Zoo Accessibility Information

Utah’s Hogle Zoo believes that recreation and environmental education should be available for people of all ability levels, and that each person can be an environmental steward. The Zoo strives to make its programs and facilities available and enjoyable for families and individuals of all abilities.

Guests with Mobility Impairments

Wheelchairs and Electronic Convenience Vehicles (ECVs) are available for rent on a first-come-first-serve basis, and cannot be reserved in advance. Personal wheelchairs and ECVs are permitted for use on Zoo grounds. For the safety of all guests, we ask that ECVs be set to walking speed.

Both the World of Flight Bird Show and the Pinniped Program have wheelchair accessible spots in the backs of the amphitheaters. Ask any staff member for assistance and they will be happy to show you to a seat.

All exhibits have a wheelchair accessible entrance. Zoofari Express and Conservation Carousel have ramps upon request.

All pathways at the Zoo are paved, but due to the slope of the landscape, some paths are more accessible than others. Use the accessibility map to determine pathways and exhibits that will be best for your visit.

 Service Animals

All service animals must check in through our Guest Services office before being admitted on Zoo grounds. Service animals are permitted in all but the following locations: World of Flight Bird Show, Zoofari Express, South Hill and Asian Highlands, and the center rainforest exhibit in the Small Animal Building. See Zoo accessibility map. If you still wish to visit these areas, the Zoo provides a temporary kennel for service animals (no pets) while you visit the exhibit with members of your party. Water will be provided for kenneled service animals, and they will be kept in a safe, clean area not accessible to the general public during your visit in the Zoo exhibit. If your service animal needs to relieve itself, there are grassy areas by the Great Apes building and Elephant Encounter. Please be considerate and remove animal waste.

During your visit, please be sensitive to the Zoo animals. If they seem distressed by your service animal’s presence, please step back from the exhibit to help the Zoo animal calm down. Be aware that there are free-roaming chickens and peafowl on Zoo grounds that may cross the path.

Please note that on a limited basis, other areas may be designated off limits for service animals on a day-to-day basis, due to sensitive animal care concerns such as new births or hatchlings, nesting or breeding behaviors in progress, or new animals in exhibits.

 Guests who are Blind or have Low Vision

Following is a listing of all accessible tactile statues and signs in the Zoo, categorized by exhibit.

Tactile and Sensory Exhibits

  • African Savanna
    • Stylized giraffe statue at entry plaza on a springy flooring
    • Sign comparing foot casts of savanna animals at Giraffe yard
    • Bronze dung beetle, lion and zebra skulls at Twiga Terrace
    • Model skulls and bones embedded in “cliffs” surrounding lion habitat
      • Please note that there is an interactive cave space for children with low ceilings at the east end of the exhibit.
    • Lion pride statue
    • Soundboard at west end of African Savanna with animal vocalizations
  • Elephant Encounter
    • Model elephant skull, femur and tooth
    • Elephant tusk, model rhino horn and skin
    • Stylized statue of Jumbo the elephant, which makes noise and blows air out of its trunk
    • Life-size statue of rhino with tickbirds on its back
  • Great Apes
    • Male gorilla statue outside entrance to Great Ape Building
    • Female gorilla bust on south side of Great Ape yards with a braille sign
  • Rocky Shores
    • Sign comparing footprints of small North American mammals
    • Life-size otter statue
    • Hollow log for play on a springy flooring
    • Sign comparing seal and sea lion skulls
    • Life-size seal statue
    • Life-size polar bear and cubs statue
    • Bronze models of small sea creatures inside Tidewater Cove by crash tanks
    • Skull and bones of whales, dolphins and walrus inside Tidewater Cove. Please note that marine mammal bones are porous and filled with oil for buoyancy when the animal is alive; therefore, these bones have a strong, oily scent if you lean close.
    • Soundboard of animal vocalizations at west entrance of Tidewater Cove
    • Comparison of polar, brown and black bear paws
    • Comparison of polar, brown and black bear skulls
  • Asian Highlands
    • Interactive sign demonstrating tigers’ senses of taste, sight, smell and touch in the Forest View habitat
    • Grandma’s House with artifacts from Asian cultures
    • Life-size tiger statue

 Guests with Developmental Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

The following social story is designed for guests with Autism Spectrum Disorders to enhance their Zoo experience, but may be used by anyone. Please note that some attractions, such as the Zoofari Express, close seasonally, and that some exhibits may be loud on days that are crowded. A list of helpful hints at the end of the story can help caregivers better prepare for a Zoo visit. If you have any questions about your visit on a particular day, feel free to call member services at (801) 584-1700 to get up-to-date information.

For Teachers with Special Needs Classrooms

Are you a teacher with students with special needs? Beginning in 2016, Utah’s Hogle Zoo will offer onsite and outreach special needs classes taught by a Zoo instructor. Classes include sensory experiences with animal artifacts such as pelts, skulls and eggs, as well as live ambassador animals. Outreach classes last 30 minutes, while onsite classes last 90 minutes and include a guided tour of a Zoo exhibit related to the class topic. Follow the link to learn more about onsite and outreach programs for students with special needs.

Programs for Families with Special Needs

Utah’s Hogle Zoo is proud to offer Zoo Just for You, a new program for children with special needs and an accompanying adult. Beginning in 2016, we will offer a preschool class series for children with special needs, as well as classes for children ages 6-18 who are Blind/Visually Impaired, Deaf/Hard of Hearing, have Autism Spectrum Disorders, intellectually delayed or who have physical disabilities. Check the website for class dates and availability.