CINCINNATI, Ohio - Fiona, the hippopotamus born prematurely at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens, is getting some time to splash around at the zoo.
A video was released by the zoo Thursday of Fiona playing in her special pool and comfortably using the ramp installed to help her climb in and out of the water.
The zoo says water play is an important part of her daily exercise.
She's also creating quite the bond with her care team, but the zoo says it will need to consider how to handle some behaviors as she gains more weight because some of the interactions are already becoming difficult.
“So even though Fiona has been sharing space with the keepers so far (in “free contact”), we will eventually come to a point when Fiona must be managed via protected contact, just like her adult counterparts,” the zoo's blog post said. “We do not have a predetermined date or even a set size that Fiona must reach before the protected contact is established, but with Fiona’s improved health and rapid growth, it will likely be sooner rather than later.”
Fiona topped 100 pounds earlier this week after being born six weeks early in January at 29 pounds.
The normal birth weight of a hippo is 55-120 pounds.