Simmons Hippo Outpost
Construction is well under way on the new $13.6 million, 2.1-acre Simmons Hippo Outpost, an immersive African waterhole habitat that includes a giant underwater viewing area for these surprisingly agile, super-sized “river horses.”
When the habitat opens in spring of 2017, the Zoo will be home for Nile hippopotamuses for the first time in 16 years!
A 24-foot by 8-foot underwater viewing window
will bring you eye-to-nostril with hippos, allowing our zookeepers to teach millions of you about conservation efforts to help the world’s third-largest land mammal. The hippos – one male and one female – will be seen from multiple vantage points, and nearby, an upper-level habitat will provide an enhanced home for the Zoo’s world-renowned okapi herd, red river hogs, and saddle-billed storks. Both habitats will be visible from our elevated monorail, the Wilds of Africa Adventure Safari.
“The Simmons Hippo Outpost is a perfect bookend to Giants of the Savanna,” said Gregg Hudson, the Zoo’s president and chief executive officer. “It’s been 16 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.”
Mary McDermott Cook served as the honorary chair of the Simmons Hippo Outpost campaign, which was funded solely with private donations. A $5 million grant from the Harold Simmons Foundation launched the project, and additional generous donations include:
- Highland Capital Management LP, $1 million: This donation will build the 4,485-square-foot Highland Capital Lodge for special educational displays and private events.
- Diane and Hal Brierley, $1 million: The longtime philanthropists and Dallas Zoo supporters are building the Hippo Encounter underwater viewing area, where zookeeper talks also will be held.
- Eugene McDermott Foundation, $500,000
If you love hippos and want to help put the final touches on their habitat, please consider becoming a member of our exclusive Kiboko Society. This group of generous donors will receive exclusive benefits, including permanent recognition within the exhibit. Click here for more details.
Help us put the finishing touches on the Hippo Outpost!
For a limited time, we are selling engraved bricks and pavers that will be placed by the entrance to the underwater hippo viewing area. Donors will receive invitations to a special opening event to see their bricks before the exhibit opens to the public. The deadline for brick orders is Feb. 28, 2017. Order you brick now!