Hogle Zoo, 2018 (Brian Lauer – Creative Commons Licence)


Location:  Utah’s Hogle Zoo

Address:  2600 East Sunnyside Avenue, Salt Lake City, Utah 84108, USA

Telephone:  +1  801 584 1700

Website contact form :  https://www.hoglezoo.org/contact_us/general_information/

Website:   https://www.hoglezoo.org/

Exhibit:  Rocky Shores


Nikita (male) born 21 November 2006 in Toledo Zoo & Aquarium, Ohio, USA.  Arrived around 10 March 2021 from North Carolina Zoo, Asheboro, North Carolina, USA.

Neva (female) born 14 November 2016 at Columbus Zoological Gardens, Powell, Ohio, USA.  Arrived 31 December 2021 from Maryland Zoo, Baltimore, USA


Opened in June 2012, Rocky Shores covers an area of three and a half acres (14,000 square metres) and exhibits six species; grizzly bears, river otters, sea lions, harbour seals, bald eagles and polar bears.  It includes underwater viewing areas together with overland viewing from a bridge.  The build phase took just under two years.

Built on a sloping site next to a canyon stream, the exhibit was designed to resemble a cannery or shipping dock on the northwest coast of the USA.   In part, the design brief was to enable the scientific study of animal behavior in a natural environment.

The Zoo states that the exhibit meets or exceeds all current Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) and US Department of Agriculture (USDA) animal standards.  There are viewable demonstration spaces for staff interaction with the animals to showcase animal behaviors while in close proximity to visitors.

The exhibits and support facilities were designed to prioritize animal health and well being, with immersive, dynamic environments for both animals and visitors.  A state-of-the-art water filtration facility and system (including sand filters and fractionators) was implemented to support deep saltwater pools and fresh shallow water environments while using water efficiently.  The water an be cooled or heated as necessary. 

The animal building facilities include natural daylight and ventilation options and were planned efficiently to reduce energy use.  There is a stated intention to provide a breeding facility for bears endangered in the wild.

The polar bear exhibit includes rocky outcrops, boulders, wood, trees, grass and various substrates together with a pool complete with an underwater viewing area.


  1. Captive breeding programme
  2.  The polar bear enclosure meets the Manitoba Standard of a minimum of 500 square metres.  However, it falls far short of our own recommendation for polar bear sanctuaries of at least 8,000 square metres (2 acres) per animal.
  3. Video evidence suggests instances of stereotypical behaviour

We do not, as yet, have details of the feeding, exercise, medical and enrichment regimes and the zoo has not responded to requests for this information.

Return to Captive Polar Bear Directory

Page updated 07 January 2022