Home for your Pet

New zoo director champions wildlife, sustainability

The most common ticketed attraction in the state has a new chief. Heidi Rahn, a lifelong wildlife advocate with a emphasis on sustainability, has been named the Oregon Zoo’s upcoming director, Metro officials declared right now.

Heidi Rahn

“I’m honored to be operating with these kinds of a focused, passionate team of workers, volunteers and zoo supporters,” Rahn said. “Like most spots, the Oregon Zoo has weathered some difficult instances these earlier pair of yrs, but the resilience and innovation I’ve seen right here have been inspiring.”

Rahn formerly labored at the zoo from 2013 to 2018, directing implementation of Metro’s $125 million zoo bond system and earning nationwide acclaim for initiatives prioritizing animal welfare, conservation schooling and sustainable infrastructure. Less than her management, the zoo opened some of its most legendary parts, which include Condors of the Columbia, Elephant Lands and the Schooling Middle. The latter two initiatives both of those attained awards for excellence in innovation and show design from the Affiliation of Zoos and Aquariums.

The new director attributes her sustainability concentration to a lifelong conservation ethic. She is passionate about building a far better future for wildlife, and feels a exclusive link to the zoo’s work on behalf of endangered sea otters and butterflies.

“My to start with internship was at the Heart for Marine Conservation in San Francisco, analyzing plan to guidance sea otter conservation,” she reported. “And I achieved my partner when we had been doing work to secure habitat for the endangered Karner blue butterfly in Wisconsin.”

Rahn, who has been serving as interim director because Aug. 1, will become the Oregon Zoo’s initial lasting director since the departure of Don Moore, who retired last year after a 45-calendar year vocation in animal-welfare science and wildlife conservation. Her past tenure at the zoo overlapped with Moore’s, and officials say she provides the two a prosperity of knowledge and a welcome perception of continuity to her new role.

“Heidi is an suitable suit for Oregon Zoo director,” reported Marissa Madrigal, Metro’s main running officer. “Her past experience at the zoo, her enthusiasm for conservation, and her knowledge in sustainable functions are just what we need as we rebuild from the losses prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Rahn holds a bachelor’s degree in zoology and conservation biology from the College of Wisconsin and a master’s degree in enterprise administration and sustainable functions from York University in Toronto. She acquired the Each day Journal of Commerce Women of all ages of Eyesight award in 2017 for endeavours to market prospects for women of all ages and people of coloration in construction.

The Oregon Zoo is a single of the most preferred places in the Northwest and one of the most hugely revered zoos in the place. In 1974, it became just the next zoo to receive accreditation from the Affiliation of Zoos and Aquariums, an honor it has maintained for a lot more than 45 several years. Given that 2012, it has been recognized with 12 of the association’s important once-a-year awards: six for conservation function on behalf of endangered species, two for excellence and innovation in exhibit style, 1 for environmental efforts in the zoo’s working day-to-working day operations, a single for achievement in diversity, and two for advertising excellence. 

As component of the Metro relatives, the Oregon Zoo can help make greater Portland a fantastic area to phone property. Dedicated to conservation, the zoo is functioning to preserve endangered California condors, western pond turtles, Oregon silverspot and Taylor’s checkerspot butterflies, and northern leopard frogs. To master much more, visit

Aid from the Oregon Zoo Foundation enhances and expands the zoo’s efforts in conservation, education and learning and animal welfare. Members, donors and company and basis associates help the zoo make a distinction throughout the area and around the world. To lead, go to

The zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday via Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekends. To program your trip, go to by. For a lot more info on finding to the zoo, visit Take a look at Washington Park.