Meet the Animals

making waves

Meet the Animals

Share with us in seeing African aquatic animals in a whole new way! Our Making Waves campaign will renovate the homes of our hippos and penguins to give guests an extraordinary new view of the life of these amazing creatures, for which Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is known!

Please note: Our Nile hippos, Zambezi (24,) and Kasai (17), are currently on an extended vacation to Dickerson Park Zoo in Springfield, MO. Our African penguin flock has also moved to another AZA-accredited facility. They will be gone while a new exhibit is built for them with funds raised from this Making Waves capital campaign.



Hippos typically live 35-50 years in captivity. At 24 years old, Zambezi (pronounced zam-BEE-zee) is in the prime of her life. Zambezi loves to have her tongue rubbed and scratched by her keepers. This was discovered during tooth-brushing sessions! Her favorite treats are melons.
Zambezi is the big sister to Kasai (pronounced Ka-Sigh), who is 17 and came to us in 2002 from the Denver Zoo at the age of 2. Guests can identify Kasai by the large pink spots on her feet. Kasai loves peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has a long tradition of successful breeding programs and we hope to continue that dedicated work with our hippos. Increased space in the new exhibit will allow us the opportunity to acquire a male hippo and implement a successful program that could one day feature baby hippos!



African penguins (also known as black-footed penguins) live in groups called colonies. Their impressive underwater speed makes them an easy crowd pleaser. These endangered penguins can swim at an average of 4mph and can stay under water for up to 2 minutes! Our original penguin colony left for the New York Aquarium on April 25th, but a new (and bigger!) colony will arrive in time for the exhibit opening in 2019!


In addition to our penguins and hippos, we have some exciting new species joining our Zoo family! We will be welcoming African spurred tortoises, saddle-billed storks, guinea fowl, fish, lemurs and gazelle!