According to Shareranks.com, the Oregon Zoo comes in at 16th in the USA. Reviews on Trip Advisor give the zoo mostly excellent ratings, praising it for its family-friendly atmosphere and variety of animals. The few negatives I read were regarding it being noisy or dirty, but that is to be expected at a public outdoor venue. If you live in the area or are visiting, it seems to be a wonderful place to go for the day.
Sometimes “ranking” causes a lot more harm than help. Zoos have many goals. To start with, to be fair to them, there should be different rankings depending on what they’re trying to accomplish! Some common things zoos try to do:
And even considering these, one ranking isn’t fair, because big, famous zoos such as the San Diego Zoo can afford to do all sorts of things, while your modest zoo in a nearby city may be doing a darn good job with a couple employees and a few dozen animals. (In fact, my local zoo — which is very big — constantly complains that the San Diego Zoo effectively “takes money from them”. After people give to the big, famous zoo, they don’t want to give to their local zoo! And that local zoo may be more cost-effective! I.e., “better” in a way.)
In a very real and important sense, it isn’t a competition. There are zoos that have the most animals, or the longest-lived animals, or the biggest selection, or the most natural cages and enclosures, but there really isn’t a “best” zoo.
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