The Dallas Zoo just recently broke ground on their newest project: Hippo Outpost, which is scheduled for completion in spring of 2017. Hippo Outpost will feature multiple exhibits that will be located in the zoo’s Wilds of Africa complex. The Wilds of Africa portion of the zoo was last expanded in 2010 with the Giants of the Savanna project, which is home to the zoo’s elephant herd.
Hippos haven’t been a part of the zoo’s collection for the past 15 years, but the zoo is beyond excited to be building a new state-of-the-art exhibit that will become home to one male and two female hippos. The zoo says that one motivation for building Hippo Outpost has been the consistent requests of guests to have hippos brought back on exhibit. The new $13.5-million expansion will do just that, and will be visible from the zoo’s elevated monorail tour, the Wilds of Africa Adventure Safari.
The centerpiece and key feature of the hippo display will be a gigantic underwater viewing area with a panel measuring 24 feet wide by 8 feet deep, which will offer panoramic views of the hippos gliding through their 120,000-gallon aquatic environment. Zookeepers will conduct talks at the underwater viewing gallery to teach guests about the natural histories of hippos and conservation efforts being undertaken to help their wild counterparts.
The 3.5-acre expansion will include not only the hippo habitat, but also a display for the zoo’s okapi herd. Red river hogs and saddle-billed storks will share this upper exhibit with the okapis. The Kiboko Lodge, a 4,485-square-foot building, is also part of the project and will host special events and house educational displays throughout the year.
Story from Dallas Zoo