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Fiona gets a sibling: Baby hippo born at Cincinnati Zoo

Happy hippo baby news for Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, celebrating the arrival of a bouncing baby sibling for Fiona, who became a global celebrity when she was born prematurely in 2017.

 

 

August 4, 2022
4 August 2022

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden celebrated the birth of a full-term hippopotamus on Thursday, who is related to a famous hippo.

The baby hippo, born Wednesday night, is a sibling to Fiona, who became a global celebrity when she was born prematurely in 2017.

“This new calf weighs at least twice as much as Fiona did and is already walking,” said Christina Gorsuch, Cincinnati Zoo’s director of animal care.

The zoo discovered the calf’s mother, 23-year-old Bibi, was pregnant around April Fool’s Day. It came as a surprise because Bibi was on birth control.

“Bibi and the baby, yet to be named, will spend the next two weeks bonding behind the scenes,” said Gorsuch. “A female would take her newborn away from the bloat for about that amount of time in the wild, and we try to give Bibi the choice to do what feels natural to her.”

Bibi’s first baby, Fiona, only weighed 13kg when she was born six weeks premature and wasn’t able to stand on her own. Fiona now weighs 907kg, the zoo said.

The zoo saw an increase in visitors and social-media views after Fiona’s birth. Some animal rights groups criticised it for marketing a captive animal.

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