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Science and the Environment

Henry the Hippo Prepares to Head to Ohio

Dickerson Park Zoo

Your final chance to say goodbye to Henry the Hippo is Wednesday.  That’s the last day he’ll be on exhibit at Springfield’s Dickerson Park Zoo.  After that he’ll move to a new $8 million home at the Cincinnati Zoo where he’ll have a female companion from the St. Louis Zoo.

Henry’s arrival in Springfield as a young hippo from the San Francisco Zoo in 1982 was made possible by a donation from Henry and Jane Schneider.

Meanwhile, the Cincinnati Zoo says the new pool is full at the Hippo Cove exhibit, and a water quality expert has been hired to get it ready for the Henry and his companion.

Visitors will get a clear, nose-to-nostril view of the zoo’s two Nile hippos from the exhibit’s underwater viewing area, according to Cincinnati Zoo officials. Hippo Cove, scheduled to open in late July, will also feature a scenic overlook where visitors can view the 34-year-old Henry and the 17-year-old female.

The pair have received a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP). According to the Cincinnati Zoo, “if all goes well, baby hippos could be in the Zoo’s future.”

View a video of Henry's new home here.