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Fiona the Hippo Reunites with Her Mom at the Cincinnati Zoo

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Fiona the Hippo and social media star has finally reunited with her mom, Bibi, at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens. The four-month-old calf was born six weeks prematurely in January, and has since been under the care of zoo staff.

Caretakers released video of the Fiona licking her mother’s face. The baby hippo had previously been reintroduced to her mom and dad, Henry, but with partitions between them. So, this marks the first time Fiona was free to make contact with her mother, without barriers.

The baby calf weighed only 29 pounds when she was born. That’s around 25 pounds lighter than the average birth weight of her species.

WNBS-10TV Columbus, Ohio

WNBS-10TV Columbus, Ohio

Late last moth, Fiona became a viral sensation when she explored her outdoor habitat for the first time while the media was present. Many of the zoo’s staff hadn’t met her before her big reveal. They were able to greet her through the pool’s glass wall. This will hopefully get the young hippo used to people and the concept of glass.

“Fiona can only handle short visits outside right now,” said curator if mammals, Christina Gorsuch. “She’s doing great navigating in the nine-foot-deep pool, but it takes a lot of energy to propel herself from the bottom to the surface [to breathe] over and over again.”

The zoo also said the baby calf will be spending more time outdoors after hours until she is ready to go out during visiting hours.

Fiona has spent more quality time with her mom since their reunion. On Monday, Bibi allowed her baby to mouth her tongue, tusks, and even the back of her throat. While this idea might make some uneasy, zoo officials explained “hippos use their mouths to show affection, and explore the world around them.”

You can follow her progress at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden’s blog.

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