Get an underwater view of the Cincinnati Zoo's baby hippo swimming

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens’ baby hippopotamus is swimming closer to outdoor adventures. The zoo released video showing an underwater view of Fiona getting used to a deeper pool. She will ultimately need to navigate seven-foot deep wat
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The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens’ baby hippopotamus is swimming closer to outdoor adventures. The zoo released video showing an underwater view of Fiona getting used to a deeper pool. She will ultimately need to navigate seven-foot deep wat
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Nation & World

Your new happy place: Fiona the baby hippo now has her own show

By Lisa Gutierrez

lgutierrez@kcstar.com

August 28, 2017 07:00 AM

After a week of hurricanes — political, social, meteorological and otherwise — here is happy news.

Fiona the baby hippo at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is getting her own show on Facebook’s new Watch platform. “The Fiona Show” debuts Tuesday.

“It’s true, Fiona is getting her own show!” the zoo announced on Instagram.

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If you don’t know Fiona’s tale you are clearly not a member of enormous and enthusiastic #TeamFiona, the diehard fans who have followed the Nile hippo from when she was born, seemingly on borrowed time, six weeks premature. The show on Tuesday will feature never-seen video of her birth.

They are people like writer Kathryn Lindsay, who “interviewed” Fiona for Refinery 29 about her upcoming show debut.

“Fiona The Hippo is my safe space,” Lindsay writes. “She is that warm feeling you get when you shut your apartment door and realize you don’t have to go anywhere else that night. She is, and I mean it, the only good thing happening in 2017.”

Fiona weighed only 29 pounds when she was born on Jan. 24 with her mother Bibi’s eyes and her father Henry’s coloring. That’s about half the previous lowest recorded birth weight for her species.

Zookeepers became her surrogate parents and spent weeks of emotional ups and downs and touch-and-goes nursing her toward fat and happy.

“I always tell people how magical she is,” zookeeper Wendy Rice told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I honestly think we could have a unicorn in the holding space next to her, and I don’t think I would bat an eye.”

On Monday, the day of the solar eclipse, Fiona weighed in at a camera-ready 451 pounds. “Soon she’ll be big enough to eclipse the sun herself,” the zoo posted on Instagram.

Fiona is already a huge social media star with her own ice cream flavor — Chunky Chunky Hippo — merchandise ($5.99 playing cards), a children’s book coming in January 2019, and tons of fan mail.

People from around the world have sent Fiona fan mail.
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

The camera clearly loves her. And now, she’s ready for her close-up.

Here’s the zoo’s sneak peek at “The Fiona Show.”

We would say “break a leg,” but, you know.