Fiona the Hippo Makes Media Debut in Outdoor Habitat
Cincinnati Zoo’s hippo calf, Fiona, explored her outdoor habitat for the first time while meeting the media on May 31.
The four-month-old calf had an hour-long pool session in the evening under the supervision of her carers. Zoo staff, some of whom had never met Fiona, got the chance to greet her through the pool’s glass wall. It was hoped this would help the hippo get used to humans and the concept of glass.
“Fiona can only handle short visits outside right now. She’s doing great navigating in the 9-foot-deep pool, but it takes a lot of energy to propel herself from the bottom to the surface (to breathe) over and over again,” said curator of mammals, Christina Gorsuch. She will spend more time outdoors after hours until she is ready to go out during visiting hours, according to the zoo.
Fiona weighed 29 pounds, about 25 pounds lighter than the typical birth weight of her species, when she was born prematurely on January 24.