Hippos Return To The Dallas Zoo

If you reside in the Dallas, Fort Worth area you probably already know about James Dondero. For newcomers, James Dondero is a co-founder and President of one of the largest investment firms in the region, Highland Capital Management. However, his business success is not why he is one of the most famous people in the area; he is best known for his work as a major philanthropist and his support of the community.


James Dondero has been a long time supporter of his community; being involved in the construction of many public projects including educational institutions and many of the key attractions in Dallas. His latest major contribution is a state-of-the-art hippo sanctuary at the Dallas Zoo. It has been 15 years since the Dallas Zoo has had a hippo enclave. In June 2016 James Dondero posted on his Linkedin Page Highland Capital would be involved in bringing these beautiful creatures back to the Dallas area. In April 2017 The Hippo Habitat opened after many years of planning, much to the delight of the millions of annual visitors to the Dallas Zoo.


The old hippo outpost was closed in 2001 after the death of the zoo’s famous hippo, Papa. James Dondero, through his firm Highland Capital Management, made a donation of $1,000,000. The money was used to build a 5000 square foot lodge where visitors will enjoy unique displays and a great view of the hippos in their new habitat. The Highland Capital Lodge is available for private events, and all proceeds will go to future zoo improvements.


The hippo outpost covers 2.1 acres and resembles an African waterhole. The complex features a viewing area designed to take the viewing experience to a new level; visitors will stand face-to-face with a submerged 3,000-pound hippo. The Simmons Hippo Outpost is now home to two hippos, a six-year-old male acquired from the Los Angeles Zoo and a ten-year-old female found at the Albuquerque Biological Park both are reportedly settling in nicely.

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