Sunday, October 2, 2022

Adventure Aquarium Re-imagines Its Hippo Habitat

[quote]We’ve created an incredible marriage of sight and sound that will leave guests with amazing memories.” — Kevin Keppel, Adventure Aquarium Executive Director[/quote]

Camden, NJ, USA (May 19, 2014) – Camden’s largest residents, Adventure Aquarium’s hippopotamuses Button and Genny, invite you to join them in their new home, Hippo Haven. Starting May 29, Adventure Aquarium guests will be treated to a revitalized, refreshed and reimagined hippopotamus experience with two 3,000-pound hostesses. As the only aquarium in the world with hippos on exhibit, Adventure Aquarium’s Hippo Haven offers guests an unparalleled hippo viewing experience, allowing them to come nose-to-nose with Button and Genny both above and under water.


“We’ve invested more than one million dollars in Hippo Haven to ensure it offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our guests – hippos are big animals with big needs and a big home – we wanted the guest experience to be equally as big and impressive,” said Kevin Keppel, Executive Director of Adventure Aquarium.

Guests entering Adventure Aquarium’s Hippo Haven will find themselves in an unexpected world of fun and adventure. The top viewing area has been transformed using lighting, projection and an original musical score into a vibrant theatrical environment that immerses guests in “a day in the life on an African river.” Created by the award-winning production company, Mousetrappe, the new experience highlights the hippos alongside other animals and environments you’d find in their natural habitat. 

The lower viewing area of Hippo Haven incorporates a clear 60,000-gallon pool where the hippos have ample room to swim and guests, inches away on the other side of the glass, can see these graceful creatures from an intimate angle. Thanks to a powerful new water filtration system, part of the investment in recreating Hippo Haven, guests throughout the day will have a clearer view of Button and Genny than ever before.

“Hippos spend the majority of their time, up to 16 hours of the day, in the water,” commented Michele Pagel, Curator of Birds and Mammals. “Their nostrils and ears are positioned on top of their heads so they can stay submerged for long periods of time, and they’re even able to sleep underwater, instinctively rising to breathe when necessary. Hippo Haven caters to Button and Genny’s natural instincts and biology.”


In addition to the opportunity to meet these graceful creatures in person, guests will also have a chance to adopt a hippo through the Turgwe Hippo Trust in Zimbabwe. The Turgwe Trust is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting and conserving vulnerable wild African Hippos. Adventure Aquarium guests who adopt a hippo will assist in preserving their natural habitat, protecting the hippos from poachers and hunters, and helping to maintain the Turgwe river system. 

“We are honored to offer Adventure Aquarium guests the chance to help protect the beautiful African hippos located in the Turgwe Hippo Trust,” explained Karen Paolillo, Founder of Turgwe Hippo Trust. “We are glad to see that people from across the globe can join us in our passion and mission to save the hippos.” 

Adventure Aquarium, formerly the New Jersey State Aquarium, is owned and operated by Herschend Family Entertainment.

Joe Kleiman
Joe Kleiman
Raised in San Diego on theme parks, zoos, and IMAX films, InPark's Senior Correspondent Joe Kleiman would expand his childhood loves into two decades as a projectionist and theater director within the giant screen industry. In addition to his work in commercial and museum operations, Joe has volunteered his time to animal husbandry at leading facilities in California and Texas and has played a leading management role for a number of performing arts companies. Joe previously served as News Editor and has remained a contributing author to InPark Magazine since 2011. HIs writing has also appeared in Sound & Communications, LF Examiner, Jim Hill Media, The Planetarian, Behind the Thrills, and MiceChat His blog, takes an unconventional look at the attractions industry. Follow on twitter @ThemesRenewed Joe lives in Sacramento, California with his wife, dog, and a ghost.

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