conducted with a sample of 1,002 adults in the United States between May 14 to 17, 2021. All research conducted adheres to the UK Market Research Society (MRS) code of conduct (2019) and ICC/ESOMAR (international). RWB is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office and complies with the DPA (1998).

4 Based on proprietary Bumble platform insights in the US, June 2021.

About Bumble app: Bumble, the women-first social networking app, was founded by CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd in 2014. Bumble connects people across dating (Bumble Date), friendship (Bumble BFF) and professional networking (Bumble Bizz). No matter the type of relationship, women make the first move on Bumble. Bumble is built on the importance of equitable relationships and how crucial they are to a healthy, happy life. They’ve built their platform around kindness, respect, and equality – and their community plays an important part in that. Bumble holds its users accountable for their actions and has zero-tolerance for hate, aggression, or bullying. Bumble is free and available worldwide in the App Store and Google Play.

Oaks Amusement Park Reboots in Time for Memorial Day Weekend

Oaks Amusement Park Reboots in Time for Memorial Day Weekend

Portland, OR. After months of pandemic regulatory uncertainty, Oaks Amusement Park is up and running. (The park is a nonprofit located near the east side of the Sellwood Bridge at 7805 SE Oaks Park Way Portland OR, 97202.) Managers are, “thrilled to announce that our rides, mini-golf, and midway games are now reopened on a limited-capacity basis! After a historic period of closure, we are excited to welcome your family to once again connect with an iconic piece of local history while enjoying safe, wholesome, family fun on the midway.” Masks are optional outdoors and are strongly recommended for guests that are unvaccinated or are at high risk of COVID-19. Visitors must buy ride bracelets in advance and only a limited number are sold. Here’s a link to check it out.

Oaks Park has been “where the fun never ends” since 1905 and is among the oldest continually operating amusement parks in America.

Masks are required indoors for all guests five (5) years of age and older, and children between two (2) and five (5) years of age are strongly encouraged to wear a mask or face covering.

All masks and face coverings should be family-appropriate and cover the wearer’s nose and mouth, fit snuggly against the sides of the face, be made of breathable material, and be secured in place.

Here’s a video about all the rides:

A special edition of the Multnomah County Fair is happening at Oaks Park this Memorial Day weekend. This year’s modified fair features creations by local artists, gardeners, crafters, bakers, and more, on display in the Historic Dance Pavilion at Oaks Park. Admission to the exhibits is FREE; capacity limitations apply and timed-entry tickets must be reserved online in advance. Tickets are valid for a 45-minute visit to the exhibit hall during a specified time block on Saturday, May 29th, 12-6 PM, and Sunday, May 30th12-4:30 PM.

For more information about the fair visit multcofair.org.

Here’s a look at the hours for Oaks Park:

A limited number of amusement park ride bracelets are available per day. Ride bracelets must be purchased online in advance. Due to capacity mandates, ride bracelet offerings have been updated and simplified to two ticket options:

  • Ride Bracelet: $39.95
  • Under 48″ Ride Bracelet: $19.95

Ride bracelets are required for everyone participating in attractions; non-riders are welcome to enter the park at no charge. The ride bracelet includes access to all of the rides (height limits and rider restrictions apply).

Roller skating, miniature golf, and midway games are sold separately. For information about a group discount on ride bracelets, visit the Groups Page. If you have a pass or unredeemed ride bracelet with a 2020 expiration, please click here for information.

Oaks Park Mission Statement:

In honor of the spirit and donation of Robert Bollinger, Oaks Park Association (OPA) serves as a private non-profit organization whose mission is the preservation and perpetuation of the historic amusement park as an affordable, safe, and family-friendly recreation attraction open to the general public. 

The OPA will provide stewardship of the real estate of the historic park site on the Willamette River through maintenance of its landscape, buildings, structures, pedestrian and vehicular access ways, and utility infrastructure. 

The OPA will preserve, maintain, renew, replace, and develop buildings and attractions appropriate to a historic amusement park including the nation’s longest continuously operating roller skating rink; the unique historic carousel, and other outdoor rides appropriate to a broad range of ages; games, and refreshments. 

The OPA will provide management and operation of features of the park, either directly or through a contract with other compatible entities, to achieve a safe and inviting recreation environment for the general public. 

The OPA will promote public awareness of the park heritage and its facilities as a destination for family gatherings, group events, community activities, organized recreation as well as individual enjoyment. 

‘Hope Reigns’ as Rose Festival Gears Up for Second Scaled-Down Year

‘Hope Reigns’ as Rose Festival Gears Up for Second Scaled-Down Year

Portland, OR. The theme for this year’s festival is ‘Hope Reigns’ and organizers are encouraging local businesses to decorate their buildings and storefronts. It’s the second year with modified activities. In 2020 some aspects of the festival were similar to the past, like the crowning of Queen Anya Anand seen above, but organizers explain, “Oregon isn’t quite ready yet for big outdoor events, and the health and safety of our community is still our top priority. The Rose Festival has been here for more than a century despite many challenges and will be here when Oregon is ready for big outdoor events again as we start down the runway to the traditional Rose Festival in 2022.”

Click here for a  link to a festival website event list. Programming like the Court and Porch Parade will continue this May & June 2021. This year, with Portland businesses hit especially hard from the pandemic and social unrest, the Festival is reaching back to the time when all of Portland turned out with Rose Festival-themed floral decorations. Businesses are once again being encouraged to decorate a front door, window or even building face. The Portland Rose Festival will produce an online map with the locations, so the public can walk, bike, or drive around, and share in the celebration.

The Rose Festival Porch Parade celebration runs from May 31 through June 13, 2021. (Registration is now open at this website on the Porch Parade page.) The Rose Festival Porch Parade celebration runs from May 31 through June 13, 2021. (Registration is now open at this website on the Porch Parade page.)

Click here for a link to the porch parade info and registration.

The Rose Festival’s Parading in Place concept wasn’t only popular in Portland, festivals across the country picked up the idea in: San Antonio, Detroit, New Orleans, Mobile, Alabama, and Washington D.C. to name just a few.

Themes for the 2021 Rose Festival Porch Parade honoring the Rose Festival’s three traditional parades include The Grand Floral, the Starlight, and the Junior parades. Porch designers are encouraged to pull out their seasonal Christmas lights and create a multi-themed concept with a Grand Floral Parade or Junior Parade in daylight hours, and a Starlight Parade theme by night. Porch Parade designers are not limited to Rose Festival themes and are encouraged to create their own family-friendly fun ideas to share with the greater Festival community.

In 2020, the Porch Parade encouraged people to decorate outside their homes.

Last year, dignitaries formed a procession to tour selected homes.

From The Rose Festival:

The Portland Rose Festival Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that serves families and individuals with programs and events that promote the arts, education and volunteerism. We value environmental responsibility, diversity, patriotism and our historic & floral heritage.

For more information www.RoseFestival.org

Facebook PortlandRoseFestival/

Twitter: @PDXRoseFestival

Instagram: @PDXRoseFestival


Portland Opera Announces Reimagined 2020/21 Season

Portland Opera Announces Reimagined 2020/21 Season

Portland, OR. Portland Opera announced its plans for the remainder of the 2020/21 season. The Opera’s pivot will feature a series of virtual recitals from the company’s artistic home in Southeast Portland, an outdoor opera experience, and productions broadcast via the company’s new digital channel, Portland Opera Onscreen. Robert Xavier Rodríguez’s opera Frida will be the first broadcast in March of 2021. The Onscreen production of Verdi’s Il Trovatore (seen above) will follow. It will be a semi-staged concert, focusing on the music, performed in a landscape of video projections. Il Trovatore has been dubbed, “a tour de force” and tells the story of a mother, burned at the stake as a witch.

The plan for these digital performances is to have a suggested access fee of $50 and patrons will have digital access for 45 days.

“The global pandemic has challenged us: to be problem-solvers, to adapt to new technologies, and to deepen the ways that serve the community,” says General Director Sue Dixon. “Our newly reimagined 20/21 season celebrates the resiliency of the creative spirit with live music and local collaborations—while prioritizing health and wellness for our audiences, artists, and company.” 

Here are some of the opera’s options:

20/21 Resident Artist Series
January – February, 2021 | Select Thursdays at 7 PM
Streaming online for free; this recital series features Resident Artists sharing solo pieces, duets, and ensemble works

FRIDA (onscreen)/Robert Xavier Rodríguez
Digital access will be available for 45 days, starting on March 20, 2021 on the digital channel, PortlandOpera Onscreen.

Photos courtesy of Long Beach Opera, by Keith Polakoff.

Photos courtesy of Long Beach Opera, by Keith Polakoff.

JOURNEYS TO JUSTICE/Curated by Artistic Advisor Damien Geter
Digital access will be available for 45 days, starting on April 16, 2021 on the digital channel, Portland Opera Onscreen. These compositions are about love, justice, and experiences of being a Black American.

From Portland Opera:

Multnomah County, where Portland Opera is headquartered, entered Phase I reopening from the COVID-19 pandemic on June 19th, and remains in Phase I—along with neighboring Washington and Clackamas counties—until public health indicators permit progression to Phase II. Public performances with audiences are permitted only in the final phases of the state’s reopening plan.  As part of the company’s commitment to the health and wellbeing of the staff, artists, ensemble, and audience members, Portland Opera has engaged a team of medical advisors to review all safety procedures and protocols, ensuring the company is in line with the best and current medical advice on an ongoing basis. To learn more about Portland Opera’s comprehensive response to the global pandemic, visit portlandopera.org. 

Currently being developed in tandem with a new website and ticketing platform, the Portland Opera Onscreen channel will launch in February 2021. Until that time, digital content and performances will be available on PortlandOpera’s Vimeo and YouTube channels. The company plans to sustain the digital channel for future seasons as an option for patrons, and is developing these new digital offerings based on patron feedback from recent surveys, strategic planning input, and Town Hall meetings. Tickets for special outdoor performances, as well as digital passes for these productions, will be available beginning in February of 2021. 

The company continues with plans to offer an adjusted Portland Opera To Go program, which is Portland Opera’s statewide, school-based arts education tour for K-12 students. Due to the pandemic, this program is shifting to connect with regional schools in a new digital format, starting in January 2021. The company is following state health guidelines and school district mandates in carrying out this program. Opera staff members are working with educators to adjust the program to meet unique digital needs, and to develop supportive relationships during these challenging times.

As a result of this reimagined season, three originally announced productions of Puccini’s Tosca, the Big Night concert, and a double bill of Frid’s The Diary of Anne Frank and Heggie’s For a Look or A Touch will no longer be programmed this season. A message announced this news to 2020/21 season subscribers and members yesterday. Ticket holders are encouraged to email [email protected] in order to share their preferences for refunds and donated tickets, and opera staff members will be reaching out to everyone in the next couple of weeks. Portland Opera continues to work with artists, musicians, and creative teams to navigate these changes and develop the 21-22 season—which will be announced in early 2021.