Cincinnati Zoo’s premature baby hippo gaining weight, showing personality

The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden’s baby hippo, named Fiona, is making progress, learning how to do baby hippo things, like drinking from a bottle while inside and outside the water and gaining weight, zoo officials said.

The little hippopotamus was born six weeks early and has needed around-the-clock care ever since.

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In the latest update, the zoo said the small hippo weighs more than 37 pounds now.

“Fiona was up 1.7 pounds at this morning’s weigh-in and is doing well with bottle feedings,” the zoo said in a Facebook posting on Tuesday.

“She gets exercise two to three times a day to help her build strength and get the hang of diving, floating, and breathing.”

Zoo staffers are also giving baby Fiona low doses of supplemental oxygen to help her premature lungs function properly.

Fiona took her first steps, too, on Monday.

Fiona had another good night and drank more from her bottle this afternoon than she has to date.  She is now able to...

Posted by Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden on Monday, February 6, 2017

On Thursday, the zoo reported that Fiona had put on weight and was continuing to do well.

Hooray!  Fiona continues to improve and gain weight.  She's hit the 40lbs mark!  Going forward we will not be doing...

Posted by Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden on Thursday, February 9, 2017

By Friday, Fiona had graduated to the "big kid" pool and continues to make progress.

Fiona moves into a bigger pool

Friday Fiona Fix.  Fiona has graduated to a “big kid” pool and continues to make progress with her coordination in the water.

Posted by Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden on Friday, February 10, 2017