Zoo History


Liberty Park displays a cage of monkeys and later, acquires a deer for exhibit. The deer proved so popular that the idea of having a Salt Lake zoo is enthusiastically promoted.


The Salt Lake Parks Department starts up a zoo with an original investment of $153. The Zoo’s inventory includes:

One pair golden pheasants One pair mandarin ducks
One pair foxes One pair demoiselle cranes
One pair squirrels One pair blue peafowl
One pair white storks One pair white-faced ring-tail monkeys


The Zoo opens the “Happy Family Building”, which houses mostly birds. Included are quail, peacocks, pigeons, parakeets, ostriches, ducks, and a single turkey. The “Happy Family Building” is also home to over 100 rabbits and many guinea fowl. The Zoo opens mid-May and closes mid-December. Visitors are admitted without charge.


The Zoo purchases “Princess Alice”, a 31 or 32 year-old Asian elephant named after Theodore Roosevelt’s daughter Alice. Penny and nickel donations from area schoolchildren raise $3250 for Princess Alice’s purchase from a traveling circus called the Sells-Floto Show Company.

The Zoo’s animal inventory includes more than 275 animals, 26 of which are donated.  Except for the monkeys and Princess Alice, most of the Zoo’s collection is from North America.  In addition, 1,000 carp, 36,000 trout, 150 rabbits, 42 quail, 100 mallard ducks help make up the collection.

The Zoo’s annual budget is $4,788 of which $1,358 is spent for the animal’s food.


The Zoo erects a building to house Princess Alice.



Princess Alice gives birth to “Prince Utah,” her fourth offspring, on April 29. Area newspapers herald the “blessed event.”


Prince Utah dies on March 14 due to injuries suffered when his mother, Princess Alice, rolls over on him. Area newspapers report the mother elephant’s tears and her mournful trumpeting.



The community is in an uproar: Princess Alice breaks free of her compound too frequently and is repeatedly seen wandering Seventh East – often “wearing” on her back an odd assortment of clothing from the neighborhoods’ clotheslines. Even the Zoo’s director is frustrated with Princess Alice’s “vandalism.” Community leaders begin talking about a new location for the Zoo – and a new compound for Princess Alice.

Mr. and Mrs. James Hogle donate a parcel of land at the mouth of Emigration Canyon – which is where Utah’s Hogle Zoo is located today.

In February, the Salt Lake Zoological Society is formed to “provide direction and funding,” to assist in the acquisition of animals and the general development of the Zoo’s grounds. All work of beautification, preparing fences, moats, ponds, and animal houses donated or paid for by donation.  During Great Depression, the Zoological Society sold flowers to raise money to feed the animal collection.

On July 31, the Zoo’s “Main Building” (the old Elephant Building) is dedicated to the children of Salt Lake. On August 1, the Zoo opens to a whopping crowd of 14,000 people, many of whom arrived by public bus!

Later that year, the first Monkey Island is constructed – near the site of Primate Forest.


ReliefsculptureOn August 14, a stone relief carving of Princess Alice on the front of the “Main Building” is unveiled and dedicated. Local sculptor J.R. Fox donates the carving. Building materials are contributed by the Zoological Society and area businesses.



The water supply at the Zoo is cut off for failure to pay a $195 bill. The Zoo’s flamboyant superintendent threatens to turn all the animals loose if the water is not turned back on. (The water was restored and the animals remained in their exhibits.)


By 1941, the Zoo was in dismal repair. Both the Depression and the financial resources needed to enter World War II had seriously affected the Zoo’s financial stability. Few people – only those unfamiliar with the Zoo’s condition – visit.

In June, the Salt Lake Tribune publishes almost daily news articles about the Zoo’s deplorable conditions. One article’s headline, published June 19, sums it up: “Bad Odor, Old Cages, Garbage – That’s Salt Lake City’s Zoo.”

Upset by the Zoo’s conditions, Mr. and Mrs. Hogle request the return of their land. Salt Lake City commits to clean up and repair the grounds and facilities.


Within the year, Salt Lake City improves the Zoo, prompting a newspaper article that suggests that Duke, the Zoo’s oldest lion, died “due to the shock of living in new, clean, comfortable quarters.”

The Zoo appeals to the public to donate unwanted pets.


War rationing prompts the Zoo to grow vegetables, wheat, and oats to feed the animals. Acreage at Salt Lake City’s Jordan Park is also used to raise vegetables for the animals. The Zoo’s carnivores are fed horse meat.

A young boy kills one of the Zoo’s deer with an arrow.


Mid-December, it is reported that Princess Alice has a “stomach ache.” Within days, the much-loved elephant suffers from a “nervous infection” which leaves her partially blind. By the end of December, newspapers report that the elephant has completely recovered.


The Zoo builds pathways, bridges, and new exhibits. For the first time, murals are painted on display walls. The “Main Building” is renovated inside.


The Zoo is visited by experts and acclaimed “a fine zoo.”

In November, “Blizzard,” the Zoo’s 8-yr-old polar bear, is shot. The culprit is never caught. The Zoo’s superintendent announces that hereafter, guns found on Zoo visitors will be confiscated and punitive measures will be taken against people who throw sticks or stones at the animals. (The bullet wound, between the bear’s eye and ear, is not fatal and the bear lives another five or six years.)


ZooEntranceRenown Utah sculptor Dr. Avard Fairbanks sculpts two mountain lions atop 18-foot granite columns and the Zoo’s old entrance is erected.

Princess Alice goes on a rampage, forcing the building’s doors open and running through a fence and the gardens. As the keeper helplessly watches, the elephant rips up a concrete and steel drinking fountain and uproots a Chinese Elm tree. Later, the elephant calmly returns to her quarters.

A 3-yr-old ocelot, which had often been walked with a collar and leash, escapes en route to a West High School presentation. News accounts report that the ocelot was captured on Main Street, still wearing a collar.


On May 14, a female “liger,” sired by a father lion and mother tiger, is born. Eventually, the liger is named Shasta.


animal-crackerThe Utah Zoological Society is organized, replacing the Salt Lake City Zoological Society, which had not been functioning for 10 years.


Princess Alice, at an approximate age of 69, becomes ill and must be painlessly “put to sleep.”


monkeyIsland1956 – 1962

The Zoo constructs a cougar exhibit, grotto for the Zoo’s bears, an island for macaws, a children’s petting area and penguin display. The Zoo also constructs a new monkey island.


Zoo Director Gerald deBary is fatally bitten by a puff adder and LaMar Farnsworth is named director. The Zoo constructs a sea lion pool and dedicates it to Mr. deBary. Hogle Zoo begins research regarding snake venom.

1965 – 1966

The Tapir building and the Great Apes Building are constructed. The Zoo’s first three chimpanzees are acquired through donated trading stamps.

1968 – 1969

The Zoo constructs a “South American Area” and a unique, two-level giraffe building.

The Zoo replaces an old 45 – passenger train with a replica of the “C.P. Huntington,” an 1860 steam train owned by California Governor Leland Stanford. The cost of the train: $25,000 plus an additional $25,000 for the tracks.

1970 – 1981

Hogle Zoo’s Docent Council, an active and well-trained group of volunteers, is organized.

shastaHogle Zoo’s most popular animal, Shasta the Liger, dies of old age in 1972.

The Zoo opens the airy Feline Building; the Small Animal Building with tropical, desert and temperate zones. The Hippo Building, a wolf run, a snowy owl exhibit, and a camel display area are among the zones on display.

The Zoo celebrates its 50th anniversary by opening the Animal Giants Complex for elephants and rhinos, and a state-of-the-art animal hospital. The east end of the old elephant building is remodeled into an auditorium.


Salt Lake County, rather than the City, agrees to help fund the operating expenses of the Zoo. The Utah Zoological Society recommits to providing revenues for management and capital improvements.

Society members and other donors fund the construction of the red kangaroo exhibit, the colobus and spider monkey displays, and the pronghorn antelope area.

1983 – 1985

The last old cage-type exhibits, constructed in the 1930’s, are demolished. The Zoo completes new exhibits for endangered snow leopards, primates, and great apes.

The Utah State Legislature recognizes the Zoo as a state revenue-enhancing attraction and commits an annual grant to the Zoo’s operating expenses. The Zoo becomes Utah’s Hogle Zoo.

1986 – 1989

Through private donations and Society memberships, the Zoo opens an African Savannah, a gazelle exhibit, renovated primate areas, and the first three phases of Discovery Land at the east end of the Zoo.

Attendance tops 600,000 and in 1989, over 652,000 people visit Utah’s Hogle Zoo.


Three more phases of Discovery Land open: Prairie & the Predator, Knoll & Burrow, and Marsh Aviary.

Gorgeous, the Zoo’s 41-yr-old gorilla has a cataract removed and a lens implanted by Dr. Allan Crandall, an ophthalmologist at the University of Utah Medical School. The surgery and lens are donated. Gorgeous can see, is more active, and adjusts well to her new life.

The Zoo’s oldest resident, Kali, a 46-yr-old Asian elephant, suffers from a continuous foot ailment and has an orthopedic shoe custom made. Kali rips it up in no time and her paddock is remodeled with a cement floor to keep dirt and pebbles out of her foot pads.


The Zoo kicks off its’ 60th anniversary celebration, July 31, on Zoo grounds with the unveiling and dedication of the Hogle Monument, a bronze elephant bust sculpted by Salt Lake artist John Mortensen. Fellow trustees of the Utah Zoological Society, Zoo staff, friends and four generations of Hogles recognize James E. Hogle, Sr..

A time capsule is buried by Director LaMar Farnsworth, Governor Norman Bangerter and James E. Hogle, Jr., and the month long celebration continues through August.

The Utah State Legislature recognizes the Zoo’s 60 years of service to Utah communities by passing a resolution commemorating the Zoo’s 60th anniversary.

Elaine, one of the Zoo’s first gorillas, moves to the Toledo Zoo, where she is placed with males who can produce offspring, since attempts to breed her with two other gorillas at Hogle Zoo were unsuccessful.

Attendance tops 716,000. Admission is $4.00 for adults, $2 for children 5-14 and seniors, and children under 5 are free.


The fifth and final phase of Discovery Land, the Desert, is completed marking the completion of the $2.5 million development at the east end of the Zoo. Zoo attendance tops 750,0000.


Utah’s Hogle Zoo opens a temporary exhibit, “Dinosaurs Alive!” featuring 17 life-sized robotic dinosaurs. Attendance to the exhibit reaches 266,751 and total attendance to the Zoo is a new record of 789,000. Zoo increases admission prices to $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for children.


Utah’s Hogle Zoo opens its new gift shop, “The Flamingo Zootique” in April. The Zoo’s summer attraction, a rare white alligator, is displayed from July – September.

Media and animal rights activists begin vigilance at the Zoo after “high profile” animals die at the Zoo during 1994. Actually, animal deaths during 1994 reached one of the lowest numbers in ten years.

Unseasonably hot weather dramatically reduces attendance to Utah’s Hogle Zoo by 21%.

First annual Art Show hosted, featuring local artists and works on the natural world.


The AZA Western Regional Conference is hosted by Utah’s Hogle Zoo.

steve“World of Flight” bird show, hosted by Steve Chindgren, makes its debut, running from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Butterfly World, a green house housing butterflies, emerging boxes, and chrysalids opens to the public.

Remodeling begins on the small feline exhibits in the Feline Building.


Remodeling is finished on the small feline exhibits, which now include murals.

Phase I of the “A. LaMar Farnsworth Primate Forest” opens to the public, housing the colobus monkeys. Monkey Island is torn down to make way for phases II and III of Primate Forest.

Warthogs are on display from Memorial Day to Labor Day; black-footed ferrets and zebras arrive; the sea lion exhibit is remodeled to become the Penguin Cove.


After 43 years as director, A. LaMar Farnsworth retires, and Craig Dinsmore becomes Executive Director. Phases II and III are completed on the Primate Forest.

polarbearcubDinosaurs are back, with “Zoorassic Jungle,” which, along with the birth of twin polar bear cubs Koluk and Kiska, gives the Zoo record attendance of 821,458.

New offices are built for Marketing, Graphics, and Development. The Zoo hires its first Development Director.

Gorgeous, a 48 yr.-old gorilla, becomes the oldest gorilla in captivity.

Fourth year of the art show and third year of the “World of Flight” bird show.


The main concession stand is remodeled to be more time and cost efficient. It is now a walk-in, self-serve stand called “The Beastro.” Work starts on the parking lot, which will include a stone wall and planters, and the main restrooms are enlarged.

Unseasonably cool weather brings a slow spring and summer.

The first gala, “Rendezvous In The Zoo” raises over $100,000 for the Zoo, and brings fund-raising in Utah to new heights.

Strategic Planning and Master Planning are now under way, which gives the Zoo a 10-year plan for remodeling.


Admission prices are changed to Adults (13 – 64) $6.00, Children (3 – 12) and seniors $4.00, and children 2 and younger are Free.

Komodo1The 6th annual art show is a tremendous success, and the perennial favorite, The World of Flight Bird Show, returns as well.

Twin polar bear cubs, born on Thanksgiving of 1998, “come out” in mid-April.

The Komodo Dragon is on display from Memorial Day to Labor Day, housed in the Tropical Gardens.


On July 17, 2000, the Zoo officially broke ground for the Entry Complex, the first project of the new Master Plan.

KoalaTwo koalas are on loan from San Diego Zoo through the summer.


“Butterflies!” debuts in Tropical Gardens and Utah’s Hogle Zoo opens a much-anticipated new Entry Plaza. The Entry Plaza is made up of a new Wild Zootique gift shop, Membership and Guest Services, a new train station and an Events Pavilion.

Anana, a female polar bear, born on December 12, 2000, makes her public debut in April.

Admission prices increase to $7 for adults and $5 for children 3 – 12 and senior citizens.


The year started off with a bang, as the 2002 Winter Olympic celebration concluded with the state’s largest ever firework display. The fireworks, set off directly across from the Zoo, caused concern for the Zoo’s animals. The event went off without a hitch or an injured animal.

The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) recognized the “Wild Zootique” gift shop with the runner up award for “Best Merchandising Display.”

The American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK) awarded the Zoo’s behavioral enrichment co-coordinator with their first ever Environmental Enrichment Award. The award recognizes outstanding keeper-initiated contributions to the art and science of environmental enrichment.

Outback“Outback Adventure” opened in May. The exhibit, featuring over 300 free flight birds from Australia, gave guests the chance to interact with the birds and have them feed right from their hand. This is the most interactive exhibit the Zoo has ever presented.

Two black bear cubs, orphaned in the wilds of Minnesota, debuted in July. A golden lion tamarin and a giraffe were born in September. Two female red pandas made their debut in December.

In October, the Zoo conducted its first “Request for Proposal” to find an outside vendor for the food and retail services.


TigercubsAmur (Siberian) tiger cubs were born in February.

Salt Lake City voters passed Proposition #1, “Redo the Zoo” campaign in November, giving the Zoo $10.2 million to improve the elephant and feline habitats.

The World of the Wild Art Show celebrates its 10th year.

Outback Adventure returns for a second year.

It was with great sadness that the Zoo announced the tragic death of the Zoo’s only polar bear, Andy. He died Wednesday, November 26, 2003.  The bear had ingested an adult size glove, which he was unable to digest.


The Board of Directors votes to open their board meetings to the public and media.  The first open meeting was held in May.

Kali, the Zoo’s only Asian elephant, dies. At 59 years of age, Kali was the third oldest Asian elephant in North America and had been at Hogle Zoo since 1954.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the “Elephant Encounter” exhibit happens in June. It is the first project of the “Redo the Zoo” campaign.

WildlifeTheaterThe new “Wildlife Theatre,” a 450-seat outdoor theater, opens in June. The theater hosted the ever-popular bird show, as well as several evening concerts.

Four Chacoan peccaries arrive in July. The endangered animals make their home in a newly refurbished exhibit next to the Bear Grotto.

The Zoo again receives accreditation from the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) in September. Accreditation is granted for a five-year period and is awarded following an extensive application process.

“Outback Adventure” left in September after a successful three year run. The exhibit, featuring over 400 free flight birds from Australia, gave guests the chance to interact with the birds and have them feed right from their hand.

The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) recognized the Zoo’s radio advertising with the “Distinguished Excellence Award.”

Salt Lake County residents face re-authorization of the Zoo, Arts, and Parks (ZAP) tax. Hogle Zoo, along with the ZAP re-authorization committee, hosts ZAP Appreciation Day at the zoo. The day is highlighted with performances, demonstrations, exhibits, and arts from various ZAP recipients. ZAP is overwhelmingly approved, receiving 71 percent of the vote.


In March, the Board of Directors approved an increase in admission prices and membership prices. Admission increased to $8 for adults, $6 for children (ages 3-12) and seniors 65 and older. Children 2 and younger receive free admission. Membership fees increase for the first time in 12 years.

AcaraOn Mother’s Day, May 8, a baby orangutan is born via c-section. Since her mother does not recognize the baby as hers, staff and volunteers take on the around the clock duties of caring for the baby. Staff works through out the year to reintroduce the baby to her mother.

Elephant Encounter, the largest, new animal exhibit in 25 years, opens to rave reviews in June. The exhibit, featuring three female African elephants and two white rhinoceros, provides a stimulating, updated environment for the animals by enhancing and increasing the habitats, activities and surrounding areas while providing better viewing areas and educational opportunities for the guests.

ElephantEncounterConvergys Corporation pledges $200,000 to become the title sponsor of the African Lodge at the Elephant Encounter exhibit.

“Butterflies!” returns in Tropical Gardens as the summer special exhibit.

Construction begins on Asian Highlands, the renovation of the feline habitat. This is the second project funded by the 2003 Salt Lake City General Obligation bond. The exhibit is scheduled to open in the summer of 2006.

The Zoo receives the 2005 Thomas A. Martin Utah Recycler of the Year Award from the Recycling Coalition of Utah. The award recognizes the Zoo for being environmentally conscious, caring about recycling and helping to make a difference in our community and environment.

The Zoo wins the prestigious IAAPA Brass Ring Award in Atlanta for its “Destination: Hogle Zoo” group sales brochure.

The second highest attendance in Zoo history is recorded with 800,521 visitors enjoying the Zoo.


The Zoo instituted a marketing plan in January to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Zoo at its current location. Monthly activities and discounts were held.

AsianHighlandsAfter several delays in scheduling a grand opening due to construction delays, on June 29, Asian Highlands opened to rave reviews. Asian Highlands is phase three of the master plan and the second of two projects funded by the 2003 Salt Lake City General Obligation bond.

On July 10, a retrospective of the Zoo’s history as part of its 75th anniversary celebration opened in the auditorium. A highlight was the return of Shasta the liger. The retrospective was popular with members and guests and three “memory books” were filled with guest memories of the Zoo.

Butterflies! returned for the second consecutive year in the Tropical Gardens building.

Acara the baby orangutan celebrated her first birthday on May 14.

A female grey wolf escaped on Mother’s Day, May 14. The Zoo had to be evacuated late in the afternoon. It was captured shortly thereafter with no incidents.

Zoo Rendezvous achieves record revenue in September.

Abby the lion dies of complications of old age in late December.

Intermountain Contractor magazine’s “Best of 2006” issue honored Hogle Zoo with it’s award for “Best Public Project Under $5 million” for the Zoo’s newest addition, Asian Highlands.

The Zoo wins five Utah Tourism Marketing Awards at the Utah Tourism Conference in Ogden.

The Association of Marketing & Communication Professionals honored Hogle Zoo with a MarCom Creative – Gold Award for its “Destination: Hogle Zoo” group sales brochure.

Hogle Zoo achieves record attendance with 847,831.


WhiteAlligatorThe Zoo opens “Ghost of the Bayou” in early May – a temporary white alligator exhibit in the greenhouse.

The Zoo is honored with one Utah Tourism Marketing Award for their Asian Highlands radio spot at the Utah Tourism Conference in Price.

A successful artificial insemination procedure was completed on Christie, the African elephant in the spring by the team from Germany.

A Disneymania! Concert for Conservation took place on July 11 to raise money for Zoo and AZA conservation efforts. Hogle Zoo is one of only 10 zoos nationwide selected via submitted proposals to participate.

Two cheetah introduced to Zoo guests in late June.

A capital campaign was started to raise $20 million in private funds.

A campaign was initiated to put a $65 million bond on the county ballot.


Christy, one of the Zoo’s elephants, is determined to be pregnant in February. This was the third of three attempts to artificially inseminate her by the team from Germany.

OasisPlazaA new carousel, entitled the “Conservation Carousel” opened to the general public in June.

The “Ghost of the Bayou”- the popular white alligator exhibit in tropical garden – is extended through the fall.

Muke, a female gorilla, undergoes successful surgery for a hysterectomy by a team of physicians to help in her battle with cancer. The Zoo hospital team assisted in the surgery.

Upon the death of “Petal” in June, an African elephant at the Philadelphia Zoo, HyDari at Hogle Zoo becomes the oldest living African elephant, at age 48, at any zoo in the country.

Eli, a howler monkey, undergoes successful cataract surgery performed by a local ophthalmologist and assisted by the Zoo hospital team.

“Boo at the Zoo” on Saturday, October 25 sets an all-time one day attendance record: 23,479. The previous record was in excess of 17,000 during a ZCMI free day in 1983.

Salt Lake County voters passed Proposition #2 “Renew the Zoo” in November which will bring $33 million to the Zoo for exhibit improvement. This amount is contingent on the Zoo raising $11 million within the next two years.

For the third consecutive year, Hogle Zoo achieves record attendance – 996,070.


The recent instability with the economy – including a reduced state government appropriation and reduced ZAP Tax income, has forced Hogle Zoo to make cuts in the operating budget.

The Zoo marketing wins 23 Utah Addy Advertising Awards including People’s Choice and Best of Show at award ceremony in January.

Muke, the Zoo’s popular and beloved 44-year old female western lowland gorilla, loses her fight with cancer in March.. Muke had been a resident at the Zoo since 1996.

Hogle Zoo marketing wins “Best of Show” award at Utah Tourism Awards ceremony in May for 2008 ZooLights TV spot. First time in history that one organization wins back-to-back “Best of Show” awards. Zoo also wins two other awards.

fossaMadagascar! is the Zoo’s newest exhibit to be housed temporarily in the tropical gardens greenhouse. It features two fossa, tenrecs, tree boas, hissing cockroaches, and radiated tortoises. It opened to the public on May16.

It is the summer of babies at Hogle Zoo! Two GLTs debut on Mother’s Day, A male snow leopard cub is born on May 7, three male tiger cubs are born on June 2, a rare Siamese crocodile is born, a giraffe is born on July 30, also meerkats, prairie dogs and a howler monkey. And the “biggest” birth of all was:

On August 10, Christie the African elephant became a first time mom with the birth of a healthy female calf. A naming contest was conducted and the little girl debuted to an anxious public on Friday, September 11.

The Zoo grand opens and dedicates state-of-the-art LS Skaggs Animal Health Center in November.

The third annual ZooLights! welcomes 35,068 guests.

The Zoo draws over one million guests for the first time ever in 2009. The millionth visitor entered through the Zoo gates during ZooLights on December 17. His name was Ray Drake of West Jordan, UT.

For the fourth consecutive year, Hogle Zoo achieves record attendance – 1, 022,066


Two grevy’s zebra die mysteriously the last week of January. One found dead and the other euthanized the following day.

Orangs unanimously (and correctly) predict that the New Orleans Saints will win the Super Bowl during the 2010 media event “Primate Picks” on February 4.

The Zoo begins intensive designing of and planning for Rocky Shores exhibit, scheduled to open in the spring of 2012.

Giraffe born on July 30th of last year dies on March 28 due to “failure to thrive.”

Nature’s Nightmares! opens to the public in the green house on Saturday, May 16.

HusaniMale western lowland gorilla arrives from Birmingham Zoo in May. He is named Husani.
Great ape staff begins slow introduction of Husani with Tino in June in order to form a “bachelor troop.”

Hogle Zoo wins third consecutive “Best of Show” marketing award for the Madagascar media kit at the Utah Tourism Awards in May.

Dari, considered the oldest African elephant in North America, celebrates her 50th birthday in June with a public event.

Hogle Zoo keeper staff, at the request of the Utah Division of Wildlife and Chevron Oil, take on the task of cleaning and caring for over 100 water fowl following the oil spill on June 12.

Zuri, the female African elephant born in 2009, celebrates her first birthday on August 14. A large crowd wished her happy birthday at a special public event.

All animals removed from the northwest corner of the Zoo by August 23 in preparation for construction of Rocky Shores. Demolition of site began shortly thereafter and completed by September 24.

ZooLights! adds live reindeer and a Santa operation. Attendance is 37,590 – the second highest in the event’s four year history.


Construction continues in earnest on Rocky Shores in first quarter.

BridgeNew bridge moved to permanent site over Emigration Creek on Friday, March 11.

Site mitigation of area for Conservation Resource Center completed by mid-March.
Dinosaurs arrive on Monday, May 2 for Zoorassic Park summer event beginning May 14.

JurassicParkZoorassic Park ends on August 28. Zoo enjoyed 65,000 additional guests over the same period in 2010 during the 3 ½ month Zoorassic Park event.

Tropical Gardens building demolished in early September to make way for the new Beastro with indoor eating space.

Ground broken for new Conservation Resource Center on Zoo’s south ridge, early September.

Record attendance and revenue for Zoo Rendezvous event, September 8.

Record number of corporate events booked and hosted on Zoo grounds throughout summer months.

Hogle Zoo welcomes the arrival of two female gorillas, summer. Introduced to male gorillas in the fall.

The 5th Annual ZooLights! welcomes 63,916 revelers – a new attendance record. The old record set in 2008 was 44,337.

Construction continued at a fast pace on three high profile projects thanks to mild December weather; Tembo Terrace, CRC and Rocky Shores.

Hogle Zoo welcomed its one millionth guest for only the second time in our history, Jodi Peterson of Las Vegas, NV, on Wednesday, December 28

Hogle Zoo achieves record attendance in 2011 for the fifth time in six years with 1,023,696 guest visits.


RockyShoresRocky Shores opens to rave reviews on June 1. The Zoo welcomes back a polar bear (Rizzo), three sea lions (Big Guy, Rocky and Maverick), three harbor seals, and two river otters. The Zoo welcomed three grizzly bear siblings and re-located two bald eagles.

Snow leopard cub born, April 16.

Construction begins on the Maintenance Operations Building (MOB)

New Beastro opens in April to replace the old Beastro. It offers indoor seating for the first time in the Zoo’s history and is considered the Zoo’s main concession building.

214,000 visit the Zoo in the month of June, the most people to visit the Zoo during a 30-day period in the Zoo’s history.

The marketing, senior admin, development, HR, and finance departments move into the new Conservation Resource Center Administrative building on July 25.

Giraffe born, Sunday, September 16

snowleopardcubOld Elephant Building, Woodland Edge, Pond, Playground, Discovery Theater, Knoll and Burrow and Discovery Land razed for construction of African Savanna, September 17

One million in attendance achieved on Sunday, October 7

11,481 attend Boo at the Zoo – the highest daily attendance of the year.

Gibbon born. Spending time bonding with parents in Primate building.

Kimberley Davidson and Doug Tomkinson, two long-time employees of Hogle Zoo, retired in December

76,208 attended the sixth annual ZooLights – a new record


“Creature of Habitat: A Gazillion-Piece Animal Adventure” LEGO exhibit, leased from the Philadelphia Zoo, debuted on April 24 to large crowds. It left town on September 30.

Big Guy, the Zoo’s popular blind California sea lion, dies on Monday, July 8 due to urogenital carcinoma with metastasis, a cancer common among sea lions.  Big Guy was much loved by both staff and guests alike during his short 14 month stay at Hogle Zoo.

SplashPadLighthouse Point, a new splash Zoo located at the main entry to Rocky Shores, debuted on August 1.

Boo at the Zoo, traditionally the Zoo’s most popular single day special event, achieved attendance of 15,220, the second highest attended Boo event in its 25 year history.

Hogle Zoo hosted the 2013 American Association of Zoo Veterinarians (AAZV) annual conference, September 27 – October 4.

Hogle Zoo partnered with This Is The Place to add additional parking capacity for both parks. An additional 200 spaces were added and opened to the public in late fall.

A painting by Christie elephant was presented to former-president George W. Bush in May.

A new adoption program called A.D.O.P.T. was introduced in mid-year. The public can choose to adopt and support an animal from a pre-selected group.

Final 2013 attendance: 1,051,413 – the fourth largest in the Zoo’s history.


Hogle Zoo opened the lion exhibit of the new African Savanna on May 2 to rave reviews.

BaronHogle Zoo opened the grasslands portion of the new African Savanna on May 30.

Preparations begin for Hogle Zoo to host the 2015 annual Aquarium and Zoo Association (AZA) conference.

Hogle Zoo advertising for 2013 wins nine (9) regional advertising awards from the American Advertising Federation.

The World of Flight Bird Show celebrates its 20th anniversary at Utah’s Hogle Zoo and the daily summer program is more popular than ever!

Eli, a male orangutan died of complications due to breast cancer in September. He was diagnosed in May of 2011.

Hogle Zoo wins Brass Ring Award for “Best TV commercial” for the 2013 LEGO event, from the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions

Tuah, a male orangutan was born on November 4 by c-section. Eve, his mother died from complications not long after his birth. The dedicated team of primate keeper staff worked around the clock for weeks caring for Tuah, until they were able to turn him over to the care of his big sister Acara.

ZooLights, now in its 8th year, celebrates RECORD attendance of 96,822!

Final 2014 attendance just misses a new record with 1,219,309 – the second largest in the Zoo’s history.


Carrying on the legacy of Eli, the orangutan, the lions of African Savanna select the winning team of the Super Bowl (Patriots) for the eighth consecutive year.

Zoorassic Park 2 opens to rave reviews on Friday, May 1. It includes 14 animatronic dinosaurs representing 11 species. There are over 13 individual sponsors, including the presenting sponsor, Les Schwab Tire Centers and a major contributor, the Natural History Museum of Utah.

Construction gets underway for the new Creekside project, replacing the deteriorating primate building.

TuahIn April, Tuah, a baby orangutan, debuts to the public.

A new Hogle Zoo Assistant Director is hired, Christina Castellano.

In early August, HyDari, the oldest African elephant in North America, succumbs to the effects of old age at the age of 55.

Utah’s Hogle Zoo is proud to host the annual conference of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums at the Salt Palace in September. Hogle Zoo plans and hosts the Ice breaker at Library Square and Zoo Day.

The Big Six debuts as the chief conservation projects for Hogle Zoo in the near future.

Final ZooLights attendance is 64,506 – the third largest in the event’s history.

Final Zoo attendance is 1,132,676 – the third largest in the Zoo’s 84 years.


Creekside1Creekside opens in May featuring a new amphitheater, an expanded playground and walkways near Emigration Creek.

A new General Curator is hired, Michelle Stancer.

In January, a giraffe is born to Pogo and Riley and named Willow.

18,707 attend the February Wild Wednesday free admission event (as a thank you to ZAP voters), the second highest one-day Zoo attendance total since records have been kept.

A set of three (3) African lion cubs are born to mother Nabu and father Baron on Wednesday, February 24.

Rocky, a male sea lion, passed away in late April of causes related to health concerns he had before arriving at Hogle Zoo in 2012.

Creekside Discovery Theater was dedicated in May in honor of a young boy named Wyatt Fricks. The theater is named in his memory.

Creekside Play Area ribbon cutting ceremony took place on May 12. SLC Mayor Jackie Biskupski, Zoo Executive Director Craig Dinsmore and Salt Lake County’s Karen Hale spoke. The ribbon was dropped by a blue Macaw from the World of Flight Bird Show.

LionCubsThe three lion cubs, Brutus, Titus and Calliope, debut to an adoring public on Monday, May 16.

Daphne, the oldest giraffe in North America, passed away in May of health issues incident to age.

A 60 lb female Amur leopard left her outdoor yard at habitat #3 on June 7 and was found asleep on a ledge 10 feet above the public viewing window. Once the cat was discovered and her location confirmed, the Zoo’s emergency protocol was immediately initiated. The cat was darted successfully with a sedative, crated and moved to the indoor holding area within Asian Highlands. The community applauded the professionalism and calm manner that the Zoo’s emergency response team handled this rare incident.

A new Zoo annual tradition begins on May 25 with the first of five Zoo Brew events, raising money for specific conservation causes.

Staff celebrates the Zoo’s 85th birthday on August 1 with cake for guests and staff.

At the annual conference of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, Hogle Zoo was honored along with eight sister institutions with the Association’s International Conservation Award. The award recognizes exceptional efforts by AZA member institutions toward habitat preservation, species restoration and support of biodiversity in the wild.  Utah’s Hogle Zoo was recognized for its partnership with G.R.A.C.E – Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education Center.

Hogle Zoo introduces BooLights for six nights in October, a new Halloween light event, similar to the popular December ZooLights event.

ZooLights celebrates its 10th anniversary as one of Utah’s largest walk through holiday lights events.