Elephants from Utah’s Hogle Zoo arrive at new Kansas City home

Oct 19, 2023, 12:00 PM

Christie and Zuri, formerly of the Utah Hogle Zoo, arrive safely at the Kansas City Zoo in Missouri...

Christie and Zuri, formerly of the Utah Hogle Zoo, arrive safely at the Kansas City Zoo in Missouri. (Rachael Eames, Utah's Hogle Zoo)

(Rachael Eames, Utah's Hogle Zoo)

SALT LAKE CITY — Just a few days ago, African elephant Christie and her female offspring, Zuri, left Utah’s Hogle Zoo for their new home at the Kansas City Zoo in Missouri. Today, officials said they arrived safely, and that they remain in a “standard quarantine” at the new zoo.

It was a meticulously planned trip of more than 900 miles according to Hogle Zoo officials. Part of the planning included multiple visits to Salt Lake City by the veterinary staff at the Kansas City Zoo.

Deciding to send the elephants to the Kansas City Zoo was also a careful choice, according to zoo officials.

“Utah’s Hogle Zoo believes we have selected an accredited partner who meets all the goals we sought for Christie and Zuri, including excellence in animal care, a multigenerational herd, and the opportunity for offspring,” said Doug Lund, Utah’s Hogle Zoo president and CEO.

What’s next for the Hogle Zoo elephants?

After their quarantine, Christie, age 37, and Zuri, age 14, will join a multigenerational herd of African elephants. It consists of six females and one male.

The overall goal is to provide a genetically diverse match for the younger elephant, Zuri.

After they’re introduced into their new herd, Christie and Zuri will live on more than three acres of outdoor space.

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums accredited the Kansas City Zoo in 1984. That means the zoo meets a standard of excellence for zoos that is set by the AZA.

Similar to Utah’s Hogle Zoo, the Kansas City Zoo has housed elephants for decades, and a press release states the Kansas City Zoo has eight full-time elephant care staff.

“We are thrilled to welcome these new elephants to Kansas City. I am proud of the time and resources that have been put into this move to ensure the highest level of animal care and wellbeing,” said Sean Putney, Kansas City Zoo executive director and CEO.

The Utah elephants won’t be without familiar faces. For at least the next three months, two of Utah’s Hogle Zoo elephant keepers will stay at the Kansas City Zoo.

Our previous reporting:

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Elephants from Utah’s Hogle Zoo arrive at new Kansas City home