CINCINNATI, OH (January 24, 2020) – Fiona, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s most famous resident, is three years old today! It’s kind of a big deal, considering that she was born six weeks premature and weighed only 29 pounds.
“That day three years ago is both a blur and a memory that’s etched in my mind,” said Christina Gorsuch, Cincinnati Zoo’s curator of mammals and the coach of #TeamFiona. “I’ll never forget walking into the hippo barn and seeing this tiny, slimy, thing on the ground next to Bibi (her mom).We were shocked that it was alive and spent the next several months focused on keeping it (her) that way!”
The rest is history. Fiona was cared for around the clock by a team of Cincinnati Zoo caregivers, with some emergency assistance from Cincinnati Children’s on a couple of scary occasions, while the rest of the world rooted for her to survive.
“The outpouring of love for this little hippo was like nothing I’ve ever seen before,” said Cincinnati Zoo director Thane Maynard. “It’s astounding that it hasn’t died down three years later! She’s got fans all over the world.”
Fiona is using her celebrity status to help her friends down under. All proceeds from the sale of a custom t-shirt by local artist Loren Long, featuring Fiona and Australian wildlife will be sent to Zoos Victoria to help them care for koalas, kangaroos and other animals that are suffering as a result of bushfires raging through their homes. Click here to purchase – available now through January 31. Also available and Cincy Shirts and the Zoo Shop*.
No official celebrations are happening at the Zoo today, but Fiona will be outside and ready to strike a pose. Click here for information about Fiona celebrations happening around Cincinnati this weekend.
*The Zoo Shop carries a wide selection of Fiona products year-round. Most are available online.