Hippo poo prompts $7.3 million project

WATCH: Cincinnati zoo preparing for hippos

AVONDALE, OH (FOX19) - If you have visited the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens, you may have noticed one animal missing from the lineup: the hippopotamus.

The zoo has not had hippos since 1997. 

Here's why: one hippo can make up to 400 pounds of waste per day, making it difficult to keep the exhibit clean enough for public viewing.
But now zoo officials want two hippos for their Africa Exhibit.

As a result, construction is underway on what zoo workers say is their most sophisticated project to date.

They're in the process of building a $7.3 million dollar, 70,000 gallon pool with a multistage filtration system.

It's essentially a gigantic toilet that will flush the waste out of the water, keeping it clean enough for visitors to view. 

Local construction company HGC is behind the project, which is expected to be complete by next summer.

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