Opening 2016

Question: How many people does it take to move a hippo?

Answer: As many as we can find!   

DONATE NOW  or call 901.333.6554.

So far, hundreds have pitched in to help move our historic hippos to their new home - the Zambezi River Hippo Camp - with generous contributions to our cause. You can help us complete this exciting new feature - and have your name become a permanent part of the newest exhibit at the Zoo.  

The layout for Zambezi River Hippo Camp. This brand-new exhibit will feature hippos, Nile crocodiles, greater flamingos, Nile soft shell turtles, okapi, patas monkeys, various fish and African birds. 

You can help! 

Donate now to help us raise $100,000 before December 31 and the Assisi Foundation of Memphis will match a $300,000 challenge grant. Our new home for the hippos will take visitors on a virtual safari along the banks of the Zambezi River. Get up-close, underwater views of hippos and Nile crocodiles swimming in the sprawling river with okapi, African primates, flamingos and others sharing their habitat.

For donations of $250 and above, your name will be included in a spectacular display on the wall of the exhibit itself. In addition, all donors of $250 and above will receive an invitation to a special preview event. This makes a great gift opportunity for the animal lover and zoo patron in your life. We hope you’ll help. Make your contribution of $250 before December 31 to be listed on the donor recognition wall (maximum two names per donation.) Click here to learn more about additional naming opportunities. 

But let's get back to the question at hand. How many people does it take to move a hippo? The simple answer is, as many as we can find.

A rendering of the entrance to Zambezi River Hippo Camp. 

DONATE NOW  or call 901.333.6554.

Watch the Pandemonium Live


On the first Monday of every month, we share a #movinitmonday post with our Facebook fans. You can find all of them here. 

March 2
It's time for our first ‪#‎movinitmonday‬! 

How many people does it take to move a hippo? In our experience, quite a few! In 1914, Henry Loeb joined with Memphis school children to raise $4,000 to bring two hippopotami to the Memphis Zoo. The pair, later named "Venus" and "Adonis" by contest winners, were shipped over from Hamburg, Germany. The pair was prolific and had 16 calves. 

April 6

In June, 1956, a young pair was shipped from Kenya. When they arrived, Zoo staff were surprised to learn that instead of a male and a female (as previously promised), the Memphis Zoo was now a proud owner of two young females. One female named "Josephine" was moved into the Hippo House and became a mate to Adonis (mother to "Julie" and grandmother to current hippo "Splish," while the other hippo was transferred via railcar to Evansville, Indiana. 

May 4

Because the previous shipment included two females, Zoo staff went about acquiring a new, young, male hippo. 

Our new male departed Mombasa, Keyna by ship the summer of 1957.  During the ocean crossing, he got chilly.  He escaped his wooden crate on deck seeking a warmer location, and meandered his way through the ship’s passageways.  Fast-thinking crew members herded him to the ship’s recreation room, where he continued the rest of his journey toasty and warm until they finally docked in Houston. 

June 1

The male, named “Uebi,” later went on to be the mate of our late, beloved Julie, and was the father of Splish and her twin, “Splash,” who were born on Christmas Day 1988. When then-zookeeper (now Assistant Curator) Houston Winbigler was interviewed by The Commercial Appeal on December 28, 1988, he said, “We’d like to keep some of that lineage, so that in the year 2014, we’ll still have descendants of the original pair.”Well, Houston, looks like you were right!

It's time for today's Movin' It Monday!Today, the Memphis Zoo is home to two female hippos, “Splish” and “Binti.” ...

Posted by Memphis Zoo on Monday, July 6, 2015

It's time for #movinitmonday!In addition to hippos, we'll also have okapis, flamingos, Nile crocodiles and much more...

Posted by Memphis Zoo on Monday, August 3, 2015

For September's #MovinItMonday, we're taking you behind the scenes at Zambezi River Hippo Camp. Follow along as Director of Animal Programs Matt Thompson shares with you the exhibit highlights.

Posted by Memphis Zoo on Monday, September 7, 2015

It's time for another #MovingItMonday! This month, we're excited to feature some of the amazing animals we'll have in our new exhibit. For more information, please visit

Posted by Memphis Zoo on Monday, October 5, 2015

It's time for another #MovingItMonday! In November, we're excited to feature some of the awe-inspiring architecture we'll feature in our new exhibit. For more information, please visit

Posted by Memphis Zoo on Monday, November 2, 2015

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