For Cincinnati Zoo's Baby Hippo Fiona, Every Day Brings New Firsts

03/17/2017 02:09 pm ET
photo by S. David Jenike

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s baby hippo Fiona, born six weeks early on January 24, is learning how to be a hippo at a rapid rate. She is exposed to new things every day and has tripled her birth weight. This week alone, firsts included hose play enrichment, eating hay, checking out her new bedroom space and seeing her own reflection. That’s a lot for a little hippo!

She has to master many things, and get much bigger, before she can be reunited with her mom and dad. The challenge for caregivers is to teach her what she needs to know before she gets too big. At a certain point, human surrogates will not be able to share space with her and she will need to cooperate to get bottles through a barrier. Other firsts to look forward to include introductions to new foods, physical contact with mom and dad, navigating bigger pools and going outside. Stay tuned!

About the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is home to more than 500 animal and 3000 plant species and is internationally known for its success in the protection and propagation of endangered animals and plants. The Zoo’s research facility, CREW, is a global leader in wildlife conservation and is dedicated to “Saving Species with Science”. Zoo and CREW staff lead and support conservation projects all over the world. Learn more about ways you can support the Zoo’s mission.

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