These Hippos Have Something To Say: Meet Splish and Binti

Posted by Holly Whitfield | February 15th 2016 4276 0

This afternoon, a funny thing happened on the Internet. Splish and Binti, the Memphis Zoo’s two female hippos, got a Twitter Account. I know what you’re thinking…how can a hippopotamus use social media? Do they even have opposable thumbs?

Well, consider the following.

  • Hippos, despite looking like big lumps with tiny legs, can outrun humans
  • Hippos are the third largest land mammals
  • Hippos can hold their breath for 5 minutes or longer
  • Hippos spend up to 16 hours per day in water – they can even sleep underwater
  • Hippo moms give birth to 50 – 100 pound babies

If they can do all of that I’m sure they can figure out Twitter.

make animated gifs like this at MakeaGif

Plus, Splish and Binti are about to move into the Zambezi River Hippo Camp and they’re about to get a new man-friend hippo so they might want to show off a little. (His name is Uzazi, which means “great parent”. Wink-wink-nudge-nudge.)

You can follow them by going to

The Zambezi River Hippo Camp will be a 4-acre new exhibit at the Memphis Zoo that will include habitats for animals native to the Zambezi River valley of central Africa. It will open in late spring of 2016.

Zambezi River Hippo Camp Memphis Zoo Under Construction

It will be home to a family of patas monkeys, more than 40 flamingos, okapi, niala, ground hornbills, 30 species of birds, plus three hippos and four gargantuan Nile crocodiles. Here’s a video:

The hippo habitat is the most exciting. It’s a 200,000 gallon tank with plenty of room for all three hippos to swim and twirl and “dance’ in the water (think Fantasia). You can observe the hippos from the tank or from the second-floor observation area.

Zambezi River Tank

Hard to tell since it’s still under construction, but here’s an “underwater” viewing station view.

There will also be a free-flight area for new tropical birds and a separate tank for the four 13.5-foot-long Nile crocs.

Memphis Zoo Zambezi River Free Flight Area

Memphis Zoo Zambezi River Bird Area

Memphis Zoo Zambezi River Construction

Tickets to the Zoo are $15 for adults, $14 for seniors, and $10 for kids ages 2 to 11. Parking is $5.

Memphis Zoo Zambezi River Hippo Smiling

Smile, Splish!

Memphis Zoo Hippo

Zookeeper feeding Splish in their current habitat. The new one is going to be a huge improvement.

Pro Tip/Friendly Suggestion From Holly: If you go on a busy day when the parking lot is full, you may be directed to park in the grass at Overton Park. I’d urge you to consider saving your $5 (and the grass) and finding street parking in the surrounding neighborhoods instead. Click here for a handy map of that street parking.

Author: Holly Whitfield

I write about what’s going on with Memphis music, food, arts, events, sports, people, and culture. Memphians love Elvis and barbeque with a passion that must be seen to be believed, but there is so much more to this place.

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  1. Sandra says:

    My husband and I visited Memphis Zoo in 2011.Totally enjoyed this awesome place.Loved the hippos.We hope to come back soon.We live in Australia.

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