Family Donates $500K For Memphis Zoo Exhibit - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Family Donates $500K For Memphis Zoo Exhibit

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Splish, a 23 year-old hippopotamus born at the Memphis Zoo on Christmas Day in 1988, has her nose rubbed after getting a treat of fresh grass from hippo keeper Sara Taylor at the Memphis Zoo. (Photo Credit: Commercial Appeal) Splish, a 23 year-old hippopotamus born at the Memphis Zoo on Christmas Day in 1988, has her nose rubbed after getting a treat of fresh grass from hippo keeper Sara Taylor at the Memphis Zoo. (Photo Credit: Commercial Appeal)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - The Memphis Zoo is closer to raising the money it needs for its Zambezi River Hippo Camp exhibit.

The Commercial Appeal reported Thomas Garrott, former president of National Bank of Commerce, and his family have committed to giving $500,000. The zoo's goal is $17 million.

Garrett said the family had limited donations to education and the arts, but decided to give to the zoo because of all it has done for Memphis. He says it's not only good for tourism and business development, but is "inspirational."

The new "Hippo Camp" will host the zoo's two resident hippos: 54-year-old Julie, and her offspring, Splish, 24.

Flamingos, African crocodiles and other birds and fish will join the exhibit that will boast a waterfall, man-made rivers and underwater viewing areas.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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