PHOTOS: It’s Fiona’s third birthday!

Fiona the hippo over the years

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Our little girl is 3-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.

“That day three years ago is both and blur and a memory that’s etched in my mind,” Christina Gorsuch, Cincinnati Zoo’s curator of mammals and the coach of #TeamFiona said. “I’ll never forget walking into the hippo barn and seeing this tiny, slimy, thing on the ground next to Bibi (her mom). We were shocked that it was alive and spent the next several months focused on keeping it (her) that way!”

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.

“The outpouring of love for this little hippo was like nothing I’ve ever seen before,” Cincinnati Zoo director Thayne Maynard said. “It’s astounding that it hasn’t died down three years later! She’s got fans all over the world.”

Copyright 2020 WXIX. All rights reserved.