Hip-Hippo-Hooray…You’re Invited to Genny’s 17th Birthday Celebration!


Hippo-sized birthday fun’s in store with special hippo-friendly cake, giant birthday cards, hippo party games and more!

You’re invited to celebrate Genny the Nile hippo’s 17th birthday weekend, Friday, July 7 through Sunday, July 9!  Hippo Haven will turn into hippo party central, with decorations and fanfare, as guests and staff will join in the fun surrounding the birthday girl’s big day.



“Celebrating birthdays are always fun, but celebrating a 4,000-pound hippo’s birthday is extra special,” said Michele Pagel, Curator of Birds and Mammals at Adventure Aquarium. “Our Members and guests know and love both of our girls, Genny and Button, and we’re so excited to share Genny’s very special birthday festivities with them.”


In New Jersey, drivers must be seventeen years old to receive their driver’s license. This year, Genny is reaching that milestone and, since she is now able to get behind the wheel, will receive her provisionary driver’s license. To commemorate the special occasion, a special New Jersey driver’s license birthday cake, provided by DiBartolo’s Bakery, will be distributed to guests during the Friday, July 7 kickoff event beginning at 10:00 a.m. (while supplies last).  In addition, local West Deptford theater students will lead guests in the singing of happy birthday to the hippo of honor.

Genny, born on July 10, 2000 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida, is the larger of the two ladies, weighing over 4,000 pounds. Her hippo gal pal Button, weighing in at just over 3,000 pounds and 20-years-old, was born on March 22, 1997 at Parque Zoological de Leon in Mexico.


“Each hippo is unique in their physical appearance and personality traits but they have one thing in common – they love to eat,” said Pagel. “Keeping that in mind, we will present vegan ‘hippo birthday cakes’ to the girls each morning throughout the weekend as guests sing happy birthday in Hippo Haven.  It will definitely be a fun way for everyone to start each day!”

The fun will continue with special birthday celebration programming, featuring a variety of enrichment, hippo talks, hippo party games, the singing of happy birthday and hippo treats showcased all weekend-long.  Guests will also have the opportunity to wish Genny a wonderful day on “hippo-sized” birthday cards displayed in Hippo Haven. At the end of each day, guests will have one final opportunity to wish Genny a happy birthday and a good night during Hippo Bedtime.


Aquarium visitors will not only experience how special it is to celebrate a hippo’s birthday at Adventure Aquarium but they will also be able to enter a sweepstakes to win a free birthday party at the Aquarium.  One lucky guest will win their very own birthday party with the drawing taking place on Friday, July 14.

Guests and visitors are encouraged to follow the Aquarium’s social media accounts to stay up to date on animal birthdays, birth announcements, events and more.


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