Baby Hippo Fiona Becomes Social Media Star After Turning 6 Months Old

The hippo born prematurely turned six months old, thanks to Cincinnati zookeepers.

http://imgur.com/gallery/sMKjJ

Source: Imgur

We were all touched earlier this year by the story of Fiona, a tiny baby hippopotamus born prematurely. Fiona surprised everyone and emerged from critical condition, demonstrating that she has the strength to fight adversity.

Source: Cincinnati Zoo

While full-term hippopotamus calves usually weigh between 55 and 120 pounds at birth, Fiona weighed just 29 pounds. Although her chances of surviving were small, the zookeepers refused to give up hope. Instead, they proudly shared Fiona’s progress and she gained support from all around the world.

Baby Fiona was meant to be born in March but came out six weeks early. She required critical care as she was too small to stand by herself or breastfeed normally. She received help from the Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati, where doctors put her on IV fluids to save her from dehydration. The community rallied around her, and everyone celebrated when she finally took her first steps.

Source: Cincinnati Zoo

Fiona’s loyal fans retweeted every update Cincinnati Zoo posted on Twitter, from her move to a bigger pool, to when she reunited with her parents. Michelle Curley, the zoo’s social media manager told NPR how Fiona’s updates have positively affected the zoo. “We became consumed with all things Fiona”, said Curley. “We’ve done an update on Facebook every day since she was born.”

This is good feedback for Cincinnati Zoo, as they were severely criticized last year due to an incident with Harambe, a gorilla. In May 2016, a three-year-old child fell into the gorilla’s exhibit cage and as a result, Harambe was shot and killed. The zoo gave a mixture of shady explanations for the incident and closed the gorilla exhibit for 10 days. Federal inspection reported the barrier from the gorilla’s enclosure didn’t comply with standards.

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