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Behind the Scenes at Zoo Boise

Giraffes, kittens and strange birds

Zoo Boise is so much more than walking around looking at animals. It was the first zoo in the country to add a conservation component. Part of the entry fee goes toward projects locally and internationally.

Last week, Zoo Boise’s Jeff Agosta took me on a tour. I climbed the steps to hand feed romaine lettuce to Tafari. Masks and special hand sanitation are required to protect the giraffes. COVID-19 vaccines are not yet widely available to animals, and there have been outbreaks in other zoos.

This was a critter I hadn’t seen before – Toogle, the ground hornbill. He catches his snacks like a dog.

Toogle was hand-reared, so he is imprinted on people. He likes to fish the goodies out of his food dish and take them to the window to show off. Act impressed when he parades around with a dead mouse.

You may have heard me gush a few times on the air about the sand cat kittens. They’re grown so quickly.

Zoo experiences are available for booking at

Special notes about the current heat wave. The butterfly and petting animal exhibits are closing for the afternoons, and giraffe feeding is not available until temperatures are more reasonable.

Misting stations are set up around the zoo and there is plenty of shade.


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