Baby hippo Fiona meets parents
CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Cincinnati's favorite baby hippo, Fiona, turned two months old on Friday.
The Cincinnati Zoo's baby hippo was made famous when she was born a preemie on Jan. 24.
She's getting big and strong and has been introduced to her parents.
Fiona’s mom Bibi and dad Henry were brought together last summer on the recommendation of a Hippopotamus SSP (species survival program).
Before being brought to the Cincinnati Zoo, Henry spent 20 years alone.
Head Keeper Wendy Rice says it was love at first sight.
"It was like cartoon hearts in his eyes. He was like, there's a girl here! He seems to have been smitten with her ever since," said Wendy. "They bred right away, which is why Fiona is here."
Fiona was born at least six weeks early and 25 pounds underweight.
The now-106-pound baby hippo can walk into the tub all by herself.
She's sleeping part of the night alone. From midnight to 5 a.m. there’s not a caregiver with her anymore, but she is being watched with a video monitor.
The most exciting part is that she’s been introduced to her mom and dad, though the family is still being kept in separate areas divided by a small barrier.
Rice says, "but they can see each other, smell and hear each other. Fiona has definitely noticed her parents. She kind of checks them out but she's more focused on people at this time. She's kind of like, there's a hippo ... but I'll go play with you (caregiver)."
Fiona gear has been very popular. The "Feeling Hip'"graphic T-shirt by Cincy Shirts is a hot item.
Darin Overholser says, “it’s quickly becoming our highest-selling shirt of all time."
The company plans to donate close to $45,000 to the zoo from the sale of the shirt.
Busken Bakery is also donating $39,000 from its Fiona cookies.
Zoo officials say the support is unbelievable. There was even a big online concern over the lack of Fiona updates. Michelle Curley, communications director, said, "people got so upset that we said, OK, never mind. We heard you, we are going to post something every day."
There’s lots of love for a hippo baby who hasn't even been introduced to the world yet. The zoo says that'll happen when "Fiona is ready."