Zoo Baby in Focus: Premature Hippo Brings Delight To Visitors in Cincinatti Zoo

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Baby Hippo Brings Emotional Lift After Death of Gorilla

A cute baby hippo is giving delight to animal lovers and crew of Cincinatti Zoo. Two months after the sad story of the zoo’s fatal shooting of Harambe, a gorilla, the baby hippo named “Fiona” is touching the hearts of many.

The tragedy of Harambe has garnered backlash from the public, but the presence of Fiona these days has given the zoo workers a dose of hope and happiness.

Jenna Wingate, one of Fiona’s caregivers, said, “She has brought everyone together. It brings us to tears sometimes.”

Fiona was born six weeks premature, on January 24.

Fiona is The Center of Attention

Baby hippo Fiona is making a big splash in social media and at the Cincinatti zoo as well.

In the zoo’s website, Fiona’s updates are all over the site. Although Fiona is still behind the scenes for now, blogs and video of Fiona can be viewed in Youtube and the zoo’s website. And, animal lovers are waiting for her appearance soon.

Fiona can be seen in the zoo’s website spending more time and getting comfortable with deeper water. Fiona taking a bottle garnered tens of millions of online views as well.

Aside from that, cuteness overload of images of Fiona sleeping in odd position and splashing in the pool is making the premature hippo calf an internet darling.

A baby hippo basking in the sun.
A baby hippo basking in the sun.

Many Are Excited

Many are excited to see the day that Fiona will be introduced to the public. In fact, tens of thousands of people have bought Team Fiona T-shirts. To support the zoo’s efforts and advocacy, thousands more have eaten a Cincinnati bakery chain’s Fiona-themed treats.

Fiona has fan mail too. The baby hippo receives many cards and letters. Fiona has 508,000 of them on Facebook alone. Her most popular Facebook post had a reach of 32 million, with 574,000 likes, 167,000 shares and 117,000 comments.

Meet Team Fiona

Many were skeptical at first about Fiona’s survival. She was born premature and weighed only 29 pounds, which is not in the normal range for birth weight of a hippo calf. Aside from that, Fiona could not nurse. However, a team of human caregivers stepped in and took the extra mile to take good care of the hippo calf. They are now dubbed Team Fiona with a power house of 25 caregivers, including veterinarians and African staff.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.