As much as visitors love to watch Fiona and Bibi, there’s one fun fact not everyone may know about Hippo Cove. Head to the left end of the exhibit for a peek inside the world’s most sustainable hippo exhibit.
As the Greenest Zoo in America, we made sustainability a priority in building Hippo Cove. One of a handful of underwater hippo viewing tanks at zoos around the country, this 70,000-gallon exhibit is a true feat of engineering.
The river hippo, the third largest land animal on Earth, eats a lot. A lot of food going in means a lot of waste coming out. Since the idea is to let visitors watch our hippos move around under water, we need to keep that water clear. We want a great visitor experience and comfortable hippos.
Hippo Cove’s state-of-the-art filtration system processes the waste. A rotating conveyer belt removes larger items like fecal matter and straw for compost. Then, sand filters remove more dirt, and microfibers chemically balance the water. You may also notice the tilapia (fish) swimming around in there. They act as a natural clean-up crew.