Time to say goodbye to Hogle Zoo’s departing elephants

The Elephant Farewell event at Hogle Zoo honoring beloved pachyderms, Christie, and Zuri, is scheduled for Saturday, September 23 from 10 am-2 pm. Photo: Hogle Zoo

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Sept. 20, 2023 (Gephardt Daily) — Hogle Zoo has set Saturday for activities to say goodbye to elephants Christie and Zuri.

“Join us for our Elephant Farewell event this Saturday, September 23, from 10 am-2 pm for your chance to visit Christie and Zuri before they go to their new AZA zoo home this fall,” the zoo announced on social media Tuesday afternoon. “Save $5 off regular admission (free to members) and participate in activities like writing ribbon wishes and painting like an elephant.”

Saturday is not the exact day of their departure, according to the zoo, “but an opportunity to show your love and support before they embark on their new adventure. For their safety, we won’t be able to announce where or when they will depart until they are safely in their new zoo home.”

Mom, Christie, 37, and daughter, Zuri, 14, are leaving to be given the best opportunity to have a calf during their prime reproductive years and benefit from the important social dynamic of a multigenerational herd, the zoo said. 

Saturday is not their last day, and they can be viewed afterwards, the zoo noted in answering questions in the comments section of their Facebook post about the two beloved pachyderms.

But it was reiterated that exactly how much time was left to view the giants would not be announced for safety concerns.

“We are proud to meet and exceed the animal care standards required by our AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) accreditation and know that the AZA-accredited institution receiving our resident elephants also follows these high standards,” the zoo statement about Saturday’s event said.

“This is the perfect time to bring all generations of your “herd” to honor elephants in Utah for more than 100 years.

“Tag a friend to join you Saturday!

“Learn more about the elephant update at Utah’s Hogle Zoo at https://www.hoglezoo.org/elephant-updates

In the update, zoo officials note that it was an extremely difficult and emotional decision to send Christie and Zuri elsewhere. Bringing in a bull elephant to Hogle Zoo for mating purposes was considered but the renovations that would have been required to the existing elephant housing were considered too extensive.


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