Lanterns: Preemie Hippo, Baby Fiona, Reunites with her Mom, Bibi, for the First Time


Preemie Hippo, Baby Fiona, Reunites with her Mom, Bibi, for the First Time

It's a love story for the ages!


Henry the Hippo, 34, had been without a mate for the past 20 years.  In walked Bibi, and he was instantly smitten!  Head Keeper, Wendy Rice, said it was love at first sight. "It was like cartoon hearts in his eyes. He was like, there's a girl here! He seems to have been smitten with her ever since...They bred right away, which is why Fiona is here."

The Zoo and its patrons waited excitedly for her birth.  Unfortunately, Baby Fiona had other plans and decided to enter the world six weeks prematurely.

Those of us who live in the tri-state area have had the pleasure of getting regular updates and following this story locally. However, news spread of her inspiring story and people from all over the world have been following her amazing journey since her birth through the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden's blog. Baby Fiona has stolen our hearts and rallied the city of Cincinnati in their support.

Baby Fiona has reached a new milestone.  She had previously been introduced to her parents, Henry and Bibi, however, there was a small barrier between them, and she was more interested in her human caregivers than her rino parents. Yesterday, she finally got to spend some alone time with Mom.

The hippopotamus is a highly aggressive and unpredictable animal and is ranked among the most dangerous animals in Africa, however, what appears to be an act of aggression towards Baby Fiona from Mom, Bibi, is actually a tender moment. According to the Cincinnati Zoo, "Hippos use their mouths to play, show affection & more. Bibi patiently allows Fiona to explore her mouth!"

Stay tuned to Lanterns for future updates and inspiring stories about Fiona!

Written by Heather Bryant

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