From Tigers to Trombones to Trails

(Salt Lake City, UT) ­ — Utah’s Hogle Zoo is pleased to host fellow ZAP recipients for a ZAP appreciation day.

Dozens of ZAP recipients from around Salt Lake County will be at the Zoo, Wednesday, Oct. 1, 10a – 4p with information booths, crafts, demonstrations and performances.

Utah’s Hogle Zoo also offered 5,000 tickets, in-kind donation, as a thank you for past ZAP support and to encourage renewal of ZAP which will be on ballots this upcoming election.

In 1997, voters passed the Zoo, Arts & Parks Program – a 1/10th of 1% sales tax (one penny out of every $10 spent) that helps support and enhance local Zoo, arts, parks and recreation programs throughout Salt Lake County. This November 4, Salt Lake county voters will have another opportunity to keep a good thing going, by renewing their ZAP program for the same 1/10th of 1% sales tax.

 Thanks to citizen support, ZAP has:

- Supported over 160 arts, cultural and zoological organizations; 13 parks and trails and 17 recreation centers.

- Funded cultural activities that more than 7 million people participate in annually.

- Made it possible for nearly 4 million free admissions to be granted for ZAP-funded events each year.

“ZAP provides critical assistance to so many worthy organizations that enhance the quality of life in our community,” said Craig Dinsmore, Zoo Executive Director. “We are happy to showcase some of them this Wednesday at Utah’s Hogle Zoo.”

Salt Lake County voters are encouraged to come gather information on ZAP and its impact on the community, as it appears on the ballot in the November, 2014 election.

For more ZAP information, visit

Paid for by the 2014 Zoo, Arts and Parks Committee – a committee of moms, dads, grandparents, teachers, coaches and community leaders. Not paid for at taxpayers’ expense.

Let’s Keep A Good Thing Going!

A ‘Super’ Loss at the Zoo

With heavy hearts, Hogle Zoo staff mourns the sudden decline and passing of adult male orangutan, Elijah.

A staff and community favorite, Elijah, better known as Eli, became a national superstar for correctly predicting the winner of the Super Bowl the last seven out of seven years – landing him national media attention including in Sports Illustrated magazine, MSNBC and numerous national TV news programs.

The 24-year-old Eli died from complications due to breast cancer.

Following his passing, Senior Zoo Veterinarian, Dr. Nancy Carpenter, performed a necropsy (animal autopsy) and found signs of metastic cancer in the liver and the neck area. Samples will be sent out for further analysis which will take one to two months for results.

Eli had been exhibiting signs of discomfort and a lack of appetite. Veterinary staff worked closely with ape keepers and, concerned that it was Eli’s cancer, conducted an exploratory procedure last Saturday, “We were hoping to find something fixable,” said Dr. Carpenter. “The staff worked tirelessly but the mass in his neck was blocking his airway and he succumbed during the procedure.”

Eli was diagnosed with mammary gland adenocarcinoma (breast cancer) in May of 2011. This is extremely rare in orangutans, with only two reported cases for females and no reported cases in males.

Zoo veterinary staff closely monitored Eli’s condition over the ensuing years. After his diagnosis he had two surgeries to remove the original mass; one of the surgeries being performed by a breast cancer surgeon from the Huntsman Cancer Institute. Eli also had CT scans to look for metastasis and numerous ultrasounds to monitor the progression of the tumor in lymph nodes in his arm pit area. He was on traditional medications used in humans for this condition.

“Eli was a model patient and allowed us to follow his cancer with regular ultrasound exams and blood collections during training sessions,” Dr. Carpenter said. “He will be missed for his great personality as well as his cooperative nature.”

Born at Topeka Zoo, Topeka KS, Eli moved to Utah in 2004 and lived as a family unit with Eve, 23, and was a gentle father to nine-year-old Acara.

“Eli was the class clown, a total ham,” said senior great ape keeper, Bobbi Gordon. “He aimed to entertain and please. He played gently with Acara and was very interactive with the public. He enjoyed doing silly things to make guests or keepers squeal, laugh and scream,” she said.

He also enjoyed training sessions with the keepers, “he was very eager to please so he was a training sponge,” Gordon said. “He had a lot of patience as long as you were giving him attention.”

“I was lucky enough to have worked with Elijah for 10 years,” said Erin Jones, senior ape keeper. “He was always eager to learn, even complicated behaviors. He made me a better keeper.”

Eli’s larger-than-life presence, mischievous grin and his decisive Super Bowl picks will be sorely missed.

Most media outlets have footage of Eli during various primate picks. Here is a link for 2014′s prediction of the Seattle Seahawks:


Dari Turns 54!

What Do You Get an Elephant For Her Birthday?

(Salt Lake City, UT) — Luckily Dari’s not too picky – she just wants you to join the party!

Dari, the oldest African elephant in North America, is turning another year older – she’ll be 54!

Come help us celebrate!

Saturday, June 14, 10:30 a.m., Dari will get a birthday cake fit for an elephant – made up of protein pellets, fruits and veggies with mashed potato frosting!

After the elephant-sized demonstration, kids can make a craft to take home and see other senior animals celebrate getting another year older as well.

Tino, one of our silver back gorillas is 41 years old (enrichment at 10:00 a.m.)

And Daphne, our gorgeous giraffe, turns 29 this year – another Hogle Zoo senior (enrichment throughout the day).

“Dari’s going strong,” says elephant keeper, Eric Peterson. “She deserves every bite of cake she gets!”

Guests will also enjoy free pie from Village Inn, puppet shows by Kipper Brothers Puppet Works and costumed characters from FantastyCon.

Kids can also make birthday cards for all of our animals!


Animals in zoos tend to live longer than those in the wild. With better healthcare and less stress, zoo animals can live well into their senior years.

  • African elephants: Average lifespan, 35-45 years
  • Giraffes: 15 years
  • Gorillas: 35 years

**Media is encouraged to arrive by 10:15 a.m. and check in at guest services. Erica Hansen (801-541-6112) will escort them and get them placed at elephants. Please be early as crews will need to be moved through the crowds.**

Utah’s Hogle Zoo is one of only 225 accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in their native habitats. For more information visit



Hartmann’s Mountain Zebras

Three Hartmann’s Mountain Zebras are now on exhibit as part of our new African Savanna Exhibit.  The three zebras are two females and a young male.  The two females named Ziva (born 01/18/2013 at the Louisville Zoo) and Zoey (born 02/27/2012 at the San Diego Zoo) arrived at Hogle Zoo on April 22, 2014.  The male was born (06/17/2013) at the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Texas and received the name Ziggy through a naming contest after arriving at Hogle Zoo on May 8, 2014.

Female Lions

Seyla and Nabu are our two new female lions now on exhibit in the Lion Hill section of our African Savanna exhibit.  They are sisters who were born in the Woodland Park Zoo November 8, 2012 and arrived at Hogle Zoo on March 10, 2014.  They will be part of the Zoo’s Species for Survival Plan (SSP) and hopefully will be able to produce baby lions with the Zoo’s two male lions.

Utah’s Hogle Zoo Salutes Our Military!

WHO: Utah’s Hogle Zoo wants to thank those who have served our country.

WHAT: Saturday, May 17 is Armed Forces Day and for the 12th consecutive year, Utah’s Hogle Zoo says thank you by offering free admission to all military personnel and veterans, as well as their spouses and children under the age of 18 (with valid military I.D.)

The Zoo also welcomes families of fallen soldiers. Representatives from the National Guard and Reserves Survivor Outreach Services will be on hand.

Members of the media are invited to capture the day of appreciation Saturday, May 17 beginning at 9 a.m.

WHEN: Saturday, May 17; Zoo grounds are open from 9a – 5p.

WHERE: Utah’s Hogle Zoo, 2600 East Sunnyside Avenue, SLC, Utah 84108

Media please check in at guest services and ask for Erica Hansen, 801-541-6112



Male Lions

Baron and Vulcan are our two new male lions now on exhibit in the Lion Hill section of our African Savanna exhibit.  They are brothers who were born in the Birmingham, Alabama Zoo May 25, 2011 and arrived at Hogle Zoo on April 9, 2014.  They will be part of the Zoo’s Species for Survival Plan (SSP) and hopefully will be able to produce baby lions with the Zoo’s two female lions.

Snow Leopard

A new female snow leopard, Kisa,  arrived at the Zoo as part of a Species Survival Plan (SSP) breeding program.  This new female was born at the Denver Zoo (06/29/06) and arrived at Hogle Zoo November 14, 2013.  It is hoped that Kisa and Hogle Zoo’s male snow leopard, Chimeegui, will be able to produce offspring in the near future.