May marks the start of the beach season for the hippopotamuses: Tücsök and Jusztina can use the outdoor swimming pool again. Although the inside one is at their disposal too, in the nice weather they prefer the outdoor pool, which opened in 1932.
Our Zoo has been keeping hippos since 1893. Since 1912, our hippopotamuses have their home at the southwest end of the Elephant House, where an interior barn, divided into several stalls, and a paddock are at their disposal. Of course, most of both their internal and external area is occupied by a swimming pool. The large outdoor pool was built in 1932, while the, indoor one in its current form dates from 1999.
In the winter the hippos of course use the stalls and pool indoors; this is often filled up with the pleasantly warm waters from the Széchenyi Baths. However, with the advent of spring, the animals spend more and more time in the paddock as well. The outdoor pool is usually filled with water on May Day: the beaches of Budapest have traditionally filled their pools by this time.
Currently the pool is only three-quarters filled up because the weather is still somewhat volatile, and the indoor pool is also full of water, so the animals can decide as they please, in which pool’s water they will wallow in.