Wish Blackie a Happy Holiday!
Spend a Hippo Holiday with Cleveland Metroparks Zoo every Saturday and Sunday during the month of December and enjoy a special viewing of Blackie, the Zoo’s 58-year-old Nile hippo.
Beginning December 1, this holiday behind-the-scenes viewing is open to all Zoo guests and is included with the price of admission. Viewings will take place approximately every 15 minutes in the Africa barn behind the Zoo’s Public Greenhouse. Per Zoo policy, no photos or videos will be allowed during this special behind-the-scenes viewing.
Blackie is currently the oldest Nile hippo in the country and weighs approximately 3,700 pounds. He was born in Mount Meru Game Sanctuary in Tanzania in 1954 and arrived at the Zoo in 1955 via the last Zoo safari to Africa.
As plans for African Elephant Crossing were finalized, it became apparent that a hippo exhibit could not be part of the project. However, the Zoo is strongly committed to the best possible care for our geriatric hippo and built a new and comfortable addition to the Africa barn specifically for Blackie. Unfortunately, this space is off-exhibit and not available for public viewing until now.
All dates for Hippo Holidays include: December 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29 & 30.
Fun Hippo Facts:
- Hippos spend most of their time in water and can stay underwater for up to 20 minutes.
- Hippopotamus is Greek for “river horse."
- The hippo’s closest biological relatives are whales and dolphins.
- Hippos eat grass and aquatic plants in the wild. At the Zoo, Blackie is fed hay, grain and vegetables.
- Hippos are classified as “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
- Hippo populations are declining due to habitat loss and poaching, but are still found in Kenya, Somalia and Tanzania.