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Zola the Gorilla and 3 Other Animals We Love at Dallas Zoo

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Zola the Gorilla made a splash – literally – when a video of his breakdancing skills went viral this past June. The massive 380-pound Silverback was shown thrashing and playing in his favorite blue wading pool. Within days, the YouTube post had been watched more than two million times.

Officials at the Dallas Zoo responded to the video on their “ZooTube” page. “Enrichment helps enhance the environment and lives of animals, like Zola, by providing them with mental and physical stimulation to increase natural behaviors. Enrichment can take many forms, but for this spunky great ape, it means playing and spinning in his favorite blue pool!” This wasn’t the first time Zola found online fame, either. A similar video of Zola dancing in his former habitat at Calgary Zoo was posted three years earlier.

Catch Zola at the Dallas Zoo this fall, alongside these other favorite animals.

Wild Ass Babies: It was difficult to suppress a giggle at the zoo headlines announcing the arrival of two rare Somali donkeys. Cheeky classification name aside, Kalila (Arabic for “dearly loved”) and Naima (“calm”) are half-sisters born just ten days apart to different mothers. According to zoo officials, there are just 600 of these creatures left in the wild. Both sisters were standing, walking and nursing just minutes after their births. Standing at about 4 feet tall with tiny hooves and fluffy tails, they’re even more adorable than their equine cousins.

Hungry Happy Hippos: Dallas Zoo hasn’t seen a hippo since their last one, Papa, passed away in 2001. In April of this year, the Dallas Zoo finally welcomed two new hippos, Adhama and Boipelo, to the newly added $14M Simmons Hippo Outpost. Their digs include 2+ acres of open land with a suitably muddy watering hole and 24’x8’ underwater viewing area for observers. Zoo officials are hoping Adhama and Boipelo will make a love connection. The hippos were matched for breeding potential by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan (SSP). In the meantime, visitors can watch as they get to know one another.

Tall, Dark and Gangly: Mamas, be jealous: Tsabo the giraffe was born at 1:45 p.m. on May 30, 2017 – after only an hour-long delivery. Then again, he was also nearly 150 pounds and six feet tall! Tsabo was initially cared for in a special maternity stall with extra-soft sand to protect against falling injuries. By June, he was giddily bouncing and playing with the other giraffes in the Giants of the Savanna exhibit. Tsabo isn’t old enough to interact with guests yet, but visitors can feed other members of his herd by hand at The Diane and Hal Brierley Giraffe Ridge. Just be prepared for a lot of prehensile tongue!

Just 10-12 minutes from Dallas Zoo you’ll find Magnolia Dallas Park Cities, luxury boutique lodgings located just minutes from Dallas Love Field Airport. Watch the zoo’s party animals in action, then head back to the hotel for a burger or drink at Park Cities Grill before heading out for a night on the town.