Early on the morning of January 24, 2017, the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden received an unexpected visitor – a baby Nile hippo, born six weeks early. She was a tiny thing - at only 29 pounds, she was half the size of a regular baby hippo.
Her name was Fiona, and she stole America's heart.
This is Fiona the hippo. She is the cutest thing on the internet. Don't even try to argue.
Just look at those cute cheeks – both the ones at the front and the back! And that tiny stub of a tail. We dare you to find anything cuter.
Double-dog dare you.
Fiona has a very special namesake.
Zookeepers gave Fiona her name because she had the most adorable little ears ever – ogre ears! Fiona was a hippogre. An ogrippo!
*Sigh* We tried.
Fiona was born six weeks premature, which means she was TINY for a hippo.
Zookeepers feared she wouldn’t survive and instituted round the clock care. They held her and snuggled her and bathed her. They made sure she got all the baby hippo naps she needed and the baby hippo snacks, which included milk and pre-chewed hay.
After all, Fiona was important.
Fiona is the first hippo born to the Cincinnati Zoo in 75 years. Her dad Henry came from the Dickerson Park Zoo and her mom Bibi came from the St. Louis Zoo. She’s also the first Nile hippo captured on ultrasound.
The zoo recorded all of Fiona's milestones.
The first time she took a step. The first time she saw bubbles (not a good thing, Fiona doesn’t really like bubbles, and who can blame her, bubbles are super yucky and don’t taste good). The first time she farted underwater.
More on that later…