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James Dondero and Highland Capital Management Help Build Hippo Outpost

James Dondero of Highland Capital Management has helped to sponsor the construction of a new zoo hippo habitat. The funds to build the hippo habitat was not the only charitable donation that Highland Capital Management gave to the zoo. Highland Capital donated the funds to build the Highland Capital Lodge a 5000 square foot lodge for the use of private events. Visit to know more about James.

James Dondero’s sponsorship will help to build the 2.1-acre Simmons Hippo Outpost. The CEO of the zoo, Gregg Hudson, hopes that the construction of the Hippo Outpost will elevate the zoo to a new level and after years of planning and construction believes that visitors to the zoo will increase in numbers.

The construction of the Hippo Outpost was not without its challenges for designers to create a natural looking habitat with water features and pools that could withstand the rough play and weight of the hippos but would also circulate water in the pools and outdoors. To meet this challenge horticulture and water filtration experts from the zoo’s staff collaborated with the CLR Design firm from Philadelphia and Turner. Every detail was taken into account during the design phase. The team opted to use soft grained sand similar to that used in golf course sand traps. Zookeepers and the design team also consulted with other zookeepers and went to Albuquerque and Los Angeles to watch and learn about hippo behavior.


The Simmons Hippo Outpost is designed for the sole use of the Hippos, Adhama and Boipelo. Unlike the previous habitat that the hippos used and had to share with other animals like elephants and giraffes. The habitat that was previously used was constructed in 1959 and was very old. The habitat didn’t look like a natural habitat. The previous habitat used public bonds for funding and cost $224,685 to build but it does not compare to the new habitat designed for Adhama and Boipelo. The old habitat used by Papa the hippo was not very nice and the area is now used as a picnic area. Visit to know more about James Dondero.

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