Happy the Hippo is back!
The Hippo Haven exhibit at the Milwaukee County Zoo is now open for the 2021 season. It's been closed since November since hippos don't tolerate the cold very well.
You can see Happy float and swim around his 60,000 gallon watering hole from a large viewing area. (The other hippo, Patti prefers to stay in other parts of her habitat.)
The exhibit opened last year, and its design increases the space for hippos both in and out of the water. It includes a beach area three times larger than the previous space with varying surfaces and a pool that includes varying depths of water, 7 feet at the deepest, with sloped rocks and ramps. The variety of surfaces give the hippos a choice of where they want to rest.
Fun Fact: Hippos can spend up to 16 hours per day underwater.
The intricate filtration system uses ozone to purify and clarify the water in the indoor and outdoor pools. This same system is used in the Otter Passage exhibit and offers a healthier environment for the hippos.
The water system also saves money and is environmentally friendly. Previously, zookeepers had to empty the outdoor and indoor hippo pools at the end of each day, but the new exhibit filters and reuses the same water.
Families can also enjoy a photo opportunity near Hippo Haven with two concrete hippo sculptures that they can climb on and around.
To find out more about Hippo Haven, click here.