Cincinnati Zoo

A Day With Fiona And Fritz!

Fiona, Bibi and Fritz continued with introductions yesterday. Things went well and the three of them were able to spend most of the day together! Fiona is still learning to take cues from Bibi on how to interact with her little brother and keepers saw some positive interactions! Hippo Cove may be closed at times during these introductions. Cincinnati Zoo thanks you for your patience as their bloat gets settled in!

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Fiona and Her Baby Hippo Brother Fritz Introduced for the First Time Outside

Fritz got to meet his big sister in the outdoor habitat for the first time yesterday! Fiona was curious but took her cues from her mom, Bibi, and backed off when Fritz got almost close enough for a nose boop. The trio will continue to be put together for short periods until the care team is confident that the three are comfortable together. The next step will then be to add Tucker to the mix. Officials don’t have an exact timeline for when that will happen. Hippo Cove will be closed on and off as these introductions take place.

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It’s a Boy!! Fiona The Hippo Has A Little Brother

Cincinnati Zoo’s world-famous hippo Fiona has a “little” brother

CINCINNATI, OH (August 8, 2022) — Big news from Hippo Cove! Keepers were able to get a good look at the baby hippo born at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden on August 3 this morning and determined that Fiona’s sibling is a boy!!

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Fiona Is A Big Sister!

Full-term calf 2x bigger than Fiona was when she was born 

CINCINNATI, OH (August 4, 2022) — Right around April Fool’s Day earlier this year, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden staff members were informed that 23-year-old hippo Bibi was pregnant. Since she was on birth control, most assumed that the news was a joke! The appearance of a healthy, full-term hippo baby last night around 10 p.m. confirms that a) the hippo team was not joking, and b) baby hippos are adorable! 

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Airplane Is Fun No Matter Your Species

Generations of bonobos playing airplane at Cincinnati Zoo. Amali's grandmother holds her up by her feet while her Mom, Kesi makes sure she is safe.

This great video is brought to you by Great American Insurance Group

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Happy 5th Birthday, Fiona!

Cincinnati Zoo invites Fiona fans everywhere to join the virtual celebration 

World-famous hippo Fiona turns five today!  Since it’s too cold for the beloved queen of the Queen City to be outside on her big day, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden will be hosting a virtual birthday celebration. A $5 birthday gift gets you an invitation to the party

“It’s hard to believe that it’s been five years since Fiona was born,” said Cincinnati Zoo director and party host Thane Maynard.  “She has touched so many people with her story of survival and has become a symbol of hope for millions of people around the world.” 

You’ll hear from some of those people during Fiona’s virtual celebration.  The party will also include birthday greetings from celebrities, like Johnny Bench and Jane Goodall, and touching stories from members of her care team. And, of course, Fiona will get cake and presents J. 

“Fiona’s story tugs at the heartstrings,” said Maynard.  “She was born premature and too small to stand to nurse from her mom. The Zoo’s vets and hippo care team stepped in to try to nurse her to health.  It was a tough journey. We almost lost her a couple of times, but she made it and eventually rejoined her mom and dad. This 5th birthday is extra special considering her rough start.” (see Fiona’s story for more information) 

A link to the virtual birthday party will be sent to all who purchase a $5 birthday gift.  The video becomes active at noon, EST, on January 24.  People with the link can join the party at noon or view it later.  

No on-site birthday activities are planned, since it will be too cold for the hippos to be outside.  If you do visit tomorrow, bundle up and save a bundle during Penguin Days!!  


Meet the Cincinnati Zoo’s Little ‘Peanut’

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The baby Tamandua born December 20, 2018 at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden now has a name! Although the pup’s sex is yet-to-be-determined, the Zoo announced that it would be called “Mani”.

“We wanted to give the pup a Spanish name, since Tamanduas are primarily from Spanish speaking countries, and both of its parents have Spanish names. We chose the name Mani, which means “peanut,” because we were able to watch Mani grow from the size of a peanut via weekly ultrasounds on mom, Isla,” said Cincinnati Zoo Interpretive Animal Keeper Colleen Lawrence. “We fell in love with the pup when it was only a blip on a screen.”

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4_45938338095_aaeb0e2c25_bPhoto Credits: Lisa Hubbard (Images 1,3,4)/ DJJAM Photo (Images 2, 5-12)

Five-year-old Isla, a first-time mom, has taken care of the pup exactly the way she should, so it is healthy and growing fast. Care team members think the baby is a boy, but it’s difficult to be 100% certain of the sex of Tamanduas when they’re this young.

Keepers report that little Mani can be seen through the windows of the Zoo’s Animal Ambassador Center (AAC), clinging to Isla.

Also called the “lesser anteater”, the Tamandua uses its long snout to sniff out ant, termite and bee colonies. Long claws enable it to dig into nests, and a long sticky tongue licks up the insects. A single Tamandua can eat up to 9,000 ants in a single day!

(More great pics below the fold!)

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Fiona the Hippo Turns Two Years Old

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Born prematurely and exceptionally small two years ago at the Cincinnati Zoo, Fiona the Hippo celebrated her 2nd birthday on January 24.

Weighing just 29 pounds – about one fifth of what a normal newborn Hippo should weigh – Fiona’s story of against-all-odds survival captured the hearts of animal lovers around the world.

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51001580_10156831033550479_8850053960522792960_nPhoto Credits: Cincinnati Zoo (1,2,4,5,6); Lisa Hubbard (3)

As Fiona’s dedicated care team helped the little Hippo overcome one health challenge after another, fans cheered Fiona’s milestones, from her first swim to her poignant introduction to her mom Bibi and later her father, Henry.

You can read the dramatic story of Fiona’s birth and preemie care here.

Now about to enter her “terrible twos,” which her care team hopes won’t be too terrible, Fiona is just like any other normal Hippo. “Fiona is remarkable for being unremarkable now,” said Cincinnati Zoo Curator of Mammals Christina Gorsuch.  “She’s just like most other 2-year-old hippos, except for the fact that she’s a celebrity in Cincinnati and beyond!”

The zoo held a huge celebration for Fiona’s first birthday and a big party last month when Fiona reached 1,000 pounds. This year, due to very cold outdoor temperatures, Fiona’s birthday was held behind the scenes and live-streamed to her many fans. Fiona and Bibi (Henry passed away in late 2017) enjoyed a towering “cake” made of Fiona’s favorite fruits and vegetables embedded in ice.

Fiona has become an ambassador for her species, and her story has inspired many people to care about wildlife and the challenges faced by endangered species.

Hippos are native to Africa, and while they are not officially endangered, wild populations are in decline due to habitat loss, increased incidence of drought, and illegal hunting. With less rainfall, Hippos, who often graze on tender grasses near water, have fewer areas in which to feed. As Hippos travel farther and farther to locate suitable feeding grounds, the risk of conflict with people and wildlife increases.

See more photos of Fiona below.

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