HHPZ Mourns the Loss of Miniature Horses

Update: 1/30/18

Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services and Happy Hollow Park & Zoo staff thank our community and partners for their support and compassion. It has been a difficult time for our staff and we greatly appreciate your condolences.

Although we continue to mourn, it is our goal to provide you with the most current information. The safety of our Zoo animals and guests are our top priorities, and we continue to focus on enhanced safety measures.

Multiple teams inspect the Zoo fence line daily for signs of intrusion. The barn animals continue to be housed in the enclosed barn after park hours. Overnight security is monitoring inside the Zoo for any activity. Staff is actively exploring permanent solutions for increased perimeter security, such as a dig-proof barrier along the perimeter.

We are committed to keeping you informed, and appreciate your well wishes.

Angel Rios, Jr.
Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services


Message from the Zoo Director: 1/30/18

We are still grieving the loss of our miniature horses and Sicilian donkey. It is never easy to say goodbye to beloved animals, and it is especially difficult knowing these animals were adored and enjoyed by so many of our staff, members, and community.

Maybelline the donkey was born at Happy Hollow in 1987 and was named for her delightful long eyelashes. Luna was born at the Zoo in 1994, Spice Girl came to us in 2001, and Sweet William came to us in 2002. Cayenne was born here in 2007, and was sired by Sweet William. She lived up to her name with her spicy personality. They will all be deeply missed.

We have received many inquiries from generous supporters in our community who would like to know how to help. If you are wishing to contribute, or to share your happy memories, please contact Charlotte Orr, HHPZ Conservation & Communications Manager.

One important take-away from all of this is to encourage folks to keep pets safe by keeping them secure. We all love our animals, and responsible pet ownership is the best thing you can do for the animals you love.

Thank you for your continued support and patronage. While it will take time for our staff to heal from this loss, we continue to provide the utmost care for all our animals, and are doing our very best to continue providing joyful and fun experiences for all who come to visit.


Valerie Riegel


Update: 1/25/18

We appreciate the understanding and compassion we’ve received from the community during this difficult time. We also thank our partners at Animal Care & Services (ACS) for their quick response and investigation. One dog was captured on-scene and a second suspect dog is now in custody with ACS. The third small dog is still at large, but not considered a threat.

We continue to provide increased surveillance and monitoring of the fence line, and Animal Service Officers will continue to patrol the area while we research permanent solutions. The zoo remains open to the public, and we appreciate your support, patronage, and sympathy.

For information about the investigation, please contact Julie St. Gregory, Animal Care & Services Senior Public Information Representative - available Tuesday through Saturday at (408) 794-7211.


HHPZ Mourns the Loss of Miniature Horses 
January 20, 2018

Community and friends,

I am sad to report the loss of four miniature horses and a Sicilian donkey. While we feel an immense amount of grief and sorrow, the park remains open to the public as there is no public safety risk. 
HHPZ has taken immediate measures to enhance security of the perimeter fence and surveillance, and the City of San Jose’s Animal Care & Services division is conducting a complete investigation. The unfortunate incident involved dogs which breached a secured perimeter after operating hours.
Zookeepers at HHPZ share incredible bonds with the animals under their care. Keepers and Zoo staff do everything they can to provide the utmost care for every animal. Two of the miniature horses as well as the donkey were born at the Zoo and the passing of these animals is an incredible loss to the HHPZ family and community.
In community spirit,
Angel Rios, Jr.
Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services
For questions, please contact Charlotte Orr, HHPZ Conservation & Communications Manager
For media inquiries, please contact Carolina Camarena, PRNS Public Information Manager

 Association of Zoos and Aquariums Happy Hollow FoundationSpecies Survival Plan