Cincinnati Zoo's Baby Hippo Begins Bonding With Her Mother

StoryfulNewsPublished: June 12, 201728 views
Published: June 12, 2017

The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden’s baby Nile hippo, Fiona, has begun bonding with her mother. The zoo released video on Monday, June 12, showing Fiona exploring mother Bibi’s mouth. “This interaction might make you nervous,” wrote the caretakers in a blog post. “But Fiona’s care team was happy to see Bibi patiently allowing Fiona to mouth her tongue, tusks and even the back of her throat.” According to Fiona’s caretakers, hippos use their mouths to play, show affection and explore the world around them. In the video, Bibi holds her mouth open wide while Fiona explores inside. The video shows the size difference between the two hippos: Fiona can fit her entire head inside of Bibi’s mouth. Fiona was reintroduced to Bibi and Henry, her father, last month, though there were partitions between them. The zoo staff slowly moved away the partitions as Fiona and her parents became more familiar with each other. Fiona was born six weeks early in January at just 29 pounds, well below the normal 55-110 pound birth weight for hippos. A team from the zoo has been caring for her away from her parents since her birth. Fiona ventured into her outdoor enclosure for the first time with the media watching on May 31. Zoo visitors may get a lucky glimpse of Fiona, though there is no schedule of when she may appear outside.

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