Fiona the hippo has been the pride and joy of the Cincinnati Zoo since she she came into the world in late January. Fiona was born prematurely, at only 29 pounds. The average weight for newborn hippos is 55 to 100 pounds. The zoo basically had to monitor her 24/7, which meant that her mother Bibi couldn't do all the usual mother-daughter bonding stuff, like taking baths together:
Or explore her surroundings:
Or play dress up with her:
Fiona doing her flamingo hatching impression?? Cardboard continues to fascinate her. She walks in and around this box, mouths it, pushes it and wears it (even looks good in it). Enrichment like this helps stimulate Fiona’s senses and elicit natural behaviors such as exploration, problem-solving, and play. Each species’ individual needs are considered when designing enrichment activitiesPosted by Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden on Monday, May 29, 2017
All the stuff her caretakers got to do:
Fiona is 4 months old!
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!Posted by Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden on Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Of course, Bibi probably doesn't care too much about any of that stuff. She's a hippo. She likes swimming and food. But eventually, Fiona was slowly introduced to her parents, and it seemed to go well. Initially, there was a barrier for Fiona's protection. She's tiny, and they could just smoosh her without meaning to:
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.Publicado por Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden em Domingo, 14 de maio de 2017
The Cincinnati Zoo announced Thursday that another milestone has been reached and it is, obviously, absolutely adorable:
Fiona and Bibi Introduction
A big milestone has been reached! Fiona and Bibi are now spending some time together in the same space! 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!Posted by Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden on Friday, June 9, 2017
Watching Bibi sit there calmly as Fiona snuggles and licks her will make you think of all the times your own mom tolerated you annoying her to death. The true test of love!