Hogle Zoo

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Utah's Hogle Zoo
Hogle zoo entrance.JPG
Date openedAugust 1, 1931[1]
LocationSalt Lake City, Utah, United states
Coordinates40°44′59″N 111°48′50″W / 40.7498°N 111.814°W / 40.7498; -111.814Coordinates: 40°44′59″N 111°48′50″W / 40.7498°N 111.814°W / 40.7498; -111.814
Land area42 acres (17 ha)[2]
No. of animals800[2]
No. of species249[3]
MembershipsAZA,[4] WAZA[5]
Major exhibitsElephant Encounter, Asian Highlands, Rocky Shores, African Savanna

Utah's Hogle Zoo is a 42-acre (17 ha) zoo located in Salt Lake City, Utah. It houses animals from diverse ecosystems. It is located at the mouth of Emigration Canyon. Hogle (pronounced "ho-gul") is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).


The zoo has been at its present location at the mouth of Emigration Canyon since 1931 on land donated by Mr. and Mrs. James A. Hogle. Its original location was in Salt Lake City's Liberty Park. In 1936, the zoo purchased Princess Alice, an elephant, from a traveling circus.[6] She gave birth to the first elephant born in Utah. His name was Prince Utah and he died at eleven months old. Current exhibits include various birds, mammals, and reptiles from around the world.

The zoo is owned by the city of Salt Lake City, and is supported through tax dollars and private donations raised by the Utah Zoological Society.


Hogle Zoo is accredited by the Association for Zoos and Aquariums. Only 10 percent of American zoos are accredited by the AZA. As part of the AZA, Hogle Zoo must abide by strict husbandry, education, and guest service requirements. The AZA has to approve any exhibits the zoo wants to create. It even has to approve the enrichment and food that is given to the animals. All the animals in AZA zoos are technically "owned" by the AZA. Animals are only moved within other AZA zoos.

Most of the animals at Hogle Zoo have a Species Survival Plan, which is run under the AZA, and ensures genetic diversity for certain species. The SSP pairs animals together for mating based on their hereditary and gene pool. For example, Nabu and Baron, Hogle Zoo’s female and male lions, were paired by the Lion Species Survival Plan. They were given the "okay" to mate by the SSP, because they had different genes, insuring genetically diverse offspring. This resulted in the birth of the zoo's lion cubs in 2016. The majority of animals with Species Survival Plans are animals that are near the threat of endangerment or near the threat of extinction.


All exhibits must be passed by voters in order for construction to begin. This is because the city's tax dollars pay for the renovations.[citation needed]

Primate Forest[edit]

The A. LaMar Farnsworth Primate Forest opened to the public in June 1997. The exhibit was named after the former zoo director A. LaMar Farnsworth, who served as director for 33 out of his 45 years at the Zoo. The exhibit, which cost $400,000 to construct, replaced the old concrete Monkey Island exhibit. Primate Forest offers lush, naturalistic landscapes for several species of primates. Primate Forest featured three outdoor exhibits and two indoor exhibits.

When it first opened the exhibit featured capuchin, colobus, and spider monkeys. The exhibits were specifically designed for each species. The large central exhibit for the colobus monkeys, which is 5,100 square feet and reaches a central height of 18 feet, offers trees where the primates can jump from. In the wild colobus monkeys use their long tails for balance as they jump from tree to tree. Each exhibit also has water features.

The capuchin troop moved to another zoo to be a part of a breeding program. The zoo was then left with an empty exhibit. The exhibit was determined to be a suitable exhibit for endangered langurs. The zoo then received two female Hanuman Langurs. These were two out of the four Hanuman langurs in U.S. AZA-accredited zoos. Then in 2010, the zoo received Isaac, another rare langur. Isaac was a twelve-year-old Francois langur who was born at the San Diego Zoo. When construction began of the new African Savanna exhibit, the langur exhibit had to be torn down, and the langurs moved to different zoos.

Today Primate Forest is home to four species of primates. The exhibit houses two colobus monkeys, Sefu and Safiya. It is also home to two howler monkeys, Elliot and Jackie, two spider monkeys, Lemon and Ebony, and a female Schmidt's guenon.

Great Ape Building[edit]

Hogle Zoo's Great Ape Building was built in the mid-1960s. It was designed to have space for two or three species of apes. At most the building has housed three species, including western lowland gorillas, chimpanzees, and Bornean orangutans. The exhibit features four indoor exhibits and two large outdoor exhibits.

Today the zoo is home to three western lowland gorillas and three Bornean orangutans. The leader of the gorilla troop is a male named Husani, who came to Hogle Zoo in 2010 from the Birmingham Zoo. He leads two females, JoRayk and Jabali, a mother and daughter pair, who came to the zoo in 2011 from the Denver Zoo.

The zoo is also home to three Bornean orangutans, including a female orangutan named Acara and her brother Tuah. Acara and Tuah were both born at the zoo; however, both of their parents died in 2014, leaving them orphans. In the fall of 2016, a male orangutan named Mia came to Hogle Zoo from the Greenville Zoo in order to be a companion to Acara.

Small Animal Building[edit]

The Small Animal Building was built in the 1970s. The building itself features four different ecosystems, including a Tropics Zone, Temperate Zone, Desert Zone, and Rainforest Aviary. Other animal exhibits can be found outside of the Small Animal Building.

The building features various reptiles, amphibians, and small mammals and birds. Some of the main animal highlights include the sand cat, bat-eared foxes, and African crested porcupines. The zoo has established burrowing owl and titi monkey families in the Small Animal Building. The building is also home to rare species like Siamese crocodiles and black-footed cats. Outside the building, guests can see the zoo's wolf exhibit and summer exhibits for reptiles and birds.

Temperate Zone

The Temperate Zone features animals from temperate zones around the world. The zoo's nine-banded armadillos Kirby and Penny. The zoo's rare three black-footed cats and cape hyrax can also be found in the Temperate Zone. The zoo's Siamese crocodiles Hillary and Bill live in the Temperate Zone during the winter. Other reptiles found in the temperate Hall include a Madagascar tree boa, crested geckos, and Madagascar flat-tailed tortoises.

Desert Zone

In the Desert Zone, guests can see animals found in deserts from all around the world. A mixed species exhibit with the zoo's African crested porcupines Jack and Blanche and two female Von der Decken's hornbills is in the Desert Hall. The Desert Zone also has two sand cats named White Cheeks and Deserae, two bat-eared foxes, a group of meerkats, and a colony of short-tailed leaf-nosed bats. A red-tailed boa, Gila monsters, and common spider tortoises are some of the reptiles in the Desert Zone. In spring of 2016, the zoo's first spider tortoise hatched. The Desert Zone also features a Sonaran Desert exhibit. the Sonaran Desert Exhibit includes white-winged doves, cardinals, a Gila woodpecker, and masked bobwhites. The Sonoran desert Exhibit also is the home of the desert tortoises during the winter. The Desert Zone is also home to a group of burrowing owls. The zoo has been successful in breeding these owls with their first brood hatching in June 2015 and their second in May 2016 and third in May 2017

Tropics Zone

The Tropics Zone features animals from rainforests around the world. In the Tropics Zone, guests can see the zoo's family of titi monkeys. The family includes mom Trinidad, dad Jack, their second child Toro, and their third child Kingston who was born on January 10, 2016. The other mammals in the Tropics hall include a golden lion tamarin, a cotton-top tamarin, a kinkajou, two Wied's marmosets, and a colony of African straw-colored fruit bats. The hall also features many reptiles including Indian star tortoises, green tree pythons, and a cottonmouth.

Rainforest Atrium

The Rainforest Atrium is a free-flight aviary. Speckled mousebirds, scarlet ibises, roseate spoonbills, superb starlings, and rose-ringed parakeets are just a few of the birds that can be found in the atrium. The Rainforest Atrium is also the winter home for the zoo's Aldabra tortoises and radiated tortoises

Elephant Encounter[edit]

Elephant Encounter opened in 2005, and was the first major exhibit that was a part of the zoo's master plan. The exhibit features white rhinoceroses, George and Princess; and African elephants, Christie and her daughter Zuri. George and Princess are half siblings who share the same father. They came to the zoo from the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Zuri was born in 2009 to Christie. The elephants enjoy a 110,000-gallon pool in their exhibit.[7] Visitors can view the rhinos from several vantage points, including an artificial kopje. A nearby thatched-roof building, the Convergys African Lodge, displays interpretive items such as elephant bones and a rhinoceros hide to educate visitors about pachyderm conservation.

Asian Highlands[edit]

In June 2006, this exhibit opened with the theme of an Himalayan Village. It is home to Amur tiger, Cila; Amur leopards, Dmitri, Zeya, Roman, and Jilin; Pallas' cats, Patenka and Hal; Siberian lynx, Lenoid and Koyla; and snow leopards, Nema, Chim, and Kisa.[8]

The Janet Q. Lawson Red Panda Exhibit[edit]

In May 2018, the zoo opened a new Red Panda habitat in the Asian Highlands exhibit. The habitat features artificial trees that are air conditioned to keep the animals cool in the hot Utah summers. The exhibit features a breeding pair, who arrived at the zoo in April 2018 from the Reid Park Zoo in Tucson, Arizona, where they were introduced to each other. The three-year-old male and seven-year-old female will hopefully produce offspring and contribute to the captive population.

Breeding success[edit]

Asian Highlands has had many successful births. On May 7, 2009, a male snow leopard cub named Himal was born to parents Nema (mother) and Himesh (father). Himal has since moved to another zoo and has fathered a cub himself. On April 16, 2012, another male snow leopard cub was born to Nema. He was named Chimeegui. In 2013, Kisa came to Hogle Zoo from the Denver Zoo in order to mate with Chimeegui. They have not produced any offspring.

On June 2, 2009, three male Amur tiger cubs were born to mother Basha and father Kazek. The cubs, named Bronevik, Kiril, and Vikenti, and Basha have since moved to different zoos. In 2015, Cila, a female Amur tiger, came to Hogle Zoo in hopes she would mate with Kazek and have a litter of her own.

In Fall of 2015, Zeya, a female Amur leopard, came to Hogle Zoo from the Big Cat Sanctuary in England. This moved was made because of the Species Survival Plan. The SSP moves animals and regulates breeding based on genetics. Zeya was paired with the zoo's resident male Amur leopard, Dimitri. After spending a thirty-day quarantine, she was introduced to Dimitri. And after a successful pregnancy, Zeya gave birth to two male cubs named Roman and Rafferty on February 17, 2017. This birth was very important, because Amur leopards are critically endangered. There are an estimated 60 left in the wild. This is why every birth of this rare cat is significant.

The zoo's male Pallas cat Petanka was introduced to a female named Hal from a zoo in Japan in late 2016. This move was arranged by the Species Survival Plan. After their introduction, Hal gave birth to five kittens in spring of 2017. The four boys were named Pabu, Diablo, Mushu, and Tater. The little girl was named Ting. The cubs made their public debut in the Temperate Zone in the Small Animal Building in summer of 2017. This was a significant birth at the zoo because it was the first time this species was born in the zoo's history.

It is important to breed these endangered cats in order to keep their species alive.

Rocky Shores[edit]

Rocky Shores features animals found near the shorelines of North America. The exhibit opened in 2012 and replaced the old Bear Grotto, completely renovating the west end of the zoo. The exhibit is anchored by its state-of-the-art polar bear habitat. Sadly, on April 9, 2017, the zoo's female polar bear, Rizzo, died of renal failure. The zoo will be receiving two new polar bear youngsters Nora and Hope from other zoos in late fall of 2017. Other habitats include a home for three orphaned grizzly bear siblings Koda, Dolly, and Lulu. The three were found in Yellowstone causing trouble without a mother. They were deemed too young to be released in the wild. They were cared for at a Montana zoo before coming to Hogle Zoo in 2012.

Another habitat features seals and sea lions. Diego, a male California sea lion, came to the zoo in 2017. He was born and raised at the Indianapolis Zoo. Maverick, another male sea lion, was rescued in the wild and came to Hogle Zoo from a rehabilitation center in California. His injuries were deemed too severe to be released back into the wild. The three harbor seals, Nika, Mira, and Hudson also came from California. North American river otters Howard, Nessie, and Nellie live in Rocky Shores. Nemo and Betsy are rescued bald eagles that were found injured in Alaska.

African Savanna[edit]

The 16 million dollar exhibit was opened in the summer of 2014. It is 4.5 acres and house animals from the plains of Africa. The largest exhibit, “The Grasslands”, is a rolling grassland, dotted with trees, and includes a watering hole. The mixed-species exhibit houses a breeding herd of Giraffes, including a male named Riley, and two females named Pogo and Kipenzi. A breeding herd of Hartmann's Mountain Zebra, male Ziggy, females Zoey and Ziva, and Ziggy and Zoey’s daughter, Poppy. A brother pair of Ostriches that go by the names of Yellow and Blue. It also features two Egyptian Geese and a flock of Guinea Fowl. Guests can get a great view of the savanna from “Twiga Terrace”. Not only that, but the exhibit offers a place for guests to feed and interacts with the giraffes. The Savanna also has an exhibit called “Lions Hill”. The exhibit allows guests to come face to face with Lions. They're is also a training fence where guests can watch as keepers feed and train the lions. The exhibit houses 7 lions, brothers Baron and Vulcan, sisters Nobhule and Busela, and Baron and Nobhule’s cubs, Brutus, Titus, and Calliope. Also, there is the “Zoofari Express”, the train takes guest around the savanna viewing all species, it also leads into a pioneer themed exhibit.

Ridding on the Hogle Zoo train

Current news[edit]

  • January 28, 2018: Mushu, a 10 month old Pallas Cat went missing. He is located the next day in a mud trap.
  • May 3, 2018: A Red Panda breeding pair debut in their new exhibit.
  • May 6, 2018: Two Sand Cats are born to first-time parents White Cheeks and Desiree. They are exhibited in the Small Animal Building.
  • May 9, 2018: A female Amur Leopard is born to parents Dmitri and Zeya.
  • May 18, 2018: A Black Footed Cat is born to Ali and Sanura. Sanura becomes the oldest Black Footed Cat mother to give birth at 13 years old. The previous record was set by herself at 12 years old.
  • June 2, 2018: A Female Hartmann's Mountain Zebra is born to first-time mother Ziva.
  • July 21, 2018: The Amur Leopard cub is named Jilin(Gee-lin).

Famous animals[edit]

The zoo has had many famous animals in its collection since it opened in Liberty Park in 1911.

Princess Alice[edit]

Princess Alice, a female Asian elephant, was the zoo's most famous and biggest attraction during the early 1900s. She came to the zoo, which at the time was located in Salt Lake City's Liberty Park, in 1916. Schoolchildren donated nickels and pennies to raise $3,250 to buy Princess Alice from a traveling circus called Sells-Floto Show Company. She was a big hit among Utahns. In 1917, a year after her arrival, the zoo built a building to house her in. Princess was the biggest draw for the small Salt Lake City zoo.

On April 29, 1918, Princess Alice gave birth to a male named Prince Utah. Utahns were thrilled with the news as he was the first elephant to be born in Utah. However, he died a year later on March 14, due to injuries he suffered after his mother rolled over him.

Utahns were upset after Princess Alice repeatedly broke free from her enclosure. This prompted the zoo to relocate. The Hogle family donated 42 acres of land at the mouth of Emigration Canyon in 1931. In July of that year the zoo built its new elephant building with a safer and larger exhibit for Princess Alice. The building was dedicated to the children of Salt Lake City. The zoo opened later that year on August first. On August 14, 1932, a relief carving of Princess Alice was unveiled. It was donated by J.R. Fox, a local Utah sculptor.

In 1947, Princess Alice went on a rampage throughout the zoo grounds. She ripped up concrete, fountains, and an elm tree. After a few hours, she calmly returned to her exhibit. In 1953, Princess Alice was euthanized after becoming ill at the approximate age of 69. Princess Alice is one of the most famous animals in the zoo's history. She played a vital role in Utah's history as well.


Shasta, who was born on May 6, 1948, was one of Hogle Zoo's most famous animals. She was the first liger born in America. Her mother was Daisey, a tiger, and her father was Huey, a lion. The two had been raised together, and that was why the zoo was able to breed them. Shasta weighed just over a pound at birth. However, her mother rejected her, and therefore she was hand raised. Shasta was a huge draw at the zoo. She was the reason for the zoo's success during the mid-1900s. Without her, Hogle Zoo may have gone out of business. Every year, the zoo held birthday parties for her. This drew in large crowds. After she died in 1972, she was sent to a taxidermist to be stuffed. Her body can now be seen at the Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum at Brigham Young University. At 24 years, Shasta holds the world record for the longest lived liger in history.[9]


Gorgeous, a female western lowland gorilla, was one of the zoo's most famous animals. Gorgeous came to Hogle Zoo in 1985 from the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado. She was caught in the wild in 1949, when she was only an infant. Gorgeous was very popular among guests, as she constantly interacted with them. However, Gorgeous lived alone because she did not get along with other gorillas. Therefore, she never had any offspring. In 1990, Gorgeous became world-famous as she was the first gorilla ever to receive cataract surgery. Dr. Allan Crandall, an ophthalmologist at the University of Utah Medical School, performed the surgery and implanted a lens into Gorgeous's eye. Gorgeous died in 1999 at the age of 50, and was the oldest living female gorilla at the time. She died of age related problems. Since Gorgeous was popular among guests and staff, a bronze bust of her was made and displayed near the outside ape exhibits. This statue can still be seen today.


Dari lived to be the oldest living African elephant in the world. She lived to the age of 55 and died due to age related problems. Dari was loved by guests and staff alike. She was known for her caring attitude toward the other elephants in her herd.


Daphne was the oldest living giraffe in the world. She came to Hogle Zoo in 1985 from the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. She had five calves at the zoo. Daphne died at the age of 31, which is double the average lifespan for giraffes.[10]

Animal escapes[edit]

In 2006, Maddi, an eight-year-old female grey wolf, leaped over an eight-foot fence and escaped from her enclosure. She was out of her enclosure for about an hour until zoo officials could secure her and bring her back into her enclosure. No one was hurt in the incident.[11]

In 2016, Zeya, a four-year-old Amur leopard, climbed through a six by six-inch opening at the top of her enclosure. The sixty-pound endangered cat rested on a beam just outside her enclosure and fell asleep. Zeya was tranquilized and put into a holding area in the zoo's hospital.[12]

Ape attacks and escapes[edit]

In 1997, Tino, a 450-pound male western lowland gorilla, attacked and bit Robert Pratt, the zoo's team leader for primates. Tino gained access to a room which Pratt was cleaning after a door was left open. Pratt was knocked down by the gorilla and suffered some bite wounds. Pratt was ok and returned to work soon after the incident.[13]

In 1999, two zookeepers were attacked by three chimpanzees after a man failed to close the gate to their indoor enclosure. Two chimpanzees were shot and killed and a third was contained and was sent to a zoo in Kansas. Both zookeepers were severely injured.[14]

In 2011, four spider monkeys escaped from the outdoor enclosure. The four primates did not travel far and were coaxed back into their exhibit by zookeepers. No one was harmed in the situation.[15]

Conservation efforts[edit]

Conservation efforts at Hogle include a reduce, reuse, recycle program, water conservation, and earth-friendly biodegradable products. This zoo's efforts were recognized in 2005 by the Recycling Coalition of Utah, and it received the Thomas A. Martin Utah Recycler of the Year award for a non-profit business.[16]

Following a June 2010 oil spill from an underground Chevron pipeline in Red Butte Creek, 150 to 200 birds, many of them Canada geese, came in contact with the oil and were taken to Hogle Zoo to be cleaned.[17]

The Big Six Program is the Hogle Zoo's biggest conservation program. The program works with six different organizations that are working with six endangered species. The big six animals that are a part of the program include the African lion, Bornean orangutan, polar bear, African elephant, radiated tortoise, and boreal toad.

Recently closed exhibits[edit]

Bear Grotto[edit]

Bear Grotto was constructed in the late 1950s in the western area of the zoo. The exhibit consisted of two concrete enclosures for the zoo's polar bears. In 1995, Andy, a male polar bear, came to Hogle Zoo from the Buffalo Zoo on a breeding recommendation. In November 1996, Chinook, the zoo's 20-year-old female polar bear, gave birth to twins. Andy was the father. The cubs were named Koluk and Kiska. Visitors were very excited about the birth of the cubs. Guests could not see the cubs, however, until spring of the next year. On December 12, 2000, Chinook gave birth again to a female cub. Andy had sired the cub. Web users were able to see two video clips of the mom and her cub. The cub was named Anana. Anana was not out on display until mid-April the following year. In December 2002, Chinook was euthanized because of her failing health. Chinook was 25 years old at the time. In November 2003, Andy died.

In July 2002, Dale, a female black bear, went on display in Bear Grotto. She was an orphan that was rescued from Minnesota. In 2003, Cubby, a male black bear, moved to Hogle Zoo from the Chahinkapa Zoo in North Dakota. Then in 2004, Tuff, a male black bear, came to live at Hogle Zoo. Tuff was born at a private breeder's farm in Missouri. He was then sold illegally. However, he was confiscated by officials and moved to a licensed facility. Tuff moved to Hogle Zoo shortly after. All of the black bears were moved to the Oregon Zoo, because Hogle Zoo was going to start construction on their Rocky Shores exhibit.


In the late 1950s, the zoo constructed an exhibit for cougars. Large red cement rocks were made to mimic their natural habitat. The zoo's two cougars were orphaned brothers. Snow leopards were held in the exhibit at some point in time.

Peccaries and tortoises[edit]

Between the cougar exhibit and Bear Grotto, a summer enclosure was built for the zoo's tortoise collection. Kronk and Isma, the zoo's large Aldabra tortoises, took residence in the exhibit. In 2004, the exhibit was renovated for the arrival of four endangered Chacoan peccaries. The renovated exhibit featured tunnels and dens for the South American pigs.

Penguin Cove[edit]

In 1964, The sea lion pool was built. In 1996 the sea lion pool was renovated to house endangered black-footed penguins. Hogle Zoo had fourteen penguins: Hardy, Gia, Puff, Rocky, Bluebird, Blackbird, Whitebird, Greenbird, Newton, Dancer, Scrappy, Smooty, Flap and Shaker. In 2002, three chicks were born. The exhibit consisted of a rocky shoreline, a pool, a nesting area, and an indoor area for the birds.

Red pandas[edit]

In 2002, two female red pandas made their debut in the red panda exhibit behind Penguin Cove. The outdoor exhibit featured a large tree for the red pandas to climb and an indoor room for them during hot summer months. The indoor room was visible to guests.


A group of llamas lived in a large outdoor exhibit next to Penguin Cove. A bridge that went over Emigration Creek, near the red panda enclosure, led guests to the llama viewing. Near the llama viewing, guests could see the indoor penguin exhibit. Before construction on Rocky Shores started, the llamas were moved to the old bighorn sheep exhibit on the south pathway.

Old Savanna[edit]

The savanna exhibit was split into two parts: the savanna and the zebra enclosure. At the bottom of a hill was the actual “savanna.” This section included two Cuvier's gazelles, an addax, and a springbok. The savanna had two viewing points. One of them looked out onto the savanna, but it did not view the entire savanna. The other viewing point was from on top of an elevated walkway. The walkway was not wheelchair accessible. This viewing point gave you a bird’s eye view of the savanna. There were many hiding spots for the animals, so guests were not able to see the all the animals when they went. At the top of the hill was the zebra exhibit. This exhibit featured two Grevy’s zebra: Taji and Monty. A gully provided as a natural barrier between the guests and the animals. The zebras had a small water hole in their exhibit. That water hole fed into a water fall. The water fall trickled over a ledge into the savanna exhibit below. The zebras were kept at night in a round shed. In 2010, both Taji and Monty died unexpectedly. Tests could not give a clear reason why the two zebras died. After the death of Taji and Monty, three ostriches, a father and his two sons, went on display in the old zebra exhibit. Their names were Red, Yellow, and Blue. Two of the same ostriches can be found in the new African Savanna that opened in 2014. Guinea fowl and two Egyptian geese, Sassy and Yellow, had free range of the north-west end of the zoo. They could often be seen in the zebra or savanna exhibits. More guinea fowl and the same Egyptian geese live in the new African Savanna Exhibit.

Giraffe Building[edit]

In the 1969 the unique two-story Giraffe Building was constructed. The giraffe building was not safe. In the early 1990s two giraffes were euthanized after breaking legs on slippery floors. In 1994, the USDA cited the zoo because it failed to maintain structures in good repair at the Giraffe Building. The zoo was also cited in 1994 after failing to correct previously identified violations of peeling paint that could be ingested by the giraffes. In 2002, Sandile, a 7-year-old male reticulated giraffe, died after getting his neck stuck in a fence in the Giraffe Building. In 2004, Ruth, a 26-year-old female reticulated giraffe, was euthanized after complications of a fractured leg. The zoo could not identify whether the broken leg was building-related. Several giraffes died at Hogle Zoo, however, not all were building-related. The zoo paid in all $50,000 to insure that the Giraffe Building was USDA approved. After the African Savanna was opened in 2014, all of the zoo's giraffes were moved to a new state-of-art giraffe house. The old Giraffe Building was turned into the zoo's Maintenance Building, and it no longer houses animals.

Feline Building[edit]

The Feline Building, which opened in 1970, consisted of a series of concrete cages for big and small cats. The building housed lions, tigers, jaguars, a serval, an Arabian wildcat, ocelots, sand cats, black-footed cats, and other cats. In 1995, the cages were renovated. Renovations included fabricated trees, rock work, and recirculating water. Murals were added in 1996. The renovations cost $1,400. In 2005, construction started on Asian Highlands, the renovated Feline Building. Asian Highlands features realistic outdoor habitats for cats of Asia.

Hippo Building[edit]

The Hippo Building was located where the Conservation Carousel is today. It was built in the mid-1970s. The building was home to one male hippo named Moe. Moe had a 30,000-gallon pool. Moe shared the building with a breeding pair of black-footed penguins. On the outside of the building there were exhibits for the zoo's Siamese crocodiles, Hillary and Bill. The crocodiles were moved to the Small Animal Building in 2003. Moe moved to the Rio Grande Zoo in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Hippo Building was torn down a couple years later for the construction of the new carousel.

Animal Giants Complex

In 1981, for the Hogle Zoo's fiftieth anniversary, the Animal Giants Complex was built. The exhibit was built to house the zoo's elephants, Dari, Kali, Twiggy, Toni, and Toka, and the zoo's white rhinos, Princess and George. Naturalistic outdoor enclosures were not only built for the zoo's pachyderms but for ostriches and tortoises too. The Animal Giants Complex was renovated for Elephant Encounter which opened in 2005.

Central Zone[edit]

Central Zone was in between Desert Canyon and the Great Apes Building. Central Zone was home to the zoo's Bactrian camels. During the summer of 2012, Gobi, an arthritic male camel, was euthanized due to his great pain. He lived with another camel, named Mabel, who was then sent to the San Diego Zoo to be with other camels and so the zoo could start construction on the African Savanna exhibit.


In the late 1980s, construction on Discoveryland began. Discoveryland was the first exhibit built at Hogle Zoo to resemble animals' natural habitats. The exhibit displayed animals of the Americas. The exhibit was constructed in the eastern part of the zoo. It was built in five phases. Discoveryland was torn down in order to build the zoo's African Savanna.

Woodland Edge

Woodland edge was the first phase of Discoveryland. Woodland Edge consisted of two naturalistic exhibits. One exhibit housed the zoo's bald eagles. Their names were Sam and Betsy. The other exhibit housed a bobcat. When construction on Rocky Shores started, some of the animals from the construction zone had to be moved to Discoveryland. The exhibits in Woodland Edge were renovated to house them. Two orphaned mountain lion siblings moved into where the bobcat used to be, and a family of endangered chacoan peccaries moved into where the bald eagles were. New exhibits were built for the eagles and bobcat on the zoo's south pathway.

Knoll and Burrow

Knoll and Burrow was phase two of Discoveryland. Knoll and Burrow was a very innovative exhibit. The exhibit mimicked a cave on the American prairie. On the outside, visitors could see exhibits for a colony of prairie dogs, a stripped skunk, and a rabbit. Inside were exhibits for a cacomistle, short-tailed leaf-nosed bats, a flying squirrel, blind cave fish, and other animals like scorpions. Inside the cave, guests could look through plexiglass to get up-close views of the outside exhibits.

Marsh Aviary

The Marsh Aviary, also known as Woodland Pond, was phase four of Discoveryland . Guests could walk out onto a boardwalk over the pond. In the pond, the zoo kept a group of injured American white pelicans, a breeding pair of mute swans, a greylag goose, and a snow goose. Also in the pond were other North American duck species. Visitors could pay twenty-five cents to feed the birds.

Desert Canyon

Desert Canyon was the fifth and final phase of Discoveryland. Large red stone rocks were constructed of fabricated rock, lath and rebar over three concrete and block buildings. A concrete gun was used to build a reddish-color cement-like compound, which was then hand troweled for the rock-like appearance. As visitors followed a somewhat narrow path, they saw two exhibits. Originally they were for fennec and kit foxes, but over the years an ocelot and a coati were housed in the exhibits. Next visitors saw an aquarium housed Utah native fish species like June suckers. On top of a small mesa, angora goats and Navajo sheep lived overlooking an Anasazi cliff dwelling. Before construction on the new African Savanna started, an old angora goat and a few Navajo sheep moved into the old bighorn sheep exhibit on the south pathway. Other small glass exhibits housed Harris antelope squirrels, armadillos, a screech owl, a long-eared owl, an American kestrel, mourning doves, ring-necked pheasants, Bullock's orioles, and ravens. Desert Canyon also housed a small amphitheater. Live animal shows were held there

Traveling exhibits[edit]

The zoo has had many traveling exhibits in its history. Most of them were featured in the zoo's greenhouse, Tropical Gardens.

Tropical Gardens[edit]

Tropical Gardens, the zoo's greenhouse, featured several traveling exhibits each summer. Some of the more famous exhibits include Madagascar! (2009), Ghost of the Bayou (2007 and 2008), and Outback Adventure (2002-2004).


Hogle Zoo has featured several animated dinosaur exhibitions. The two most recent exhibitions were Zoorasic Park (2011) and Zoorasic Park 2 (2015).

World of the Wild Art Show[edit]

Every year during the late winter, the zoo features the World of the Wild Art Show. This indoor exhibition shows animal art by various artists.

Master Plan[edit]

Utah's Hogle Zoo is always finding better ways to display animals so that their habitats mimic their natural homes in the wild. In 1998, the zoo began the planning of its ten-year Master Plan. The plan laid out the blueprints for the Main Entrance (1999), the Wildlife Theater (2004), Elephant Encounter (2005), Asia Highlands (2006), and the Conservation Carousel (2008). In 2010, the Master Plan was edited and revised into a thirty-year plan. The edited version laid out the design for African Savanna (2014) and several other future exhibits, discussed below.

Great Ape and Primate Forest Expansion[edit]

The Great Ape and Primate Forest Expansion will be the biggest project Hogle Zoo still has to undertake. The project will modernize the exhibit space for the zoo's gorillas, orangutans, and smaller primates. As part of the plan, the zoo hopes to exhibit different species together. For example, the zoo wishes to introduce its colobus monkeys in with the gorilla troop. Another plan combines the zoo's spider and howler monkeys in with other South American species like tapir and capybara. This idea of mixed-species exhibits will not only stimulate the animals, but it will give guests an idea of how these animals live in the wild. Primates and apes travel long distances in the wild. Therefore, another plan for the expansion is to have overhead chutes connect several exhibits to allow the animals to move to different exhibit spaces. This feature would give the animals choice, like they would have in the wild. The Great Ape and Primate Forest Expansion will also allow better viewing opportunities for the guests.

Diversity of Life and Education[edit]

The Diversity of Life and Education building will be the zoo's new Small Animal Building. Located where the old Beastro and RendeZoo building are today, the new exhibit will feature the animals from the Small Animal Building as well as new small animals. The current Small Animal Building was built in the 1970s and is dated. The new building will have better space for both animals and guests.

The building will be three-stories high. The first two stories will be dedicated to the animals. The third floor will be used by the education staff. On the south side of the building, there will be a three-story rain forest exhibit featuring free-ranging primates and birds. Other possible exhibits may include a Madagascar exhibit. Funding for the exhibit has already begun and the project is scheduled to be done by 2022.

Flex Exhibit Zone[edit]

After the current Small Animal Building is demolished, the zoo will build a new building that will feature traveleing exhibits. When the new Beastro restaurant was built in 2014, the Tropical Gardens exhibit, which featured the zoo's traveling exhibits, had to be destroyed. The new building will be bigger than Tropical Gardens. This will allow for larger traveling exhibits

Asia Expansion[edit]

The Asia Expansion will include minor renovations to the current Asian Highlands exhibit as well as construction on more exhibits above Asian Highlands. Better exhibits for the zoo's Asian goats as well as exhibits for other Asian species will be a part of the construction. The construction will also include improvements to the South Pathway.


  1. ^ "Hogle Zoo History". hoglezoo.org. Utah's Hogle Zoo. Retrieved October 12, 2010.
  2. ^ a b "Hogle Zoo History". hoglezoo.org. Utah's Hogle Zoo. Retrieved October 12, 2010.
  3. ^ "Animal Finder". hoglezoo.org. Utah's Hogle Zoo. Retrieved October 12, 2010.
  4. ^ "Currently Accredited Zoos and Aquariums". aza.org. AZA. Retrieved February 2, 2011.
  5. ^ "Zoos and Aquariums of the World". waza.org. WAZA. Retrieved February 2, 2011.
  6. ^ "Hogle Zoo History". hoglezoo.org. Utah's Hogle Zoo. Retrieved October 12, 2010.
  7. ^ "Elephant Encounter". hoglezoo.org. Utah's Hogle Zoo. Retrieved September 27, 2011.
  8. ^ "Asian Highlands". hoglezoo.org. Utah's Hogle Zoo. Retrieved September 27, 2011.
  9. ^ Lee Davidson. "Whatever happened to ... Shasta the Utah liger?". The Salt Lake Tribune.
  10. ^ "Oldest Giraffe Passes - Utah's Hogle Zoo".
  11. ^ "Wolf Temporarily Escapes at Hogle Zoo - KSL.com". Retrieved June 14, 2016.
  12. ^ Tribune, Erin Alberty And Bob Mims The Salt Lake. "Leopard mysteriously escapes Utah zoo enclosure, takes catnap -- all amid visitors". Retrieved June 14, 2016.
  13. ^ "Hogle Zoo gorilla attacks, bites keeper". August 8, 1997. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
  14. ^ "Chimps attack, hurt 2 Hogle Zoo workers 2 animals shot, then euthanized after incident". February 28, 1999. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
  15. ^ "Monkeys break free at Hogle Zoo - KSL.com". Retrieved June 14, 2016.
  16. ^ "Hogle Zoo Conservation". hoglezoo.org. Utah's Hogle Zoo. Retrieved February 2, 2011.
  17. ^ O'Donoghue, Amy Joi (June 12, 2010). "Oil spill in Red Butte Creek threatens waters, wildlife". deseretnews.com. Deseret News. Archived from the original on September 28, 2011.

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