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Milwaukee County Zoo Adventure Africa Hippo Haven

Hippo Haven is the second phase of a two part development - Adventure Africa - at the Milwaukee County Zoo. The project represents the largest physical change to the award-winning zoo since it opened in 1961. Adventure Africal transforms 25% of the zoo's footprint. Phase I included a new elephant and mixed species habitat.

The hippo exhibit was designed to meet updated AZA standards and provides substantial enhancements to the hippo habitat, including enrichment features, as well as an up-close viewing experience for zoo visitors. A new 60,000 gallon hippo pool features an underwater glass viewing wall and watering hole that is three-times larger than the former outdoor watering hole. Additionally, the animals benefit from a larger habitat with a state-of-the-art filtration system and a 3500 square foot beach, that with the upgraded watering hole, simulates their natural environment.

A new life-support system is designed to treat the pool water, allowing it to be recirculated back into the pool, thus conserving water and providing a better living and viewing environment. There is also a hippo-themed children's play area with informational displays detailing hippo research and conservation.

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Project Data

60,000 gallon hippo pool

3500 sf beach area


GRAEF Services

Structural Engineering

Civil Engineering

Landscape Architecture

Mechanical Engineering

Electrical Engineering

Plumbing Engineering

Milwaukee County Zoo Adventure Africa Contact

Practice Area Leader - Water