A few new animals have moved into Utah’s Hogle Zoo!

Welcome to Rocky Shores—An $18 million dollar mixed-species exhibit, the largest project in Zoo history.
What makes it so large? 390,000 gallons of water; 3,876 sq. ft. of underwater viewing; and some really big animals!

The biggest of which, size-wise, is “Big Guy” our 850 pound California Sea Lion. He’s blind in both eyes and completely graceful under water. He was rescued two years ago off the California coast. Big Guy will swim with two other baby sea lions and three Harbor Seals.

But as far as anticipation goes, the biggest will likely be Rizzo, our 14-year-old, 650 pound polar bear. She’s playful, loves to swim and you may catch her putting toys and twigs on her head. With our floor-to-ceiling windows, water chilled to the perfect polar temperature, and a bear with paws the size of a dinner plate, Rizzo is sure to be a crowd favorite.

Rizzo will be outmatched – not in size (yet)— but in numbers, by our three grizzly bears. The grizzlies are yearlings (teenagers, essentially) and siblings, two sisters and a brother (Dolly, Lou Lou and Koda). They are playful, antagonistic and have lots of sibling rivalry. They each clock in at about 250 pounds so Zoo guests will get to watch
them grow over the years.

Rocky Shores will also have two river otters and bald eagles. Our otters, Nick and Nellie are quite playful and inquisitive, tend to be curious when they have visitors and very agile in the water. Eagles Sam and Betsy (a la Uncle Sam and Betsy Ross) are rescue birds and a wonderfully majestic addition to the top of Rocky Shores. Over 650 trees and shrubs, and 8,900 perennials have been planted to give a Rocky Shores a lush Northwest feel.

Rocky Shores was funded in part by the ’08 “Renew the Zoo” Salt Lake County voter bond, passing with over a 70% approval, citizens of Salt Lake County and we can’t wait to share this beautiful new exhibit!

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