Fiona is spending more time in the outdoor pool, but there is no set schedule for when she’ll be out. She has access to the indoor space at all times, so visitors may or may not see her.

Join #TeamFiona

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Fiona blowing bubbles on the other end.



Wednesday, September 19, 2017

If you get great photos or video of Fiona during your visit please share them with us using #TeamFiona, like this one submitted by aprilinthe513. We might just use it for a future #FionaFix!


Tuesday , September 20, 2017

The Fiona Show, Episode 4: More to Explore


Monday, September 18, 2017

In some photos Fiona looks huge but it’s all about perspective. She doesn’t look so big when you see her next to her 3,500 lbs dad. Look for Episode 4 of the Fiona Show coming tomorrow at noon!


Sunday, September 17, 2017

Fiona and her Dad, Henry, interacting. Henry is not 100% but he’s made enough of an improvement for his care team to put the whole family back together.



Saturday, September 16, 2017

Fiona’s family! A group of hippos is called a bloat.


Friday, September 15, 2017

Family Re-reunion – Henry is spending time with both of his ladies, Bibi and Fiona, again. He hasn’t been his usual self for a few weeks, so he’s been taking a break from his high-energy baby and enjoying adult time with Bibi. He’s still not 100%, but his care team saw enough improvement to reunite the family.


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Fiona peeking over her Mom. Hippos have a built-in set of goggles: a clear membrane covers their eyes for protection while still allowing them to see when underwater.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Fiona showing off her famous ear wiggle & playful personality!



Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Episode 3: Bigger and Better. After overcoming major medical hurdles, Fiona begins to thrive.


Monday, September 11, 2017

Fiona sure knows how to pose for the camera! Don’t forget to watch episode 3 of The Fiona Show tomorrow at 12pm ET!


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Bibi giving Fiona a helping head.


Saturday, September 9, 2017

Fiona’s like “Hurry up Mom”.



Friday, September 8, 2017

Here’s looking at you kid!


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Fiona Love! Too cute not to share!


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Playful Fiona bites mom’s tail!



Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Episode 2: The Struggle. Take a look back at animal care staff’s fight to keep Fiona alive with help from Cincinnati Children’s. You can also view the show on The Fiona Show Facebook page or click here to watch.



Monday, September 4, 2017

Fiona weighed in at 475 pounds this morning!


Sunday, September 3, 2017

Fiona on her tippy toes!



Saturday, September 2, 2017

After over 75,000 votes this will be the photo on the cover of the 2018 Fiona calendar! We will let you know when the calendars are on sale this fall. Thanks to everyone that voted! The other 3 photos will also appear in the calendar.


Friday, September 1, 2017

Fiona is 469 lbs today! Take a guess at the date she will hit 500 lbs.


Thursday, August 31, 2017

Help us choose which photo should be on the cover of the 2018 Fiona calendar. Head to our Facebook page, or click here to vote!


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Fiona isn’t going after the fish, she’s going after the lettuce! Fish are not a part of a hippos diet which consists mainly of plants and grasses.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Episode 1 – The Beginning. Watch never before seen video of Fiona’s birth and hear her care team reflect on how it all began.



Monday, August 28, 2017

Forget winter… Fiona is coming! The Fiona Show that is! Tomorrow will be the launch of episode one which will include never before seen footage of her birth! The Fiona Show is part of Facebooks new Watch platform. Just click this link and like the show page to be able to watch all the episodes https://www.facebook.com/thefionashow/.


Sunday, August 27, 2017

Fiona can now touch on her tippy toes!! Keep growing Fiona!


Saturday, August 26, 2017

In the deep end Fiona uses her Mom as a step stool.



Friday, August 25, 2017

It’s true, Fiona is getting her own show! The Fiona Show will debut next Tuesday on Facebook’s new Watch platform! Click below for all the details! Make sure to like the Fiona Show page to be able to view all the episodes – https://www.facebook.com/thefionashow/.


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Fiona is 7 months old today!



Wednesday, August 23, 2017

We always knew she was a star! Now Fiona has her own show! Check out the trailer and like The Fiona Show page! The first episode will air Tuesday, Aug. 29th with never before seen video of Fiona’s birth!


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The tilapia in the Hippo Cove pool have also had a baby boom this summer. These fish serve multiple purposes, they help to keep the water clean by eating the hippo dung and they also eat the dead skin off of the hippos which keep them clean and free of micro-organisms. Henry update – Henry continues to improve and is making short visits to the outdoor pool again.


Monday, August 21, 2017

Fiona tipped the scales at 451 lbs this morning. Soon she’ll be big enough to eclipse the sun herself!


Sunday, August 20, 2017

Fiona being Fiona. It’s so great that her Mom likes to play ALMOST as much as she does.


Saturday, August 19, 2017

Fiona showing off her new dental development. The picture on the left was taken when she was 10 days olds and the one on the right was taken this week. This comes at the perfect time as she is now more interested in eating solid foods. You can also see her unique birthmark on her upper left gum. It is growing right along with her.


Friday, August 18, 2017

Bottoms up!! Fiona doing a hippo handstand. Adult hippos can hold their breath up to 5 minutes. Fiona can hold hers for about 2.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Henry update: Henry is doing better and we hope to get him out with BiFi in a week or two if he keeps improving.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Fiona and Bibi being super playful. Hippos love water, which is why the Greeks gave them the name “river horse.” Hippos spend up to 16 hours a day in the water.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Nose to nose with Miss Fiona! Hippos are amphibious creatures, spending the majority of the day in water & feeding on dry land at night


Monday, August 14, 2017

Henry’s appetite is better and his weight is good at 3445 pounds. He’s not ready to join Bibi and Fiona outside yet, but we’ll let you know when he is back to his old self!


Sunday, August 13, 2017

“Pachyderm” is Greek for pachydermos, meaning, “thick skinned.” It’s used to describe animals such as an elephant or a hippopotamus


Saturday, August 12, 2017

Sandy Fiona! When Fiona first started going outside she liked to eat the sand. Now she just prefers to lay down in it. The sand really sticks to the hippos because of the blood sweat on their skin. Blood sweat is a layer of mucous that does many things, it acts as a sunscreen, keeps the skin moist, and even seems to be an antibiotic.


Friday, August 11, 2017

Hippo sounds can be made on land or in the water & they are transmitted simultaneously through both, which is the only known case of amphibious calls in a mammal.


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Mind if I climb in your mouth?

Henry update – Henry has perked up a bit this morning and ate his hay for breakfast! Keep the good vibes and prayers coming his way!



Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The next milestone for Fiona will be transitioning from formula to solids so she is currently able to eat anything that Bibi is offered, but specifically given grain, beet pulp, apple, banana, and lettuce before and after each bottle feeding. Henry is about the same as yesterday. We will update if anything changes.



Tuesday, August 8, 2017

If you’ve visited recently, you may have noticed that Henry hasn’t been out much with Fiona and Bibi. Our beloved papa hippo hasn’t been feeling well and has been choosing to stay inside. He has been more tired than usual and doesn’t have much of an appetite. His care team is working hard to diagnose and treat whatever is ailing him. Please send your positive thoughts and prayers Henry’s way.


Monday, August 7, 2017

Yay!!! My neck rolls are getting bigger! Today the scale read 421 lbs for this chunky chunky hippo.


Sunday, August 6, 2017

Hippo hairball? Not really but Fiona did need to clear her throat.



Saturday, August 5, 2017

Fiona isn’t always graceful but she’s always cute! Did you know the water in our 65,000 gallon pool in Hippo Cove comes from recycled rainwater that we collect in underground tanks? Up to 400,000 gallons of filtered rainwater sits below the Zoo in specially designed storm water systems. This water is used in many ways throughout the Zoo – irrigating gardens, cleaning of animal areas, and filling pools for many of our animals. #GreenestZooInAmerica



Friday, August 4, 2017

Bibi’s side-eye look is priceless!! This was Fiona’s first taste of watermelon.


Thursday, August 3, 2017

Happy #NationalWatermelonDay! Bibi shared some of her watermelon with Fiona today. 🍉



Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Seems like Fiona likes to look at her fans as much as they like to look at her! She’s a ham!


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

It’s official! Fiona is the world’s sassiest hippo ever! Here she is inside pestering her mom Bibi while she eats.



Monday, July 31, 2017

Fiona showing off her porpoising skills! The link is to an article that does a good job explaining the whole “hippos can’t really swim” scenario and contains a video that will raise your eyebrows! Check it out here.



Sunday, July 30, 2017

Is this my good side? Fiona & Bibi go for a swim!


Saturday, July 29, 2017

Fiona just peeking up to say Hi! She seems to always know when a camera is pointed at her.


Friday, July 28, 2017

Our latest blog post takes a look at the evolving relationship between Fiona and her care team.


Thursday, July 27, 2017

So what do you get a baby hippo adored by the world for her half-birthday? An international No. 1 hit song re-written in her honor, of course. Click here to see the full article and hear the song.


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Fiona’s fish bath. The tilapia in Hippo Cove serve multiple purposes. They help to keep the water clean by eating the hippo dung and they also eat the dead skin off of the hippos which keep them clean and free of micro-organisms. This is referred to as a symbiotic relationship.


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Fiona tipped the scales at 404 lbs today!!!! Grow baby grow! Her Mom, Bibi, weighs around 3,000 lbs!


Monday, July 24, 2017

Happy 6 Month Birthday Fiona! You’ve come a long way!!! Now get ready to have this song by Chris Rowlands get stuck in your head for the rest of the day!



Sunday, July 23, 2017

Moms make great pillows.


Saturday, July 22, 2017

When you’re trying to sleep in on the weekend but your kid says get up!


Friday, July 21, 2017

Like many youngsters, Fiona wants to play more than her parents do! Her mom, Bibi, just wants to sleep!



Thursday, July 20, 2017

Tribute to Fiona from E! News.


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Like mother, like daughter. Fiona and Bibi having fun in their indoor pool. The hose makes an excellent enrichment activity for many of our animals.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

After 6 months of working tirelessly towards a full family reunion for our hippos, we are ecstatic to announce that Fiona has finally been successfully reintroduced to both of her parents and we now have a happy little bloat of three!  Read the rest of the story on our blog (may want to grab tissues first)…


Monday, July 17, 2017

Fiona and Bibi are now sharing space overnight.  She has outgrown the blue pool that was in her area and has graduated to using the big indoor pool with her mom.


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Fiona being playful with her Dad. Hippos use their mouths to play, show affection, give warnings, and explore their world. You’ll see a variety of open-mouth interactions between the family which is all normal hippo behavior.


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Fiona selfie for today’s #FionaFix.


Friday, July 14, 2017

Our hippo family is spending more and more time together in the outside pool but on no set schedule yet. They are getting more comfortable with each other each day. Hippos use their mouths to play, show affection, give warnings, and explore their world. You’ll see a variety of open-mouth interactions between the family which is all normal hippo behavior.


Thursday, July 13, 2017

A nap may not seem significant but it was an important milestone for Team Fiona to see our hippo bloat comfortable enough to sleep together as one “pod”. Large groups of hippos often sleep in close proximity in order to provide plenty of places for hippo calves to squeeze in; this provides the calves both protection and easy access to the surface for air while napping. You can see that Fiona has found a safe nook between Bibi, Henry’s head, and the wall -perfectly cozy for a hippo calf! The hippo family is spending more time outside together but not on a set schedule.



Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Henry joined Bibi and Fiona in the outdoor pool for the second time this morning. They were out for about two hours, before the Zoo opened, and did well together. Bibi watched out for Fiona and intervened when Henry was too close or too rough. Fiona did not shy away from Henry. She initiated many of their interactions and stayed close to both parents most of the time that they were out. There is still no set schedule for when Fiona will be out. When she is out, with mom or both parents, she has access to go back inside. The plan is to continue family introductions and to leave them together for longer periods as they become comfortable as a group.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Family reunion! We’ve never been more excited about a post! BiFi (the power duo name that’s being used for Bibi and Fiona) was joined by Henry this morning for the first time. The three were introduced in Hippo Cove’s outdoor pool before the Zoo opened, supervised by their care team. The short introduction went well. Bibi intervened when Henry got too close to Fiona, which was exactly what we were hoping to see. Introductions will continue. There is still no set schedule for when Fiona will be out. When she is out, she has access to go inside, so visitors may or may not see her. Please be understanding if you visit the Zoo and Hippo Cove is closed off as the family needs time to get used to each other in the outdoor pool.


Monday, July 10, 2017

Monday’s are hard. #FionaFix


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Even the fish love Fiona! Click like if you love her too. #FionaFix


Saturday, July 8, 2017

A hippo sized teething ring! Fiona is teething again as she is cutting her back molars.


Friday, July 7, 2017

Fiona Stats – She is exactly 2 feet tall at her shoulder, 55 inches from nose to tail, her tail is 9 inches long and she weighs 356 lbs today. She has successfully caught up to a baby hippo born at full term.


Thursday, July 6, 2017

When you want it but not enough to actually move for it. #FionaFix



Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Hey, Fiona Fans! We want to know how far the Fiona phenomenon extends. If you are a Fiona follower from outside Ohio please let us know the state or country where you live by commenting here.


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Hungry Hungry Hippo! Fiona drinks about 4 gallons of formula daily. She is also offered hay & grain but prefers the bottle.



Monday, July 3, 2017

The Fiona Family Reunion – You’ve heard a lot about Fiona and Bibi’s introductions but you may be wondering about Fiona’s dad Henry. Our latest Zoo blog talks about how the introductions between Henry and Fiona are going. 


Sunday, July 2, 2017

BiFi in action in the outdoor habitat

People often come up with singular, combo nicknames for celebrity duos. The famous Bibi and Fiona duo are becoming affectionately known as BiFi (pronounced beefy). We think it works in multiple ways.


Thursday, June 29, 2017

The kid’s commentary is priceless! Bibi and Fiona are spending time in the outdoor pool during public hours but on no set schedule. Fiona was 340 lbs this morning!



Wednesday, June 28, 2017

How much would you LOVE a kiss on the cheek from Fiona?! Fiona and her Mom, Bibi, have been spending more and more time together bonding. Bibi is helping Fiona realize the joys of being a hippo!


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Fiona has been introduced to a new food, romaine lettuce. Her care team is trying to get her used to eating solid foods even though she will still get most of her nutrients from her formula for several more months. Hippos usually wean around 8 months old. Her parents usually eat about 2 heads of romaine lettuce a day along with hay, grain, and various produce.



Monday, June 26, 2017

A picture says a thousand words. Miss Fiona weighed in at 333 lbs. this morning! It will take her about 3 years to reach full adult weight which is around 3,000 lbs for a female hippo.


Sunday, June 25, 2017

Fiona still spends a lot of time in the large indoor pools during the day but likes to play in this smaller soaking tub in the evenings. She is spending less time in direct contact with her human caregivers as she becomes more independent and is spending more time with her Mom, Bibi.



Saturday, June 24, 2017

Lucky Fiona fans who happen to be in the right place at the right time better have their phones charged! Her care team loves seeing the visitors response to finally seeing Fiona in person. She is 5 months old today and she and Bibi are outside for short periods of time during public hours but still not on a set schedule.



Friday, June 23, 2017

Fiona being playful with Bibi. The two are spending time together in the outdoor pool for about an hour a day but on no set schedule yet. We can’t be sure if Bibi knows that Fiona is her own baby but she definitely knows Fiona is a baby which is very important. Bibi is very gentle and patient with Fiona which is what her care team wants to see!


Thursday, June 22, 2017


Our Pic of the Week is from collinmpoagephotography. Upload your Zoo photos to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with #cincyzoopic to be considered next week.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Fiona and Bibi are getting very comfortable with each other in the outdoor pool. They are swimming outside together for about an hour a day but on no set schedule yet. DYK: Hippos are ‘ecosystem engineers’, meaning they shape the environment around them. Specifically they create grazing areas or small pastures by grazing in particular areas and they act as connection between land and water habitats as they travel between the two and bring nutrients and microorganisms into the water from the land and vice versa.



Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Fiona showing off her diva face. Fiona tipped the scales at 317 lbs. this morning!! She has caught up weight wise to a full term baby hippo that is the same age.


Monday, June 19, 2017

Fiona likes to play in the waterfall in her outside area. She is being given access to the outdoor pool for about an hour a day but is still on no set schedule.


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Father’s Day! Fiona and her dad, Henry, still spend some time together and can touch but have not fully shared space yet. The ultimate goal is to reunite the whole family, but for now we are taking it one step at a time and just focusing on her reintroduction to Bibi, which is going well.


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Fiona and Bibi are making progress getting used to each other in the big outdoor pool. The hippo care team is taking things slowly and keeping these interactions short. There’s no set schedule for when they’ll be out together, but you might be one of the lucky visitors who happens to be here when that happens.


Friday, June 16, 2017

The path to view hippos may be closed from time to time to give Fiona and Bibi a chance to explore the outdoor pool privately. Fiona was hesitant to go in the pool with her mom at first but is getting more and more comfortable each day. Bibi has been very attentive to Fiona and has been staying by her side the whole time she is in the pool.


Thursday, June 15, 2017

The path to view hippos may be closed from time to time to give Fiona and Bibi privacy to explore the outdoor habitat together. They have been given access to the big space a few times. Fiona was hesitant to go in the pool with her mom at first but made some progress yesterday! She seems to be getting comfortable with another hippo sharing the big pool with her.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Wendy Rice of #TeamFiona talks to Thane about how Fiona is adjusting to spending time in the outdoor pool.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Please be patient and understand that Fiona is exploring the outdoor habitat at her own pace. To make her comfortable in a new environment, she has the choice to stay in or go out. She is currently offered access outside for one hour a day but is still not on a set schedule yet.


Monday, June 12, 2017

This interaction might make you nervous, but Fiona’s care team was happy to see Bibi patiently allowing Fiona to mouth her tongue, tusks and even the back of her throat. Bibi got down on the ground and offered her whole mouth for exploration! Hippos use their mouths to act tough, play, show affection, and explore the world around them (we think Bibi likes the mouth massage!)


Sunday, June 11, 2017

After about 30 minutes of mouth exploration and sharing space, Fiona and her mom settle down for a little side- by-side down time. Fiona has two exit points during these introductions and has learned that she can remove herself from the shared space at any time.



Saturday, June 10, 2017

This mouth-to-mouth contact may look scary, but it’s actually an interaction that #TeamFiona is happy to see! One of a hippo’s largest features is its mouth. Besides eating, hippos use their mouths to act tough, play, show affection, and explore the world around them. Bibi patiently allows Fiona to explore her mouth just like she would any other new object. Fiona also watches the way Bibi positions her mouth and head for saying hello and copies her like a pro. Fiona has two points of exit when she and Bibi share space.



Friday, June 9, 2017

A big milestone has been reached! Fiona and Bibi are now spending some time together in the same stall! Fiona has two points of exit when she and Bibi share space, and her care team supervises the short interactions. Bibi sits in a relaxed position while Fiona explores, and licks, her big body!


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Fiona is up to 291lbs and showing off her neck rolls. #TeamFiona



Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Fiona greeting some of her adoring fans. Keepers are giving her short periods of chaperoned access to the outside pool during Zoo hours, but she still has no set schedule for these appearances. Timing depends on weather, Fiona’s energy level, her interest in venturing out, etc… Visitors may or may not see her. Consider it a bonus if you’re here and you sneak a peek! We might have a reliable schedule for her outside appearances later this summer.


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

We’ve had a lot of questions about Fiona’s reaction to the fish in the outdoor pool. Tilapia are in the pool because they eat dung (and hippos produce a LOT of dung in the water), which helps keep the water crystal clear. Fiona is definitely aware of the fish and she does interact with them sometimes. (Probably because she’s young, full of energy, inquisitive and curious about anything new around her.) There is one tilapia that has designated its territory towards the back of the pool and that particular fish will attack Fiona when she ventures too close and tries to get her to move away. Fiona seems confused and does try to interact with it using her mouth.


Monday, June 5, 2017

Fiona’s outdoor exploration is going well. Keepers are giving her short periods of chaperoned access to the outside pool during Zoo hours, but she still has no set schedule for these appearances. Timing depends on weather, Fiona’s energy level, her interest in venturing out, etc… Visitors may or may not see her if she is out. Consider it a bonus if you’re here and you sneak a peek! We might have a reliable schedule for her outside appearances later this summer. In this video, she decides that she’s not ready to go inside!


Sunday, June 4, 2017

Fiona’s care team is helping her get comfortable in the outdoor pool after hours. She is mastering her technique to get herself from the bottom up for air. She is figuring out where the shallow areas are and her care team is there if she needs them. We will let you know when she is ready for her public debut.


Saturday, June 3, 2017

The most beloved hippo on earth! Fiona is still exploring her outdoor habitat after hours. She isn’t ready for her public debut but she is getting closer and mastering the deeper water.


Friday, June 122017

Fiona has been exploring the outdoor pool after hours. Employees were asked to stand on the other side of the glass to get her used to seeing crowds there. Everyone was more than happy to help out with that!! She is doing very well in the deeper pool and is quickly learning where the shallow ends are but is not quite ready for her big public debut. Thank you for your patience as we slowly get her accustomed to her outdoor environment.


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Fiona is doing well in the outdoor pool but isn’t ready for public viewing just yet. Navigating the deep water takes a lot of energy, so her evening introductions last about an hour. She’s been going out after the Zoo closes with employees and volunteers standing on the other side of the glass to get her used to seeing faces. We will continue to update you daily on her progress.



Wednesday, May 31, 2017

It’s World Otter Day so Fiona is playing with her favorite otter enrichment toy. Like North American river otters hippos are designed to spend time both in and out of the water. Please remember Fiona is not on public view at this time.



Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Although Fiona is usually pretty quiet, keepers have heard occasional vocalizations from her including grunts around meal time and even a bellow from time to time in response to the adults’ contact calls or to express excitement or frustration.


Monday, May 29, 2017



Sunday, May 28, 2017

Fiona has come a long way since she was born weighing only 29 pounds. Her care team, including animal staff, vets, and the Zoo’s nutritionist, have monitored her diet composition and volume carefully for the past four months and she is now up to a healthy 265 pounds! It’s not all about putting on weight, Fiona has to exercise to make sure she builds the strength she needs to propel herself to the surface of deep pools and can support her growing body. #TeamFiona


Saturday, May 27, 2017

What are bubbles? Fiona isn’t sure! Caring for our animals includes providing them with enrichment, and Fiona’s care team is introducing her to new stimuli like bubbles and cardboard. She wasn’t a huge fan of the way bubbles felt on her skin and tried to rub it off. Cardboard, however, has become one of her favorite things to wear! #TeamFiona


Friday, May 26, 2017

Like many of you, Fiona is spending the day in her pool. She is not yet outside to meet her adoring fans but she is getting closer. She is mastering deeper water and can now hold her breath for up to 2 minutes.


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Fiona has a birthmark on her right rear leg. Some of her caregivers think it looks like a lion, some see a rhino and others just describe it as a big, pink blob. Her mom, Bibi, has a birthmark on the same leg!


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

It’s hard to believe that Fiona is 4 months old! We celebrate how far she’s come in those few short months. She was born on January 24, six weeks premature and weighing only 29lbs. Average birth weight for a hippo is 55-100 pounds. She required 24-hour critical care for several months. During that time she gained millions of loyal fans that have been following her progress and rooting for her health. We can now say she is a healthy young hippo, weighing in at 254 pounds this morning, and has mastered the art of navigating deep water. She is interacting face to face with both of her parents daily through a protective barrier, working toward a family reunion in the future. We are hoping that visitors will be able to see her this summer and will keep you posted on when that might happen. We can’t wait to see what the next 4 months have in store!



Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Big yawn! Fiona now has regular access to the large indoor pools while her parents are outside. She can now hold her breath for up two minutes! She often naps in the large pool and uses the hippos unique ability to surface for air without waking up.



Monday, May 22, 2017

Howdy Henry! Fiona has progressed to “open howdy” introductions to both her parents! The protective mesh barrier has come down between the stalls, allowing for more physical contact between Fiona and her parents but still ensuring Fiona’s safety by keeping them in separate spaces. Bibi, Fiona’s mom, has spent more time next to Fiona and shows a lot of interest in her. Big daddy Henry stopped to check Fiona out on his way outside.



Sunday, May 21, 2017

Fiona is up to 250 pounds! Her mom, Bibi, is more than ten times bigger than she is, weighing about 3200 pounds!


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Fiona’s care team tries to keep her active to help her build muscle that she will need to propel herself to the surface of a 9ft deep pool!



Friday, May 19, 2017

As Fiona continues to grow, the many facets of her complex personality are really starting to show! It’s fascinating to watch how the different elements of her personality seem to reflect the natural history of the hippopotamus. Read more about the little hippo with a big personality at blog.cincinnatizoo.org.


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Fiona is a healthy hippo today because of our outstanding vet staff. When she was in critical condition as a preemie, they fed Fiona via tube when she couldn’t get nourishment any other way. They spent the night with her. They worked with the Zoo’s nutritionist to get her formula just right. They drew blood, gave injections, monitored oxygen levels and body temperature, and worried along with the rest of us. Dr. Nollman, pictured with Fiona, and the other vets still check on her daily. They are happy with her progress and are optimistic that she’s well on her way to growing up normally and becoming a healthy adult.

 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Providing Fiona with a variety of objects gives her the opportunity to use all of her senses-sight, sound, smell, touch, and even taste! Exposing animals to a range of stimuli at a young age makes them more comfortable when they encounter new things as adults. And…Fiona likes it!



Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Bibi continues to be interested in Fiona and watches her from an adjacent indoor space. Their interactions, including face-to-face contact, have been positive and are occurring more often.


Monday, May 15, 2017



Sunday, May 14, 2017

Great news on this Mother’s Day. Fiona and her Mom, Bibi, have graduated to interacting without the howdy mesh. There are still barriers in place to ensure Fiona’s safety but this is a step in the right direction towards the ultimate goal to reunite them.

Great news on this Mother's Day. Fiona and her Mom, Bibi, have graduated to interacting without the howdy mesh. There are still barriers in place to ensure Fiona's safety but this is a step in the right direction towards the ultimate goal to reunite them. #TeamFiona.

Posted by Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden on Sunday, May 14, 2017


Saturday, May 13, 2017

Everyone’s favorite baby hippo! Did you know that Nile hippos, also known as river hippos or river horses, are vegetarians? Although hippos spend much of their day in the water, they actually can’t swim at all. They walk along the bottom.


Friday, May 12, 2017

Double chins are a good thing when you’re a hippo! Fiona is up to 227 lbs today!


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Cincinnati Zoo divers will be in the outside pool when Fiona goes out for the first time. To get her used to tanks, masks, flippers and extra bubbles, she’s being introduced to divers in the indoor pools.



Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Fiona has some new incisor tusks peeking through on top and also some lower dental development. She enjoys the dental check and mouth massage, so it’s easy for care staff to assess growth.



Tuesday, May 9, 2017

It’s National Nurses Week, and we would like to thank the nurses on Cincinnati Children’s Vascular Access Team who helped us when Fiona was in critical condition. Darcy Doellman and Blake Gustafson visited Fiona yesterday and were thrilled to see how well she is doing since they were here in February. Lucky to have these nurses on #TeamFiona!


Monday, May 8, 2017

The water level in the indoor pools is now 5-feet deep and her caregivers are making sure she knows where to go for shallow water. There’s a ramp in the indoor and outdoor habitats that provides opportunities to stand and stay wet.


Sunday, May 7, 2017



Saturday, May 6, 2017

Nap time! Hippos are able to sleep both in and out of the water. They have the unique ability to sleep underwater and surface for air without waking up. Although Fiona is not demonstrating that ability during this nap, she does often snooze underwater.


Friday, May 5, 2017

Fiona’s indoor pools have been raised to 5 feet deep as the process continues to get her acclimated to deeper water. She will need to master her porpoising skills before going into the outdoor pool. Even though hippos spend most of their time in the water, they can’t actually swim. They walk on the bottom when submerged in water and propel themselves to the surface to take a breath. Fiona is learning how to push off the bottom to come up for air.



Thursday , May 4, 2017


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Notice the family resemblance? Fiona inherited her coloring from her dad, Henry. The area around her mom’s eyes is much darker. That’s one way you can tell Bibi and Henry apart.


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

“What are you lookin at?” Fiona does not actually only have eyes for herself. Hippos have dichromatic vision, which means that they see in two colors and would not process images on a screen the way we do. She does often keep a close eye on what her caregivers  are doing,  which in this case is checking out the latest baby hippo Facebook update!


Monday, May 1, 2017



Sunday, April 30, 2017

It’s a BIG day! Fiona has reached 200 lbs!


Saturday, April 29, 2017

 

The indoor pool is up to 4 feet deep and Fiona is doing well navigating the deeper water. #TeamFiona


Friday, April 28, 2017


Thursday, April 27, 2017

Fiona mid ear wiggle!


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Reintroductions with her mom have begun but will be a slow process. Bibi is showing interest in Fiona and watches her eat, sleep, and go in and out of her pool.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Fiona is spending more time in the indoor adult pools and getting comfortable with deeper water. She porpoises, pushing off the bottom like a torpedo, up and down across the length of both pools and attempts water acrobatics. She has also figured out that she can keep her nostrils above water if she stands on her back legs, so you can see her walking upright at times. The water is about 3 ft deep now and will be raised to 4 ft by the end of the week. It will continue to be filled higher until her care team thinks she’s ready to navigate in the outdoor pool, which is 8-9 ft deep.


Monday, April 24, 2017


Sunday, April 23, 2017


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Dan from the hippo team gets a warm greeting from Fiona. The baby hippo has been raised by a team of human caregivers since she was born, six weeks premature, on January 24.


 Friday, April 21, 2017

Fiona weighed in at 166lbs this morning! She is consuming 360oz. of formula per day as well as some hay.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Throw Back Thursday! Fiona has come a long way, she will be 3 months old on Monday!

 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Fiona’s morning routine includes walking onto a scale to get weighed and moving from there to the kitchen to drink about 60 ounces of formula. To encourage activity, her care team lets her explore the Fiona-proofed areas of the building (chaperoned). A few days ago, she walked into the dive room shower and stood there. Since hippos like to be wet, her caregiver turned on the water. Fiona played and eventually took a nap with the water running.

 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Fiona weighed in at 166lbs this morning! She is consuming 360oz. of formula per day as well as some hay. #TeamFiona


Monday, April 17, 2017

Sometimes Fiona chooses to sleep in the odd position!


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Fiona weighs almost 160 pounds and is getting big and strong on her diet of formula and hay.


Saturday, April 15, 2017


Fiona is spending more time in the indoor adult pool getting used to deeper water. Her care team stays close by to make sure she’s comfortable as she tests the waters. The depth of the water will gradually increase along with her ability to hold her breath for longer periods. #TeamFiona


Friday, April 14, 2017

Fiona’s full introduction to her parents will take time, but she is now able to touch her mom, Bibi, through mesh in her neighboring stall. They spent some time checking each other out, nose to nose, this morning.


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Fiona has reached an important milestone. She has been introduced to the indoor pools that her mom and dad use. They were drained to a manageable depth for her and will become deeper as she masters propelling herself to the surface for air. One of many things she must master before venturing into the outdoor hippo habitat is being able to navigate in deeper water.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Fiona got a visit from the head of #TeamFiona this morning! Zoo Director Thane Maynard stopped by to check in with the care staff and give our favorite baby hippo a pat.


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Fiona is closing in on 150lbs! She’s drinking 64 oz of formula 5 times a day! Go #TeamFiona


Monday, April 10, 2017

Head keeper Wendy explains milestones that will have to be reached before Fiona can share the same space as her parents in today’s blog post.

 


Sunday, April 9, 2017

Just like human babies, Fiona needs her naps.#TeamFiona 


Saturday, April 8, 2017

Adult Nile hippos can run faster than a human can, reaching speeds up to 18 mph on land. Fiona isn’t quite that fast yet, but she’s working on it.


Friday, April 7, 2017


Nile hippos spend up to 16 hours a day in water. They are often submerged in rivers and lakes and are sometimes referred to as river horses. Fiona can choose to be in her pool or out. She loves water play and it’s good exercise for her.


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Fiona is still being cared for behind the scenes and isn’t able to be seen by guests at this time. We will make a BIG announcement when she’s ready to venture outside.  #TeamFiona


Wednesday, April 5, 2017


Fiona discovering the fun of a sprinkler. #TeamFiona. Enrichment is an important part of the daily care we provide to all of our animals. Enrichment is anything the caregivers add to the animals’ environments to stimulate their senses and elicit natural behaviors such as foraging, exploration, hunting, problem solving, and even play.


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

130 pounds of attitude!  #TeamFiona


Monday, April 3, 2017 (aka Reds Opening Day!)

Go Reds!  #TeamFiona is rooting for the home team!


Sunday, April 2, 2017

Baby hippo Fiona likes to relax on her inflatable pool float. Hippos don’t actually float or swim. They walk along the bottom of pools and propel themselves to the surface to get air. #TeamFiona


Saturday, April 1, 2017

Fiona’s molars are starting to break through, so her care team is making sure she has teething objects handy. #TeamFiona


Friday, March 31, 2017

Sweet dreams! Like human babies, Fiona occasionally suckles in her sleep. Caregivers say that the 9-week-old hippo has been an active dreamer since she was born. #TeamFiona


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Good morning! Africa Team Leader Dana gets a greeting from Fiona. The baby hippo has been raised by a team of human caregivers since she was born, six weeks premature, on January 24, 2017. She recognizes her surrogates and presents herself for a pat or splash when one is close by. #TeamFiona


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Large and in charge! Fiona weighed in at 116 pounds this morning and gets stronger every day! Adult Nile hippos weigh an average of 3500 pounds and can crush a crocodile with their jaws and sharp teeth! #TeamFiona


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Fiona catches a glimpse of her parents in their outdoor habitat. She isn’t quite ready to venture out herself but is getting familiar with the look and smell of the great outdoors!

In Africa, the great outdoors is constantly changing. A changing climate will impact a hippo’s habitat. River systems and wetlands are a major part of a hippo’s life, but increasing global temperatures and shifts in precipitation patterns will lessen the amount of water these lands receive, directly impacting a hippo’s home. Together, we can reduce our fossil fuel usage and carbon dioxide gas emissions in order to help protect habitats and livelihoods for future generations of healthy hippos and happy people. #teamfiona


Monday, March 27, 2017

Baby hippo Fiona continues to grow and is doing well. She weighs 112 pounds! #TeamFiona


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Fiona fix!


Saturday, March 25, 2017

Fiona is starting to explore larger spaces to get exercise and gain muscle strength. She even tests out her speed.


Friday, March 24, 2017

Fiona fix!


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Water play is an important form of exercise for Fiona. As you can see, she enjoys this activity and has learned how to go up and down the ramp to her smaller water tub all by herself! #TeamFiona


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Fiona is learning to be more independent and spending less time physically touching her human caregivers. This is all part of the plan to transition her to being in the hippo bloat. Find out more from head keeper Wendy by clicking here.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Fiona tipped the scales at 101 pounds this morning. This significant milestone puts her closer to becoming a real hippo! She has a great appetite and is now consuming hay and grain in addition to formula. Go #TeamFiona!


Monday, March 20, 2017

Since hippos spend so much time in the water, they have the unique ability to not only sleep under water but also automatically raise their nostrils above the surface for a breath without even waking up! Fiona is now able to nap underwater as well! Adult hippos can hold their breath for several minutes but Fiona comes up about every 15 seconds. As she grows larger her lung capacity will increase.


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Pool time = play time.  #FionaFix #TeamFiona


Saturday, March 18, 2017

Hungry hungry hippo! Fiona is now over 90lbs! A newborn full term hippo calf weighs between 50-110lbs


Friday, March 17, 2017

It’s your lucky day! Were here for a special St. Patrick’s Day #fblive with everyone’s favorite hippo, Fiona, and her care team!


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Fiona ate hay for the first time today! Not just any hay, but hay that had been pre-chewed by her mom. Bibi’s saliva helps exposes Fiona’s gut to the good healthy bacteria that will help her body process vegetation. The foam you see around Fiona’s mouth is extra saliva that her body is producing to help with swallowing and digestion. She doesn’t have molars yet, so the saliva starts breaking down the hay and makes it soft enough to swallow. Go #TeamFiona


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Fiona’s parents, Bibi and Henry, both enjoy hose play, and it looks like it runs in the family. This was her first experience with this type of enrichment. The water was slightly cooler than it is in her pool but not chilled. Her care team has to pay attention to details like water temperatures because Fiona is not fully able to thermoregulate her own body.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Fiona is getting bigger and so is her bedroom!



Monday, March 13, 2017

With some health hurdles behind us, Fiona’s care team is feeling more optimistic. Learn more about her progress in this blog post by head keeper Wendy Rice.


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Fiona Fix. Fiona is spending more and more time in the water and is up to 5 pool sessions a day! Go #TeamFiona


Saturday, March 11, 2017

Fiona Fix. Fiona is now over 80lbs! Go #TeamFiona


Friday, March 10, 2017

Answers to our most asked question – How and when Fiona might be reunited with Bibi and Henry? Watch the video below to find out!


Thursday, March 9, 2017

The nursery staff is sharing expertise with others on the Fiona care team. Dan, who helps take care of Fiona and her parents, is learning the art of bottle feeding a baby hippo. He, and others on the hippo care staff, will continue to give Fiona bottles even after she is reunited with her parents. #TeamFiona


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Open wide! Fiona is just a beginner but will be able to open her mouth at an impressive 150 degree angle like her parents, Bibi and Henry, one of these days! #FionaFix #TeamFiona #HippoGoals

Fiona

Bibi

Henry


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

With Fiona’s recent weight gain and improved health, it’s only natural that many of us are thinking about the distant future and asking how and when Fiona might be reunited with Bibi and Henry. Click here to find the answers on our blog.

 


Monday, March 6, 2017

Fiona is up to 73 pounds and is getting a little too heavy for her care staff lift in and out of the pool. So, she’s learning to use a ramp. When she first saw the ramp, she needed some coaxing to step on it. After a few days, she went up and down with little assistance. Way to go #TeamFiona!


Sunday, March 5, 2017

Today’s Fiona fix!

 


Saturday, March 4, 2017

Fiona’s animal care staff appreciates your love and support. Jenna takes time to show Fiona some of her fan mail. #TeamFiona


Friday, March 3, 2017

Fiona is gaining weight steadily and is up to 68 pounds! She’s got a long way to go before she reaches her adult weight of approximately 3,000 pounds, but her care staff loves the progress she’s making.



Thursday, March 2, 2017

Get a glimpse of Fiona’s underwater moves. She’s working hard on doing a roll but hasn’t quite made it 360 yet. #TeamFiona


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Fiona has graduated to a big girl bottle and has a big girl appetite to match! Check out her milk mustache. #teamfiona #fionafix

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Happy Fat Tuesday! Fiona weighed in at 63lbs this morning! Go #TeamFiona!


Monday, February 27, 2017

The last week has been especially exciting for #TeamFiona. Hear more from Fiona’s animal care staff about her progress in the new blog.


Sunday, February 26, 2017

Fiona continues to do better with bottle feedings.  She weighs 59 pounds, 30 more than when she was born! #TeamFiona

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Today’s Fiona Fix!


Friday, February 24, 2017

T-shirt sales ended March 10. Here’s a fun way to join #TeamFiona. Baby hippo Fiona arrived six weeks early and has required 24-hour-a-day critical care since she was born on January 24. A portion of the proceeds from the #TeamFiona shirts and magnets will help cover the cost of providing the level of support that our preemie needs. The campaigns end on March 10th so order yours today! Thank you!

Orders need to be placed individually from each campaign. If you’d like to order a shirt and a magnet, two separate orders will need to be placed.


One-month-old Fiona has outgrown two pools already! Now that her IV has been removed, vets have given her the okay to resume supervised pool time.  Hippos don’t actually swim.  They float and are able to hold their breath for long periods. Spending time in the pool will help Fiona build muscle and lung strength, keep her skin moist and let her act like a hippo! Her new pool, purchased with your donations, is set up close to mom and dad so she can hear and smell them. #TeamFiona


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Fiona got pool time today for the first time in almost a week!  Now that her IV is out, she can resume pool exercises. Wait for the snort at the end. #TeamFiona


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Hippos can open their mouths to a massive 150 degrees. The large ‘yawn’ is usually interpreted as an aggressive behavior, but we think Fiona is just opening wide! Speaking of wide, she has gained a few pounds and is now up to 54. 


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Good news! Fiona took two bottles this morning and seems to have more energy. She’s still receiving fluids via IV but she is able to get up and move around with help from #TeamFiona


Blake Gustafson and Darcy Doellman from the Cincinnati Children’s Vascular Access Team with Fiona.

Monday, February 20, 2017

When premature baby hippo Fiona became dehydrated and in need of IV fluids, Zoo veterinary staff reached out to the Cincinnati Children’s nationally-renowned Vascular Access Team (VAT), and, like a good neighbor, they rushed over to help. Read more here.

Plus, learn more about what it takes to care for a premature baby hippo from Fiona’s care team in this new blog!


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Fiona is still getting fluids via IV and doing a little better on the bottle.  Baby steps in the right direction! #TeamFiona 


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Fiona took a bottle this morning and then fell asleep. The vet staff will tube feed if necessary, but we’re hoping that it’s not. She is receiving fluids via IV. #TeamFiona


Friday, February 17, 2017

Fiona is still not showing much interest in her bottle and is lethargic.  She is receiving fluids via tube feedings, so her weight gain is slight but fine.  In addition to providing relief for her teething pain, vets are investigating other causes for her recent setback.  Everyone at the Zoo is thankful for the love and support our community has shown us for the past three weeks.  Please keep the positive energy flowing.  #TeamFiona


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Dr. Jenny gives Fiona her morning check up. She gained almost a pound since yesterday but got most of her nutrition via tube. Hoping bottle feeding improves when tusks break through. She continues to get supplemental oxygen via nasal cannula. #TeamFiona

 


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

It’s Fiona’s first National Hippo Day and we are all celebrating the fact that she’s here.  The three-week-old hippo has good days and bad days, just like most preemies, and the past couple of days have been rough.  She is not taking the bottle well, possibly due to teething discomfort, and has not been gaining weight like she did last week.  Her animal care team provides gum pain relief with topical numbing solution and frozen cloths.  Please continue to send positive energy her way! #TeamFiona


Monday, February 13, 2017

Fiona is teething which makes feeding time a little uncomfortable for her.

 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Get a firsthand account of baby hippo Fiona’s birth and first days from  one of her caregivers in this new blog.

 

 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Here with your Fiona Fix!

 

Friday, February 10, 2017

Friday Fiona Fix. Fiona has graduated to a “big kid” pool and continues to make progress with her coordination in the water.

 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Hooray! Fiona continues to improve and gain weight. She’s hit the 40lbs mark!


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Fiona continues to improve but still needs 24/7 care from vets, nursery, animal and nutrition staff.  She needs O2 to make sure that the oxygen levels in her blood stay in the normal range. Thank you for your continued support to help cover the cost of her care and medical supplies. Donations are still welcome and needed.

Donate to Fiona’s care fund


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Fiona was up 1.7 pounds at this morning’s weigh in and is doing well with bottle feedings. She gets pool exercise 2-3 times per day to help her build strength and get the hang of diving, floating and breathing!  A low dose of supplemental oxygen helps her premature lungs function properly.


 Monday, February 6, 2017

Fiona had another good night and drank more from her bottle this afternoon than she has to date.  She is now able to suckle both in and out of the water and is gaining weight.  As of this morning, she was up to almost 37 pounds! Go #TeamFiona!


Sunday, February 5, 2017

Encouraging news from hippo headquarters this morning. Fiona was active during the night and consumed a good amount of formula on her own!  This video, taken by her animal care staff during the overnight shift, shows Fiona’s first steps! Keep the positive vibes coming!


Saturday, February 4, 2017

Fiona remains in stable condition today.  To regulate her oxygen intake and minimize the dive reflex, caregivers position her chest to chest so she can feel normal breathing. Her premature lungs absorb CO2 when she holds her breath (dive reflex) and cause oxygen levels to dip.


Friday, February 3, 2017

Fiona continues to have a weak suckling response and her energy is low today.  The premature baby hippo’s vet team is making sure she gets fluids and some mother’s milk every few hours via tube. The Zoo’s animal care team is working 24/7 to help Fiona gain weight and get stronger. Please continue to send positive vibes to Fiona and her care team.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Baby Fiona has a little more energy this morning and has shown some suckling response. Her care team received a package from the preemie team at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital that included signed superhero capes, a pre-filled baby book, a stuffed hippo, a beautiful note and much more. Thank you! Many of you have asked what you can do to help. We ask that you consider making a donation to help with the cost of 24-hour-a-day critical care.

 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Cincinnati Zoo’s week-old hippo calf will be called Fiona, which means “fair”.

“Even though Fiona’s not out of the woods yet, every baby needs a name and her animal care team thought the name was a perfect fit for their “fair” little girl,” said Christina Gorsuch, curator of mammals at the Cincinnati Zoo. “They have been with her 24 hours a day and think this name suits her personality.”

The calf arrived six weeks earlier than her expected March due date and has been receiving critical care from Zoo staff since vets determined that she was too weak to stand to nurse from mom, seventeen-year-old Bibi. She is being cared for in close proximity to mom and dad, Henry, so they can hear and smell each other.

“She still has a long way to go before she’ll be strong enough to be reunited with her mom,” said Gorsuch.  “She needs to learn how to nurse on her own, walk, swim and get a lot bigger.”


Monday, January 30, 2017

The fight to nurse our premature baby hippo to health continues.  At this morning’s AM wellness check the zoo veterinarians found that the hippo baby’s glucose levels were low and her Ph levels were off. They have inserted an IV for fluids, dextrose, and supportive supplements as needed to get numbers up to where they should be. She has been gaining weight steadily since she was born, on January 24, but did not gain any weight since yesterday. It is not uncommon for premature babies to experience difficulty with digestion and  regulating their metabolism. The animal care staff is adjusting her formula and supplements in order to aid with digestion. Her care team continues to work around the clock to help her stabilize and gain strength.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Baby hippo got lots of sound sleep last night and was doing well in the pool this morning. Her care team has been supporting her with pool noodles in the water to help with balance. She was able to stand without the noodles, holding her own weight, and even dipped her face under water and blew bubbles. The six-week premature calf is still struggling with bottle feeding but has started to suckle a bit.


Saturday, January 28, 2017

The four-day-old hippo that was born six weeks early is making progress toward standing. She has gained almost four pounds since birth but is still about twenty pounds under the low end of a normal birth weight for a Nile hippo. Nursery and animal care staff are with the calf 24 hours a day providing warmth, nourishment and opportunities to exercise. They are making sure she gets plenty of rest and packing awake time with activities that will stimulate muscles and build strength. She is starting to support her weight for a few seconds at a time.


Friday, January 27, 2017

The premature baby hippo is getting stronger thanks, in part, to nutrients she’s receiving from her mother’s milk. Because Bibi was conditioned to lean in and remain still for weekly ultrasounds throughout her pregnancy, she is comfortable walking into a chute and allowing milk to be collected.  The calf’s care team, which includes vets, nursery and animal staff, give her mom’s milk first and supplement with formula prepared by the Zoo’s nutritionist.

Some of Bibi’s milk will be saved, analyzed and added to the Smithsonian’s Milk Repository.  Milk nutrient content changes over time.  “Since we are able to get daily samples of Bibi’s millk, we have a rare opportunity to learn more about specific changes in this species,” said Zoo nutritionist Barbara Henry.


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Our two-day-old baby hippo, born six week early, is hanging in there.  Her care team continues to give her 24-hour attention, which includes tube-feedings, vet checks and keeping her warm and moist.  She is gaining some strength.  This morning she got her first pool experience.  Most hippos are born in the water, but they can’t actually swim. Pool time will help her build muscles and balance and maintain an optimal body temperature of 96-98 degrees.


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The premature baby hippo born early yesterday morning, six weeks before her due date, remained stable overnight and is receiving around-the-clock intensive care from Zoo vets and animal care staff. Her mom, Bibi, is doing fine and, because of her experience standing still for ultrasounds, is allowing milk to be collected. Vets are adding mom’s milk to a fluid mixture that is being tube-fed to the baby. She is still too weak to stand but the nutrients she’s receiving should help her gain strength.

More about the baby: http://cincinnatizoo.org/blog/2017/01/24/hippo-baby-arrives-six-weeks-early-cincinnati-zoo-staff-providing-critical-care-for-premature-calf/