CINCINNATI – The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden has decided its popular baby hippo is ready for her close-up.
Fiona (fee-OHN'uh) is making her news media debut Wednesday evening with cameras rolling as she navigates the 9-foot-deep Hippo Cove pool. The zoo emphasizes she isn't ready for public display yet, but the media-only event is a step toward that.
Fiona was born Jan. 24, weighing just 29 pounds (13 kilograms). She overcame health scares and now weighs more than 100 pounds (45 kilograms).
Video updates such as Fiona taking a bottle, splashing in a pool or learning to run have drawn tens of millions of online views. Thousands have bought TeamFiona T-shirts, and thousands more have eaten Fiona-themed bakery treats.
A brewery plans to soon introduce a beer dedicated to her.