GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — If you are planning to visit John Ball Zoo, you may want to make a stop at the new pygmy exhibit.
The new habitat has both an indoor and outdoor area so visitors can see the hippos all year around. Jahari, the male hippo, has already been living in the new habitat for two months.
Zoo workers say they wanted to give Jahari plenty of time to adjust before working more closely with him.
“We are working with Jahari on doing some of the exhibit training that will definitely be down the road. He’s been a rockstar already. But in the meanwhile, we have someone while you’re visiting that’s here to answer any questions about pygmy hippos that you might have as well as just getting to see Jahari’s been active most of the day so far,” said animal care supervisor Jaime Racalla.
She said another pygmy hippo will be joining the JBZ family soon.
“A female hippo named Penelope is going to come to us, actually from Toronto, so she’s arriving later this June so people should be able to see her sometime in July,” said Racalla.
This weekend, the zoo will hold a Summer Spectacular celebration. It will begin Friday and will include live music and special activities and foods. For more information, check out the John Ball Zoo website.
Just over two weeks ago, Jahari attacked and killed a sitatunga, a medium sized antelope, in the hippo habitat. The sitatunga was there as part of a controlled introduction by zoo staff to prepare for a new multi-species habitat.
— News 8’s Gabrielle Phifer contributed to this report.