#HippoSwipeRight? Will San Antonio Zoo hippo be Fiona's boyfriend?
CINCINNATI, Ohio (WKRC) - There’s no doubt that when people see Fiona, the Cincinnati Zoo's hippo princess, they get excited.
Workers at Cincy Shirts in Hyde Park sell tons of Fiona merchandise. Tara Collopy loves Fiona so much that coworkers threw her a Fiona-themed birthday party. On Friday, Collopy was shopping for new Fiona shirts and she heard Fiona may have a boyfriend.
“I think it's her face and she's just adorable,” Collopy said, smiling. “My friend tagged me in the post that was on Facebook and she says can you believe this and I’m like, she is too young to date. She has to wait and she is not allowed to leave Cincinnati.”
The post came from a hippopotamus named "Timothy" that lives at the San Antonio Zoo. Thursday, he made a Facebook and Twitter post telling Fiona that she's the most beautiful hippo he's ever seen.
Tim Morrow is the CEO of the San Antonio Zoo. Morrow says the post was a playful way to make contact with a potential mate for Timothy.
“You know we've been watching the Fiona story for a long time. Since it really started, we've been really admiring the passion and care that the keepers have been giving her there, the story and have been following it. We got this hippo in our zoo we know that we want to breed hippos and help the AZA with their species survival plan and Fiona’s a young female in the AZA with Timothy and we thought it would be a good match,” said Morrow.
The Cincinnati Zoo responded posting on Twitter, "Fiona thinks you're cute too, but it's what's on the inside that counts."
Fans see the social media push as a way to protect the hippo population.
Collopy said, “The fact that Fiona has become such a worldwide phenomenon and then this other hippo, maybe he'll become as popular as her, and eventually years to come then they can mate and we can have more hippos just like them.”
The final decision of which hippos will be matched and relocated to keep the species thriving comes from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which is also called the AZA.