Madagascar! with the carnivorous fossa opens May 16 at Utah’s Hogle Zoo


(Salt Lake City, UT) – They sneered at you in the animated movie, now you can see fossa and other rare island creatures as part of Madagascar! at Hogle Zoo opening Saturday May 16, 2009. Madagascar, an island once only known as a rest stop for pirate ships, is now one of the most precious examples of natural heritage on the planet. 75% of Madagascar’s animals are only found on this island, and now this summer they’re in Salt Lake City. 

For over 150 million years, Madagascar was isolated from Africa so most of the plants and animals found on the island do not exist elsewhere. Due to habitat destruction and hunting, many of Madagascar’s unique animals are threatened with extinction. This year’s exhibit features strange and unique animals indigenous to this small island like tenrecs, hissing cockroaches, radiated tortoises, tree boas and the especially mysterious and vicious fossa. Hogle Zoo is excited to present these animals to members and visitors, and will use

Madagascar! to promote conservation of this island’s delicate ecosystem. 

Conceptualized by Hogle Zoo keeper Nate Strong, Madagascar! showcases animals not usually seen in zoos, like the elusive fossa whose diet in the wild consists primarily of lemurs. Strong says, “It will be particularly fascinating to work with the fossa because they are arboreal [able to climb trees] and will make a one of a kind education opportunity for visitors.” Animal Care Supervisor Jane Larson adds, “Not only are fossa fierce carnivores, since they’re climbers, we will provide them with ample branches throughout their space,” taking Hogle Zoo’s Tropical Garden area from a southern Bayou last year to a tropical wonderland in 2009. 

The “Red Island” as Madagascar is also known, is a land of adventure and surprises, where wild space offers unforgettable experiences. Truly a live museum, Madagascar is a paradise nearly lost that will soon be found this summer at Utah’s Hogle Zoo. For more information about Madagascar! at Utah’s Hogle Zoo, contact Community Relations Coordinator Holly Braithwaite at (801) 584-1729 or email at 

About the Association of Zoos & Aquariums: Utah’s Hogle Zoo is one of only 218 institutions accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA).  Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things.  AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in their native habitats. For more information visit