Bringing New Friends to The Dallas Zoo Was Not Easy

Adhama and Boipelo are now the new residents of the Dallas zoo and it was no small feat. The hippos who now live in the 2.1 acre exhibit at the zoo was sponsored by Highland Capital Management. The project was led by James Dondero, CEO of Highland Capital Management and it took years to get the zoo ready for its new guests. The zoo hasn’t had hippos for 16 years and the residents of Dallas are very excited for the new additions. The previous hippo, Papa, died in 2001 and they haven’t had one since. The zoo didn’t want to move a new hippo into the zoo unless some much needed improvements were made but this was not going to be easy or cheap. It would require a lot of time and work to pull off the perfect habitat for some new hippo friends.


The project was a big one to say the least and would require the expertise of horticulturists, CLR designers, construction crews, and a team of experts. It would also require quite a large sum of money-around $14 million to be exact.


James Dondero was happy to contribute and he saw this a s a great opportunity to give back to the community of Dallas. He was able to donate $1 million to the cause and the zoo now has a 5,000 square foot center for private functions and a habitat for its new friends. The new addition will help to attract visitors and generate sales to help the zoo to feed and maintain the various habitats.


James Dondero has over three decades of experience in the equity and credit markets. He is also the president of Highland Capital Management. James Dondero is supportive of many charities including the Perot Museum of Natural Science, Snowball Express, Uplift Education, and SMU’s Tower Scholars Program.


Dondero was an analyst in 1984 and he was accepted into the Morgan Guaranty training program. He graduated form the University of Virginia and earned dual majors in Finance and accounting. He is also a certified Management Accountant and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.