Just when you thought Fiona the baby hippo couldn't get any cuter, you catch her hanging out with both her parents for the first time in their pool at the Cincinnati Zoo, posing for a family portrait.
Fiona and her mom Bibi were joined by dad Henry in the outdoor habitat before the zoo opened to the public. According the zoo, the family encounter at Hippo Cove went swimmingly.
“The introduction lasted about an hour, and we couldn’t be more pleased with how it went,” said Christina Gorsuch, the zoo's curator of mammals. “Fiona has been exploring the outdoor habitat with her mom for several weeks and has had contact with Henry inside, but today was the first time that the three hippos have been together."
The photogenic trio drifted around Hippo Cove, supervised by their care team, who were thrilled by the successful outing. At one point, while Fiona was frolicking up and down in the water, Henry nudged her and Bibi immediately stepped in to make him back off.
"Bibi intervened when Henry got too close to Fiona, which was exactly what we were hoping to see," the zoo captioned the photo. There's also a video where you can see the bouncing little hippo and the moment where mom chastises dad.
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The reunion we've been waiting for finally happened this morning when BiFi (power duo name for Fiona and her mom, Bibi) was joined by Fiona’s dad Henry. “The introduction lasted about an hour, and we couldn’t be more pleased with how it went,” said Christina G., curator of mammals at the Cincinnati Zoo. “Fiona has been exploring the outdoor habitat with her mom for several weeks and has had contact with Henry inside, but today was the first time that the three hippos have been together. Bibi was protective of Fiona and gave Henry cues about how to interact appropriately with the little one.” #closeenoughtocare #cincinnatizoo #cincinnati #teamfiona #hippo #fionafix
Fiona was born in January weighing only 29 pounds, which is about 25 pounds lighter than the lowest recorded birth weight for the species, according to the zoo. The relatively tiny hippo caught the attention of the world as she struggled against all odds to survive, and was incredibly cute every step of the way. As of early June, she weighed nearly 300 pounds. Fiona was the first Nile hippo born at the Cincinnati Zoo in 75 years.
There's no set schedule for when Fiona will be outside or when Hippo Cove will be open to the public. The zoo is asking eager visitors to be patient as they give the family time to get used to each other. Until then, if you need a baby hippo fix, there's always Instagram.
Related Fiona news: Fiona the hippo greets the press