At the beginning of 2017, visitors of the Dallas Zoo started experiencing the beauty of a special hippo habitat with two hippo residents made possible by Dallas philanthropist James Dondero and his investment firm, Highland Capital Management. Hippos have been absent from the zoo for over a decade after the last hippo in the old exhibit died in 2001. Highland Capital Management’s donation of one million dollars has been instrumental in reconstructing the hippo exhibit, providing unique displays, and building a lodge designed to drive proceeds to be used for future zoo advancements.
Adhama and Boipelo, male and female hippos respectively, enjoy the lavish living conditions in the hippo environment. The new habitat is an extreme undertaking, built over two acres and including a massive waterhole with underwater viewing privileges for visitors. In addition to the entertainment brought to individuals by the return of the hippos, the habitat has raised awareness of the importance of exotic animals in accessible zoos for families and organizations. The inclusion of the hippo exhibit has quickly shown an increase in visitors and interest for the already famous Dallas Zoo.
Reinstating the hippo exhibit at the Dallas Zoo adds more positivity to James Dondero’s glowing reputation and the history of donations from his investment firm. Other philanthropists contributed to the 14 million dollar hippo project including foundations in the names of Harold Simmons and Eugene McDermott.
About James Dondero
As co-founder and president of Highland Capital Management, James Dondero uses the influence and capital of his investment firm to improve the lives of residents and living conditions in the Dallas area. He frequently supports many education and community progress initiatives.
Highland Capital Management has been in operation since 1990, and it has grown into a global investment giant in the industry. The firm has donated substantial amounts of money to the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Institute, the Perot Museum of Natural Science, and the Education is Freedom charity .