Cincinnati Zoo's beloved baby hippo hit another big milestone Tuesday.
BiFi (the power duo name that’s being used for Bibi and Fiona) were joined by dad Henry for the first time Tuesday morning.
The three were introduced in Hippo Cove’s outdoor pool before the zoo opened, supervised by their care team.
“The introduction lasted about an hour, and we couldn’t be more pleased with how it went,” said Christina Gorsuch, curator of mammals at the Cincinnati Zoo. “Fiona has been exploring the outdoor habitat with her mom for several weeks and has had contact with Henry inside, but today was the first time that the three hippos have been together. Bibi was protective of Fiona and gave Henry cues about how to interact appropriately with the little one.”
It's the first time Fiona has been with her mom and dad at the same time.
“It has taken almost six months to reach this major milestone, and it feels great,” said Gorsuch. “There’s no manual on how to hand raise and reintroduce a premature hippo, but our animal care staff got Fiona through health hurdles and overcame curveballs to get us where we are now. I’m proud of our team.”
Fiona was born prematurely and has been separated from Bibi and Henry for the majority of her life.
Her care team has been using the same techniques to introduce Fiona and Henry as they used with Bibi.
Introductions will continue for the family.
Zoo officials also gave an update about Fiona's weight Tuesday.
Fiona weighed 29 pounds when she was born on January 24, which is about 25 pounds lighter than the lowest recorded birth weight for this species. The normal range is 55-120 pounds.
She now weighs almost 375 pounds. Her parents weigh about ten times that.
There is still no set schedule for when Fiona will be out.
When she is out, she has access to go inside, so visitors may or may not see her.
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