Sequoia Park Zoo


Sequoia Park Zoo inspires conservation of the natural world by instilling wonder, respect and passion for wildlife.

Farewell Joh-leen, Sequoia Park Zoo’s Female White-handed gibbon:

Sequoia Park Zoo staff sadly announce the passing of one of our oldest and best known zoo animals, our female White-handed gibbon Joh-leen. She had been under intensive veterinary treatment since December of last year for a series of health problems. With the help of the amazing veterinary team at UC Davis Veterinary Hospital and our zoo veterinarian, along with our dedicated animal care staff, she was treated successfully for these conditions and seemed to be on the road to recovery. Unfortunately, she developed a new life-threatening condition in the last couple of months and despite our best efforts to save her, Joh-leen passed away yesterday (August 21, 2019) during an emergency procedure.

Joh-leen was born at Sequoia Park Zoo on July 12, 1982 and was reared by zoo staff after the death of her mother when she was an infant. In 1985 she was paired with her lifelong mate Bono and they have remained a closely bonded pair ever since. Zoo visitors for the past 4 decades have delighted hearing the two sing their pair-bonding duets most every morning, which often included Joh-leen showing off her remarkable acrobatic skills.  The pair could be seen grooming and playing together every day. She will be sorely missed by her mate, her loving animal keepers and volunteers, and by visitors who came to know and love her. Those who wish to leave remembrances of Joh-leen are welcome to do so at the Zoo’s gibbon exhibit.

Zoo officials are working with the national Species Survival Plan program, which coordinates a cooperative captive breeding program among AZA accredited zoos, to find a suitable new mate for Bono. Gibbons under human care generally live relatively long lives, on average 40 years, with longevity records of 57 years old. White-handed gibbons are endangered in their wild habitats in Asia, primarily due to habitat loss from human activities such as logging, and agriculture including palm oil plantations. The Zoo’s gibbons and other animal ambassadors help connect people to the wonder of wild animals and promote their protection for future generations.

In operation since 1907, Sequoia Park Zoo is one of the crown jewels of Eureka and Humboldt County. Situated on 5 acres along the edge of an ancient coast redwood forest, it is one of the smallest accredited zoos in the country, and the only zoo in the north coast region.

Visitors from near and far love Sequoia Park Zoo for its stunning redwood setting, its intimate feel and its family-friendly size - an average visit takes about 2 hours. Because of our modest size, we choose not to house very large animals such as elephants, giraffes or lions, but our unique and award-winning exhibits more than deliver value and a fantastic wildlife experience.

Highlights include:

  •  Watershed Heroes (2016 Top Honors exhibit award, Association of Zoos & Aquariums; ranked #3 in the world by ZooNation) - featuring river otters, salmon, bald eagles, and a watershed play fountain
  • The Barnyard - a kid-friendly place to meet and greet several kinds of farm animals plus explore some of the secrets of our big, beautiful barn
  • The Hilfiker walk-through aviary where you can enjoy close encounters with several species of colorful and unusual birds
  • Rare and endangered animals such as red pandas, bush dogs and Chacoan peccaries
  • A gift shop with conservation-themed wildlife gifts and a delicious café using organic produce grown on site!
  •  Conservation is included with admission! One quarter from every paid admission goes to our conservation fund, and visitors can vote where to spend it!

For more information about the Zoo and the Sequoia Park Zoo Foundation, visit the website:

Mission Statement

Sequoia Park Zoo inspires conservation of the natural world by instilling wonder, respect and passion for wildlife.

We fulfill our mission by:

* Creating intimate connections between people and animals
* Partnering with other institutions to ensure sustainability of zoo and wild populations
* Providing the highest standards of animal care and exhibitry
* Providing innovative educational experiences
* Providing a place for our community to meet, relax, and enjoy
* Appreciating and utilizing our unique redwood setting