Rizzo the polar bear at Hogle Zoo
Rocky Shores opened at Hogle Zoo in June 2012. It is a new section of the zoo which features bears, seals, otters, and more. A large portion of the exhibit is filled with water, creating more natural environments for the zoo's residents.
Seals and a sea lion occupy this area of Rocky Shores.
It is great fun to watch the animals below the water where they can really show their grace and skills. When I visited, the seals spent almost all their time in the water.
Harbor seal swims by at Hogle Zoo.
Rizzo the polar bear was great at photobombing, providing wonderful picture opportunities for waiting parents and children. Rizzo swam countless loops, and would "spyhop" up behind the children, letting parents include her in their family photo.
Polar bear poses for visitors.
Also new to Rocky Shores are three young grizzly bears. Their habitat also includes a water feature, some shelter, and logs and obstacles for them to utilize.
Grizzlies at Hogle Zoo.
One thing I noticed in particular during this zoo visit, is that zoos play an important role in rehabilitating and preserving injured animals. At the bald eagle enclosure, I noticed that their exhibit is open at the top. Why didn't the birds fly away? At least in one case, the answer soon became obvious. One of the eagles who resides at the zoo has a damaged wing, preventing him from returning to the wild.
The eagle on the left is missing a huge part of his left wing.
One of the giraffes was missing part of a tail. Although I don't think that really impacts her quality of life much, it was interesting to note that zoos play an important role in caring for vulnerable animals.
Giraffe with stumpy tail.
Hogle Zoo is currently constructing another new area that will be African themed. I look forward to the return of lions to the zoo.
We wandered over to see some of the smaller animals. What zoo visit would be complete without a shot of my favorite resident?
Golden Tamarin at Hogle Zoo.
Tiny, active, and photogenic, the golden tamarin is one of my favorites. Did you know that the father does much of the childcare? I love these amazing little animals.
At the bird enclosure I found another wounded resident. This chicken gamely hopped around on her one good leg.
Spoonbill at Hogle Zoo
I also enjoyed seeing this spoonbill. This large bird looks ready to dig with that bill! Unfortunately for me, captive birds cannot be added to my birding life list. It's a beautiful bird nonetheless.
Beehive at Hogle Zoo
Containing some of the smaller residents, I spied this beehive tucked away off the path. Have you seen it in your visit to the zoo? I wonder if the zoo harvests the honey. Next time you visit with your children, maybe you could have them see if they can find the beehive.
Rizzo the polar bear above water.
Hogle Zoo is open all year, closing only for Christmas and New Year's day. Although I often think of it as a summer destination, keep in mind animals may be more active in cooler weather, and it's more comfortable for the humans, too!
If you go: Hogle Zoo is located at 2600 East Sunnyside Avenue in Salt Lake City. Beginning on November 1, winter hours will be from 9am to 4pm (grounds stay open until 5pm).