The Dallas Zoo broke ground Friday on a $13.5 million, 3.5-acre Simmons Hippo Outpost, “an immersive African waterhole habitat that includes a giant underwater viewing area for these surprisingly agile, super-sized ‘river-horses.”
The habitat will house three Nile hippos, one male and two females that can be viewed from a number of locations including a 24-foot by 8-foot underwater viewing window that will bring people eye-to-nostril with the world’s third-largest mammal as they explore their 120,000-gallon waterhole.
“The Simmons Hippo Outpost is a perfect bookend to Giants of the Savanna,” said Gregg Hudson, Dallas Zoo president and chief executive officer. “It’s been 15 years since we had hippos, and our guests have consistently asked us to bring them back. We’re thrilled to be able to do so, after working on this project for several years.”
The habitat, the first at the zoo since the Giants of the Savanna opened in 2010, is funded solely by private donations. A $5 million grant from the Harold Simmons Foundation is one of many donations made to the project. An additional $1 million each was donated from Highland Capital Management and philanthropists Diane and Hal Brierly…
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