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El Paso Zoo

El Paso Zoo
Date opened 1930
Location El Paso, Texas, United States

31°46′06″N 106°26′34″W / 31.7684°N 106.4429°W / 31.7684; -106.4429Coordinates: 31°46′06″N 106°26′34″W / 31.7684°N 106.4429°W / 31.7684; -106.4429{{#coordinates:31.7684|-106.4429|type:landmark_region:US-TX|||||| |primary |name=

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Number of species 220[1]
Memberships AZA[2]

The El Paso Zoo is a zoo located in El Paso, Texas. The Script error: No such module "convert". facility houses animals representing over 220 species, including such critically endangered species as the Amur leopard and the Aruba rattlesnake.[3] The zoo is home to a sea lion exhibit, which hosts daily shows, as well as exotic animals from around the world with feature attractions such as the African Star train and the Hunt Family Desert Spring. The zoo recently expanded in size with the addition on the new African Exhibit featuring lions, zebras, and giraffes.[4]

The El Paso Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).[2]

Zoo sections

The El Paso Zoo contains animals in three major areas - Animals of Africa, Animals of Asia, and Animals of the Americas. [5]

Animals of Africa

The Animals of Africa section was opened in March 2010 with African lion and meerkat exhibits.[6] In November 2010, it was further expanded with eight new antelopes, including kudu and Thomson's gazelles.[7] The Animals and Africa section also includes giraffe, zebra, ostrich, grey crowned crane, Cape teal, Egyptian geese, spur-winged geese, and radiated tortoises.[6]

Animals of Asia

The Animals of Asia section highlights animals of that continent, including Asian elephants, Sumatran orangutans, Malayan tapirs, Siamang gibbons, Amur leopards, lion-tailed macaques, Malayan tigers, Malayan sun bears, and Przewalski's horses. The indoor Asian Forest Complex is home to small mammals like the Prevost's squirrel and slow loris, as well as birds including hooded cranes, pink pigeons, rhinoceros hornbill, white-eyed ducks, Bali myna, black-naped fruit dove, bleeding heart pigeon, Nicobar pigeon, and yellow-vented bulbuls. The building is also home to a Burmese python and goldfish.[8]

Animals of the Americas

The Animals of the Americas section contains exhibits of a variety of animals from the Americas including a sea lion program, Mexican grey wolves, the South American Pavilion, and a spider monkey exhibit.[9]

Master plan

Entry and events


In November 2010, the zoo sent a female Mexican gray wolf to Tenino, Washington, to be bred with a male wolf. The wolves were selected by a panel of experts as part of an effort to save the species from extinction. It is estimated that there are only 40 Mexican grey wolves left in the wild.[10]

Zoo directors

Steve Marshall

  • 2007-present

Steve Marshall is the current director of the El Paso Zoo. He was the chief operating officer of Zoo Atlanta for nine years.[11] He was responsible for overseeing major zoo functions including the zoo's animal collection, human resources, education, construction, maintenance and horticulture, guest services, and special projects at Zoo Atlanta.[12] Before that, he was executive director of The Parks at Chehaw in Albany, Georgia, and was also the director of interpretation at the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi and curator of education at the Birmingham (Alabama) Zoo.[11] He earned an MS in biology and animal behavior from Texas A&M University-Commerce and a BS in biology from the University of Tennessee.[11][13][14]

Lea Hutchinson

  • 1987-1997, 2004-2006 (interim), 2008-present (emeritus)

Dr. Lea Hutchinson, VMD, MS, became the El Paso Zoo's veterinarian in 1965. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1957. He was the veterinarian until 1987, when he was hired as the El Paso Zoo director.[15]

During Dr. Hutchinson's first tenure as director, he "improved and expanded the animal collection to include species from the American and Asian continents." He also oversaw the zoo's re-accreditation by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) and the zoo's participation in the Species Survival Plan (SSP) for a number of endangered species. "Major projects completed during Dr. Hutchinson's tenure included the Asian expansion, American Aviary, the history-based 'Paraje' and many new or renovated exhibits."[16]

Dr. Hutchinson served as the zoo director until 1997, and came out of retirement to be the interim director from 2004 to 2006. In 2008, Dr. Hutchinson also became the El Paso Zoo's first honorary director emeritus. This honorary title is intended to recognize meritorious, outstanding, and dedicated service of a former director of an organization.[15] As director emeritus, Dr. Hutchinson oversaw the construction of the African Savannah exhibit, completed in 2012, which includes lions, zebras, and giraffes.[12]



  1. ^ a b "About the Zoo". El Paso Zoo. Retrieved 2011-01-09. 
  2. ^ a b "List of Accredited Zoos and Aquariums". AZA. Retrieved 9 January 2010. 
  3. ^ "Complete animal List". El Paso Zoo. Retrieved 2009-05-01. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Put Some Wild in Your Life". El Paso Zoo. Retrieved 2011-01-09. 
  5. ^ "The Animals". El Paso Zoo. Retrieved 2011-01-09. 
  6. ^ a b "Animals of Africa". El Paso Zoo. Retrieved 2011-01-09. 
  7. ^ "8 antelopes now call El Paso Zoo Africa exhibit home". El Paso Times. 11/10/2010. Retrieved 2011-01-09.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. ^ "Animals of Asia". El Paso Zoo. Retrieved 2011-01-09. 
  9. ^ "Animals of the Americas". El Paso Zoo. Retrieved 2011-01-09. 
  10. ^ "El Paso Zoo wolf part of effort to revitalize species". El Paso Times. 11/02/2010. Retrieved 2011-01-09.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  11. ^ a b c Burge, David. "Times Q&A: The El Paso Zoo helps conservation efforts, gives city a boost". El Paso Times. Retrieved 2012-10-25. 
  12. ^ a b The City Beat. "New Zoo Director Comes On-Board". El Paso City. Retrieved 2012-10-25. 
  13. ^ Marshall, Steve. "Linkedin". Retrieved 2013-10-21. 
  14. ^ "El Paso Zoo Hires New Director". KFox. 2006-10-24. Retrieved 2013-10-21. 
  15. ^ a b Nevarez, Noelle. "Press Release: Dr. Lea Hutchinson recognized as first-ever Director Emeritus of the El Paso Zoo". Newspaper Tree - El Paso's Online Newspaper. Retrieved 2013-10-21. 
  16. ^ "Recognition Plaque". El Paso Zoo. 

External links