Let's have a hippopotamus party!
Fiona the hippo first made waves in 2017, when she became the first hippo born at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden in 75 years.
Born six weeks early, the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital helped save her life, and the world watched along as she got bigger every day. Now, the world is excited to see her gain a new little sibling.
The news of 23-year-old Bibi’s pregnancy came in near April Fool’s Day and, seeing as the hippo was on birth control, was assumed to be a joke. But on Wednesday, Fiona became a big sister when her mother gave birth to a healthy calf—one twice the size of Fiona at birth—as reported by the zoo.
“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. This new calf weighs at least twice as much as Fiona did and is already walking,” Christina Gorsuch, the zoo’s director of animal care, said.
At the time of release they were unsure if the baby had nursed yet due to the murkiness of the water. Since it’s Bibi’s first time nursing due to Fiona’s health problems at birth, the staff are keeping a close eye on the pair and are ready to intervene if needed.
Though Bibi and the new baby won’t be visible to the public for the next couple of weeks (they’ll be kept separate to allow them time to bond), zoo members can watch the hippos’ outdoor habitat on live camera from 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM every day, private team access permitting. Except for during “key introduction times,” 19-year-old Tucker and Fiona will be hanging out together outside.