Dallas Zoo is celebrating the opening of its brand new, $14 million hippo exhibit which features a 120,000-gallon water hole.
Simmons Hippo Outpost is home to hippos Adhama and Boipelo, and is the first significant expansion of the zoo for seven years.
Gregg Hudson, Dallas Zoo’s President and CEO, said the new exhibit had exceeded his highest hopes.
“This remarkable exhibit is a perfect complement to the Giants of the Savanna, a game-changing habitat that helped kick off the ongoing renaissance here at the Dallas Zoo,” commented Hudson. “More than a million guests a year visit us to learn about animals and conservation efforts to protect them, and bringing hippos back has been one of their most consistent requests.”
Multiple viewing points allow guests plenty of opportunities to appreciate the hippos. A huge underwater 24-foot by 8-foot viewing window gives a close-up view of the unexpectedly graceful side of world’s third largest land mammal.
The new exhibit also sees the return of the zoo’s world-renowned okapi herd. Visitors benefit from much better views of the okapi, an endangered species native to the Congo, in two new habitats. According to the zoo, there are also plans to introduce red river hogs to the exhibit.
The new habitats are visible from the elevated Wilds of Africa Adventure Safari monorail.
“The Dallas Zoo has once again set the standard for today’s accredited zoological parks,” added Dallas Mayor, Mike Rawlings. “This project is the latest example of how successful public-private partnerships can be, especially when supported by our city’s generous philanthropists. The new Simmons Hippo Outpost brings yet another level of excellence to this world-class facility just three miles from downtown.”
Simmons Hippo Outpost was funded entirely by private donations.