Climb On Board: Bandage Removed from Zoo's Hippo Sculpture
The Detroit Zoo's beloved 'Sleeping Hippo' sculpture is ready to greet children of all ages this morning when the zoo opens at 10 a.m.
The barricades are down, the bandage is removed, and the Detroit Zoo's favorite greeter is ready this morning to meet you at the zoo.
Children get ready to climb on top the hippo's back, crawl through her belly and slide down her nose. After months of being under wraps, the Sleeping Hippo has been repaired and polished.
"She is showing her age. (She has) some cracks, but she can be saved," said Patricia Janeway in February, the zoo's communications director. "We are awaiting warmer temperatures to perform the restorative measures."
Integrity Building Group, of Detroit, examined the hippo to determine the cracks were not structural and then injected a polyurea, a bonding agent, and filled the cracks, said Melinda Ostrander, facilities superintendent at Detroit Zoological Society
"They drilled out the cracks, because they were very shallow, and then they put in a color-blended epoxy to match her terazzo color and they polished her." Ostrander said. Temperatures needed to be above 45 degrees overnight to allow the process to set up overnight.
Ostrander allowed Royal Oak Patch inside the zoo Friday night, after the gates were closed, to see the completed restoration.
With the repairs in place, the barricades where removed. Sleeping Hippo looks like a milliion bucks and is ready to greet vistors when the gates at the zoo open this morning.
The cast terrazzo sculpture was donated by the Dayton Hudson Co. in 1989. Before coming to the zoo, the the hippo was in front of the entrance to Hudson's at Oakland Mall from 1969-89. Aldo Bernardi, of Hazel Park, cast the hippopotamus for Cashwan.
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