If you’ve been to the Zoo in the last year, you (or your construction-obsessed kids) have likely noticed construction happening in the Africa exhibit. Those big trucks have been breaking ground for the Cincinnati Zoo’s Hippo Cove, which opens this month!
Set to open July 21 (three weeks ahead of schedule!), Hippo Cove features a 70,000-gallon pool, an underwater viewing area, state-of-the-art filtration system and, of course, two adult hippopotamuses: Henry, a 34-year-old male hippopotamus from Dickerson Park Zoo, and Bibi, a 17-year-old female from St. Louis Zoo. The two have been caught “flirting” since their initial meeting, and Zoo keepers are hopeful that hippo babies may be in Cincy’s future. (Henry and Bibi have received a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan.)
It’s been twenty years since the Zoo has housed hippos. A few fun facts:
1. Nile hippos, also known as river hippos or river horses, are vegetarians and can weigh as much as 8,000 pounds. (Henry and Bibi’s combined weight totals roughly 8,000 pounds!)
2. Hippos eat. A lot. Which means they produce a lot of waste! The two hippos produce some 800 pounds of waste a day, which is why Hippo Cove features an amazing filtration system.
3. Although hippos spend much of their day in the water, they actually can’t swim at all! They float or walk along the bottom of their pool.
For more information, click over to the Zoo’s website. Let’s give a warm, Queen City welcome to Henry and Bibi!