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Person 2 Person: James Hogle, Jr.

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Person 2 Person: James Hogle, Jr. (Photos: Courtesy Hogle Zoo)

(KUTV) The Hogle Zoo is a beloved institution for Utah families.

James Hogle, Jr. known as Jim, served on the zoo's board for over 45 years and is now a chairman emeritus.

Hogle's grandparents donated the land for the zoo and he grew up with the zoo.

In fact, it was the first job he ever had.

"It was not a glamorous job. I went around with a stick with a nail in it, gathering up trash," he said.

He earned a dollar a day, but had to buy his own lunch, so he was only netting about 40 cents.

"Then I learned sometime afterwards that my father paid back whatever the zoo paid me," he laughed.

The Hogle Zoo has been beloved in the community for decades. It has over a million visitors every year.

"The zoo as you see it today compared to the zoo a few years ago, it's night and day," Hogle said. "We're so delighted to have the support that we have."

Hogle doesn't get too attached to the animals, but "there are some that I have taken greater interest in."

He is "thrilled" about the lions because the zoo didn't have lions for quite some time.

"I felt a zoo's not a zoo if it doesn't have lions," he said.

The zoo now houses seven lions.

Hogle was born in Salt Lake City and because of his family's legacy, he feels a responsibility to the community and the entire state.

"I certainly don't want to be the instigator of my grandfather's wrath, wherever he is, nor my father's," he laughed. "But you do feel a responsibility."

A big part of the Hogle name is giving back to the community.

His grandmother, Mary Hogle, and his father both gave a lot of their time to good causes and nonprofits.

Hogle himself also works with a lot of nonprofits.

"I guess it was something I was kind of born with," he said.

Which is why he just hopes that he will be remembered as a "good guy" and he'll be perfectly happy.

Web Exclusives:

Jim Hogle tells how the Hogle Zoo came to be

Jim Hogle's family involvement with the zoo

Jim Hogle's favorite animal is the meerkat


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