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Milwaukee County Zoo Hippo Exhibit

Square Footage:
13,000
Location:
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
commercial text
Client:
Milwaukee County Zoo

Square Footage:

13,000

Location:

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

In 2020 we completed construction at the Milwaukee County Zoo, that provided a fully renovated hippopotamus exhibit that is home to hippos, Happy and Patti. The exhibit is one of eight exhibits in North America with an underwater viewing area. The tank itself holds 60,000 gallons of water and offers visitors the opportunity to get closer to the large mammals than ever before.

The exhibit  not only offers a new space for the hippos to call home, but also more spaces for the hippos to explore. The space features a beach area that’s three times larger than their current exhibit, a pool that reaches a 7 foot depth and different slopes that offer the hippos optimal relaxation.

As part of the renovation, the water quality was increased substantially. By using ozone, the water is purified and clarified in the indoor and outdoor pools. In turn, this leads to a more sustainable living situation and less chance of bacteria in the water. Because of the reuse of water, 20 million gallons of water is saved per year.

The exhibit features several educational and interactive areas including:

  • “Splatter Zone” – simulating a hippo spraying poop, adding nutrients to the water
  • “Open Wide”- showing the unique characteristics of a hippo’s mouth
  • “Bloat” – educating visitors on the definition of a hippo bloat
  • “Hippo Skull”- displaying authentic skull (encased) focusing on the teeth and tusks

Two custom-made concrete hippo sculptures, replicating the Zoo’s hippos, are also featured in the interactive area.  Specially designed and constructed for photo opportunities and as play structures, the mother hippo weighs 4,593 pounds, while the “baby” weighs 1,330 pounds. This project positively effects the zoo and the visitors.

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