Hogle Zoo’s Safe, Fun Visitor’s Experience Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic

Did you know elephants don’t get cancer, and the roar of a lion can be heard up to five miles away?

Utah’s Hogle Zoo, located at the mouth of Emigration Canyon, is home to more than 800 animals. Visitors can view the animals and meander its natural terrain covering 42 acres of tree-lined pathways.
It’s also one of the most-visited attractions in Utah and the top paid-for tourist attraction in Salt Lake City.

“Utah’s Hogle Zoo continues to strive to provide a safe, fun, and educational venue for our visitors,” said Steve Burns, CEO of Hogle Zoo. “Whether your visit includes visiting our must-see elephant encounter exhibit, stopping by to say hi to the Amur tiger, or letting the kids ride our hand-carved and painted models of endangered or threatened animals on the conservation carousel, the zoo offers a unique experience for all visitors.”

Utah’s Hogle Zoo is once again welcoming visitors in a safe and socially responsible manner after being closed for about 50 days at the onset of the pandemic. “We have several social distancing precautions in place to keep not only our guests safe but also our staff and our animals,” said Burns.

One such safety precaution is the requirement that all visitors and staff wear masks. The good news is that just about everybody seems to be following the mask guideline because they want the zoo to be open, and that’s an important step in keeping the economy open and yourself safe, adds Burns.

A wildly popular event, the annual ZooLights, took place in 2020 with limited attendance and pre-purchased tickets required. Thanks to the state of Utah, and assistance from the federal CARES Act, the zoo received a grant for the annual holiday tradition, and 40,000 tickets were sold.

“Given everything that’s gone on in 2020, we’re glad that we were able to give this gift to the community. It gave everybody a little bit of a break and hopefully some hope as we go into 2021 that it’s going to be a much better year than this one was.”

There are more than 2,000 USDA licensed wildlife exhibitors in the U.S., but less than 10% of them have been accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Hogle Zoo is one of that 10%, which means that it is recognized as being one of the best zoos in the world. Hogle Zoo is also a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).

Camille Johnson Taylor