Time to celebrate Fiona’s third birthday!

Time to celebrate Fiona’s third birthday!
Fiona was born prematurely at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanic Garden on Jan. 24, 2017. (Source: Cincinnati Zoo & Botanic Garden)

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - It’s hard to believe our little girl is almost three-years-old.

Fiona stole the hearts of people in the Tri-State, the nation and around the world when she was born prematurely on Jan. 24, 2017 at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanic Garden.

She weighed just 29 lbs., the lowest recorded birth weight for Nile hippos. The normal range is 55-120 pounds.

Against the odds, Fiona survived and is thriving weighing in now at almost 1,300 pounds.

“Fiona won the hearts of Cincinnatians when she fought to survive after being born six weeks early and terribly underweight,” Cincinnati Zoo director Thayne Maynard said. “Three years later, people all over the world are still crazy about this normal, healthy hippo.”

There are all sorts of ways you can celebrate Fiona’s milestone:

  • Listermann Brewing Company will release a new 4-pack of Team Fiona beer, a New England IPA, at 10 a.m. on January 24 at their brewery on Dana Ave.
  • Rookwood Pottery and Graeter’s Ice Cream Fiona Party - Graeter’s commissioned Rookwood to create additional Fiona ice cream bowls and release them at Rookwood on January 25th from 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Graeter’s will be serving Chunky Chunky Hippo ice cream, which is also available in stores, and birthday cake to those attending.
  • Rally House will sell a new Fiona shirt in all greater Cincinnati locations: Rookwood, Crestview Town Center, Florence, Voice of America and West Chester
  • Children’s entertainer Zak Morgan just released a special Fiona Music Video featuring Cincinnati Pops and Zak Morgan with special appearances by Thane Maynard, Graeter’s, Skyline Chili, the Cincinnati Reds and more!
  • Fiona’s Blend Thirsty Thirsty Hippo will be available at all Coffee Emporium locations
  • New Fiona book – Fiona, It’s Bedtime – available for pre-order

Instead of sending gifts, the zoo is asking people to consider buying a t-shirt that will support Australian wildlife.

The zoo and Cincy Shirts have teamed up to create a t-shirt featuring a koala and a kangaroo giving Fiona a hug. It says “Supporting Our Friends Down Under.”

The shirts are available from now through Jan. 31 at Cincy Shirts stores and the Zoo Shop on Wednesday, Jan. 22.

100% of the net proceeds go directly to Zoos Victoria’s Brushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund.

All of the funds raised will be used for critical care and long-term recovery of Australian wildlife.

The zoo says it will add $5,000 to the total raised.

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