Utah’s Hogle Zoo, Salt Lake City, UT
This month’s article comes from Utah’s Hogle Zoo! Thank you so much to Erica Hansen, their Community Relations Coordinator, and her staff for all the help on this article!
Q: How many different species do you have in Utah’s Hogle Zoo?
A: Over 800.
Q: When did the Zoo open? Could you tell us some of its’ history?
A:Utah’s Hogle Zoo has been in the mouth of Emigration Canyon since 1931. The Zoo is one of the most-visited attractions in the state. We’re about 42 acres in size with the beautiful foothills as our backdrop. The Zoo began almost 100 years ago when kids raised money to buy Princess Alice, an Asian elephant, from the circus. The kids raised $3,250!
Q: What was the most challenging exhibit to install over the years?
A: Our new Rocky Shores exhibit was a big challenge. With over 400,000 gallons of water throughout the exhibit, the filtration and special glass were a challenge. Also there is quite a bit of concrete and insuring its water-tightness was also a challenge.
Q: What is the most recent exhibit created? Why was that exhibit chose?
A: Rocky Shores. While working on our master plan, we knew that we wanted to bring polar bears back to Utah.
Q: What is the most popular exhibit?
A: Rocky Shores has been a huge addition to Hogle Zoo. We opened last year and saw record attendance throughout the year. Including the busiest June in the Zoo’s history (the month we opened). We havd 1.2 million visitors for the year and even our ZooLights event was a record-breaker. Rocky Shores continues to be a big draw this year as well. We are on the brink of opening the African Savanna. The return of lions could give Rocky Shores a run for its money.
Q: How many people do you have working begin the scenes, keepers, volunteers, staff?
A: 103 full-time employees. 5 part time employees. 88 seasonal. Keepers – 48 fulltime keepers
Q: How much food does the Zoo go through in a week?
A: * I was no able to track down this info*
Q: What are some of your educational programs? What motivated their creation?
A: We have a range of programs from toddler to adult, including week-long summer camps and boyscout classes. Adults enjoy the opportunity to get more in-depth knowledge on things they may have seen on TV in a fun way. The toddlers enjoy getting to spend time with their parents while meeting animals up close. We wanted to create a connection with the natural world. With Scouts we saw a need in the community to create more environmental awareness in scouting.
Q: Utah’s Hogle Zoo is involved in a lot of conservation efforts. Can you tell us about those and what inspired the Zoo to focus on those efforts?
A: From Rock Fish conservation to elephants. We work toward conserving the bottom of the ocean to the biggest land invertebrate. They tie in to our collection. There is a conservation priority or a big conservation concern with those species. They’re typically connected with staff expertise.
Q: What is the one most important educational fact you hope visitors take away with them?
A: That the choices we make here in Utah can have a lasting impact on our environment. Let’s all be stewards of the land and take great care of Mother Earth.