Zoo Welcomes New Hippo

Newborn calf, sibling to famed Fiona, already is walking at the Cincinnati Zoo
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 4, 2022 5:46 PM CDT
Fiona the Hippo Gets a Sibling
In this photo provided by the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, Bibi, a 23-year-old hippopotamus, stands by her infant born Wednesday.   (Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden via AP)

(Newser) – The Cincinnati Zoo is celebrating the birth of a full-term hippopotamus that is a sibling to Fiona, who became a global celebrity when she was born prematurely in 2017. The baby hippo was born Wednesday night. "This new calf weighs at least twice as much as Fiona did and is already walking," said Christina Gorsuch, the zoo's director of animal care, in a news release. Staff at Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden discovered the calf's mother, 23-year-old Bibi, was pregnant around April 1. It came as a surprise, the AP reports, because Bibi was on birth control.

"Bibi and the baby, yet to be named, will spend the next two weeks bonding behind the scenes," said Gorsuch. "A female would take her newborn away from the bloat for about that amount of time in the wild, and we try to give Bibi the choice to do what feels natural to her." Bibi's first baby, Fiona, weighed only 29 pounds when she was born six weeks premature and wasn't able to stand on her own. Fiona now weighs 2,000 pounds, the zoo said. The zoo saw an increase in visitors and social media views after Fiona's birth. Some animal rights groups criticized it for marketing a captive animal.

(Read more Cincinnati Zoo stories.)

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