Cincinnati Zoo Shares Birth Video of Fiona the Hippo’s New Little Sister

Cincinnati Zoo
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Fiona the hippo can add big sister to her resume

The Cincinnati Zoo confirmed in a news release that Fiona’s mother, Bibi, gave birth to Fiona’s sibling on Wednesday night. “This calf looks huge to us because Fiona, Bibi’s first baby, only weighed 29 pounds when she was born six weeks premature and wasn’t able to stand on her own,” Christina Gorsuch, the Cincinnati Zoo’s director of animal care, said. “This new calf weighs at least twice as much as Fiona did and is already walking.”

“We’re not sure if nursing has occurred yet because the water is murky,” Gorsuch continued. “It’s Bibi’s first time nursing, since Fiona had to be cared for by the hippo staff, so we’re keeping a close eye on them to make sure we don’t need to step in.”

By this morning, the zoo provided a sweet update. “Bibi and baby did well overnight. They were inseparable and spent the night bonding in the indoor pools!” the zoo posted on social media, showing the baby hippo bobbing in the water next to its mom.

“Bibi and the baby, yet to be named, will spend the next two weeks bonding behind the scenes,” Gorsuch said in the zoo’s news release. “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.”

The zoo also explained that they have been routinely separating Bibi from Fiona and another resident hippo, Tucker, so that when the new hippo was born, they would be used to her absence. “They’re so comfortable with each other now that 2000-pound Fiona has been seen napping on 4500-pound Tucker.”

It seems the new sibling has a signature trait of Fiona’s—the ear wiggle.

For visitors of the zoo, 19-year-old Tucker and Fiona will be in the hippos’ outdoor habitat “except during key introduction times,” the zoo said. Members will also have access to live cameras in the hippo habitat that operate live from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. every day.

Here’s hoping the zoo keeps posting updates on the new hippo’s progress as much as possible.

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