Baby hippo becomes a social media star, capturing hearts around the world

July 25, 2017 6:35 pm Last Updated: July 25, 2017 6:35 pm

Zoo staff didn’t think she’d survive but Fiona the baby hippo has gone from strength to strength, capturing the hearts of an ever-increasing number of fans from across the world along the way.

On July 24, 2107, Fiona reached the milestone of six months old.

How do you celebrate a half-year hippo birthday?

(Cincinnati Zoo/YouTube/Screenshot)

How do you celebrate a hippo’s half-year birthday? Well, if you’re the Cincinnati Zoo where Fiona was born and lives, you show her off along with her mom and dad for all to see!

The folks at the Cincinnati Zoo have been flooding their social media accounts with what they have come to affectionately refer to as “BiFi.” That’s a combination of Bibi (a.k.a. mom) and Fiona. And, earlier this month, they added dad — Henry — back into the picture too.

“We became consumed with all things Fiona.”

(Cincinnati Zoo/YouTube/Screenshot)

“We became consumed with all things Fiona,” Michelle Curley, social media manager for the Cincinnati Zoo, told NPR. “We’ve done an update on Facebook every day since she was born.”

Fiona even has her own birthday song!

(Cincinnati Zoo/YouTube/Screenshot)

And what birthday superstar doesn’t have a birthday song written and sung just for her? Yep, check out the Happy Birthday Video clip on the zoo’s Instagram account!

On July 11 in a brief session before the zoo opened, the family of three were introduced to each other in Hippo Cove outdoors. The zoo care team supervised the family reunion, and the short intro went well with the highlight being Bibi intervening when Henry got too close to Fiona. That’s a good thing in the world of hippo hierarchy, and zoo staff was pleased to see Bibi and Henry following hippo norms.

Fiona was born prematurely by six weeks …

(Cincinnati Zoo/YouTube/Screenshot)

Fiona was born six weeks premature on January 24 this year, weighing in at a precariously light weight of just 29 pounds. There was concern that she may not survive, as most hippos are born in the 55 to 120-pound range.

At one point, when dehydration became a major concern, zoo staff were joined by medical personnel from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center to put an IV in Fiona. It worked, and Fiona has been overcoming the odds ever since!

Fiona’s journey has thrust her into stardom!

(Cincinnati Zoo/YouTube/Screenshot)

The media blitz surrounding Fiona’s journey has thrust her into stardom since day one. Fans from around the world have watched Fiona become stronger, take her first steps, move to larger pools, and explore the outside for the first time.

Social media accounts for the zoo are not exclusively about hippos by any means, but Curley shared with NPR that hippo posts do especially well. All three, Fiona, Bibi, and Henry, receive thousands of likes, retweets, and shares daily.

You’ll fall in love with this not-so-little-anymore hippo hero …

You can see all of the Hippo Baby Fiona Updates on the Cincinnati Zoo website. But be warned, you’ll likely fall in love with this not-so-little-anymore hippo hero and find yourself watching it as if it were your favorite television series! Enjoy!