Results conclude that staff morale is low, especially among temporary employees, and attendance has been flat over the past decade. Actually, attendance has declined somewhat over time.
Zoo executive director Don Moore said in his written response to the audit that morale is improving and he is aware of the need to address financial challenges.
Um - no, morale is not improving, it's deteriorating - especially so during the past couple of months that culminated in what some there refer to as the "zoothanasia" of Packy, the symbol of the zoo itself. The organization is attempting to rebrand itself as a conservation facility, but that hasn't been working out too well. Sure, they've had some successes with condor breeding, and that's led to some successful reintroductions of the birds in California and Arizona, but their vaunted efforts to save the Oregon Spotted Frog and the painted turtle have been dismal. In the case of OSF recovery efforts, inmates at a prison in Washington state have achieved far better results than the "professionals" at Oregon Zoo. Sorry to burst their bubble, but data don't lie.
So apart from condors, what are they conserving? Elephants? That whole (new, multi-million-dollar) facility is now infected with tuberculosis, as are seven staff and one volunteer. Polar bears? They just lost two more. Maybe reticulated giraffe? Nope, all they have are two young males. It doesn't look as though they're conserving much of anything.
To top it off, they hold amplified concerts during the summer, which does wonders for the cortisol levels in captive wild animals. Yes, they're real conservationists.
And the beatings will continue until morale improves.