Tennessee residents and visitors have a new reason to visit the Memphis Zoo, and that reason is the recently opened Zambezi River Hippo Camp, which is home to a variety of African wildlife. We previously discussed this 4-acre project a few months ago as it was being built, and to see it completed is an incredible sight!
As the name would suggest, the star animals of the new exhibit complex are three hippos inhabiting their new 200,000-gallon pool. Memphis Zoo has been home to hippos for many years (in fact, since 1914), but this is the first time at the zoo that visitors have been able to watch the hippos swim from underwater viewing areas. Two of the hippos living on the exhibit were already residents of the Memphis Zoo, and the third is a male who recently arrived from Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
One of the most exciting aspects of the Hippo Camp area is the Nile crocodile exhibit, which is home to four crocodiles that recently arrived from South Africa. The pool in the crocodile exhibit includes a deep area, which the zoo will use for feeding demonstrations. In the wild, crocodiles have been known to leap out of the water to catch prey above the surface of the water, and visitors to Hippo Camp will be able to witness this phenomenon up close. Watch the video below to learn about the individual crocodiles living at Memphis Zoo and what makes them unique:
Memphis Zoo / YouTube
Hippos and crocodiles aren’t the only animals living in Zambezi River Hippo Camp, as there are also okapi, nyala, duiker, patas monkeys, lesser flamingos, and a number of other African bird species. Watch this video below to learn about some of these other animals living in the new exhibits:
Memphis Zoo / YouTube
Zambezi River Hippo Camp also includes several educational displays which will teach guests about culture and traditions of people living near the Zambezi River in Africa. Several rondavels, or traditional African round houses, have been constructed as part of the theming of the area, and one of these rondavels, which includes underwater viewing space for both hippos and crocodiles, is equipped to serve as rentable special event space.
Conservation messaging in the new exhibit focuses on the overhunting of Nile crocodiles for their skin, habitat destruction that threatens African bird species, the bushmeat crisis, and general threats to the Zambezi river ecosystem.
Here at ZooNation, we look forward to being able to see this expansion in person, but until then, please feel free to send us your photos or videos of the animals and exhibits!
Via Daily Journal