Four years of planning and one year of construction went into returning hippos back to the Dallas, Texas Zoo. The Simmons Hippo Post is 2.1 acres and costs $14 million that is a modern habitat with a waterhole feature that has a large underwater viewing window area that measures 24 foot by eight foot. The waterhole is huge consisting of 120,000 gallons of water and located in the Wilds of Africa.
Dallas Zoo CEO and President Greg Hudson said the Simmons Hippo Outpost is the first in nearly 15 years since the zoo had any hippos. He said the zoo is dedicated to being a valued part of the community.
The project was made possible by financial support by philanthropists Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said of the new project.
The honorary chairman of the Simmons Hippo Outpost Mary McDermott Cook donations from the Harold Simmons Foundation began the project with a donation Lisa Simmons said they were proud to be a part of with a $5 million dollar donation.
Highland Capital Management Lp headed and founded by James Dondero donated $1,000,000 that was committed to the construction of a 4.485 square foot building. This building is a lodge for educational displays and private events. Mr. Dondero is known as a philanthropist and his company recently joined with Linda Owen the former president of Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation. This was done for Owen to plan strategic management directions for philanthropic projects for Highland Capital Management’s charity donations to expand from the company’s current annual charitable organization donations of over $3 million dollars. Highland Capital Management has donated to other projects including the American Heart Association, the Center for Brain Health, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, and the George W Bush Presidential Library and Museum.
Mr. Donero’s company is devoted to investing in the Dallas community by donation support to organizations in the area that make it better and says the Dallas Zoo is just the type of organization the firm is pleased to help. The Highland Capital Management firm does not stop at financial donations; the executives offer guidance to various organizations with leadership roles and serving on boards.