Staying Alive: Defenses of the Animal Kingdom


Explore nature’s most extraordinary defense mechanisms in OMSI’s latest exhibit

Media Contact: Annemarie Eayrs | (503) 797-4510


[PORTLAND, OR – September 26, 2023] – Staying Alive: Defenses of the Animal Kingdom, an interactive, animal exhibition from the Foundation for Animal Rescue and Education is opening at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) on October 14. This playful exhibit explores the science behind some of the most extraordinary and unique mechanisms of self-defense in the animal kingdom.

What frog could kill two elephants with its poison? What makes a rattlesnake’s distinctive rattle? How do a zebra’s stripes make it more difficult to hunt? Visitors will explore how animals use tough armor, powerful venom, sneaky camouflage, and stunning speed to fend off, evade, and trick predators through live animal engagements, hands-on interactives and bright, bold wildlife stories.

More than a dozen animals – from the common to the exotic – will be featured accompanied by animal care specialists who will provide educational programming and the occasional, impromptu animal interaction to delight guests of all ages. Highlights include a spiky four-toed hedgehog, an armored three-banded armadillo, and a two-toed sloth.

The exhibit is developed by the Canadian-based Foundation for Animal Rescue and Education, which is one of the largest exotic animal rescue organizations in North America.

“I am so excited to welcome this exhibit and all its wonderful animals to OMSI,” said Sue Wu, Natural Sciences Coordinator at OMSI. “It’s fascinating to learn how nature defends itself in the animal world. Furthermore, Staying Alive has a critical conservation message: the greater our understanding and appreciation of these animals, the better we can help preserve their environment. OMSI guests of all ages will enjoy and learn from this exhibit.”

Staying Alive opens to the public on Saturday, October 14, and is free with museum admission. The exhibit will be on display through the winter holidays.

Museum Hours of Operation
Tuesday–Friday & Sunday: 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Saturday: 9:30 a.m.–7:00 p.m.
Monday: Closed, with the exception of Portland Public School holidays
*Special members-only hours Wednesdays 9:00 a.m.

About OMSI
Founded in 1944, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) is one of the nation’s leading science museums and a trusted educational resource for communities throughout Oregon and the region. Through museum exhibitions, public programs, outdoor programs, traveling exhibitions, digital learning, and learning research and design, OMSI nourishes a lifelong love of science, curiosity and learning among its diverse audiences. The upcoming OMSI District – a collaboration of local, Tribal and regional government entities, nonprofits and businesses – will be a one-of-a-kind neighborhood with innovation, culture and science learning at its heart. OMSI is located at 1945 S.E. Water Avenue, Portland, OR, 97214. For general information, call 503.797.4000 or visit Connect with the museum on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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