The Oregon Zoo, formerly the Metro Washington Park Zoo, is a zoo two miles west southwest of downtown Portland, Oregon in Portland's Washington Park. It is Oregon's largest paid attraction, with more than 1.3 million visitors yearly. The Oregon Zoo was founded in 1887, making it the oldest North American zoo west of the Mississippi.
The zoo became world famous in 1962 when the Asian elephant "Packy" was born. He was the first elephant born in the Western Hemisphere in 44 years and is (as of 2006) the largest Asian elephant in the United States at 10.5 ft (3.2 m) tall and 13,500 lbs (6,100 kg). A total of 27 more calves have been born at the Oregon Zoo, including 7 sired by Packy, making it the most successful zoo elephant breeding program in the world.
In November 2009, the zoo received voter approval to start a $20 million elephant home using part of six acres. Voters also agreed to spend $10 million to create an elephant range on as much as 200 acres.