SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

The Hogle Zoo is expanding its east side with a New Education Animal Center and Utah Native Species, known as “Wild Utah.”

The zoo says the expansion will open in 2023 and will include: big horn sheep, cougars, bobcats, wild burros and 100 small animals for guests to learn about and see up close. When completed, the expansion will also include a nature trail and an interactive marker space along with the Norma W. Matheson Education Animal Center.

Utah Governor Spencer Cox, Mayor Jenny Wilson and Mayor Erin Mendenhall kicked off the expansion Wednesday, August 10. The ceremony marked the culmination of years of planning to extend Hogle Zoo to the east side of the Zoofari Express Train while offering educational exhibits showing how to recognize and protect “Wild Utah.”

“Utah is home to 54 million acres of some of the most diverse landscapes in the world,” says Cox. “We have more than 600 species of fish, mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians call our state home —17 animals are listed as threatened or endangered species. That’s why [Utah’s Hogle Zoo] is so important. It helps connect our young generation and people from all over to our native wildlife.”

The Hogle Zoo says the three-acre addition will include many native Utah species and habitats and a nature boardwalk around Emigration Creek.

To learn more about the “Wild Utah” exhibit click here.