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Wine club benefits Oregon Zoo during COVID-19 slowdown

The Oregon Zoo Foundation said the zoo has lost more than half its revenue since the pandemic started. The foundation's new wine club aims to help bridge the gap.

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Oregon Zoo Foundation has a new wine club and the proceeds help the Oregon Zoo.

The foundation's executive director Julie Fitzgerald said the zoo has lost more than half its revenue since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ticket sales account for about 60% of operating costs.

Local wineries pitched the idea of a wine club benefiting the zoo. People who sign up for membership receive different Oregon wines quarterly.

Each membership level is a play on words. "The Herd" membership is made up of white wines, while "The Pride" is made up of Oregon pinot noir.

RELATED: Oregon Zoo will be allowed to host drive-thru ZooLights

The foundation wanted animals and conservation to be the main takeaways.

"The Oregon Zoo is famous for animal care," Fitzgerald said. "And all the money that we raise and proceeds from the wine club are helping animal care."

One of the owners of Specialty Wines NW helped curate the various wine packages. The foundation said he is available to help guide members to wines within their tastes.

The Oregon Zoo Foundation Wine Club has its own website for people to browse options.

RELATED: Oregon Zoo wasn't 'prepared for this level of catastrophe'; asks for donations