Premature Hippo Baby On Her Way To Recovery

CINCINNATI (CBS4)April the giraffe is the only animal catch the internet’s attention.

Fiona is a baby hippo, born dangerously premature at the Cincinnati Zoo.

fiona 1 from cincy zoo Premature Hippo Baby On Her Way To Recovery

Photo: Cincinnati Zoo

The calf arrived six weeks early, and had to undergo critical care 24 hours a day after veterinarians determined she was too weak to stand and nurse from her mother Bibi.

She and dad Henry are close to the baby at all times, so they can hear and smell each other.

Photo: Cincinnati Zoo

Photo: Cincinnati Zoo

The baby weighed in at 63 pounds on Tuesday, more than 30 pounds heavier than when she was born on January 24th.

She had to be on an IV for most of the first month of her life, but is now able to swim in pools under vet supervision. The zoo says spending time in the pool will help her build muscle and lung strength, keep her skin moist, and let her act like a hippo.

Her appetite is up, and has graduated to a big milk bottle, instead of a human baby’s bottle that was used during the first few weeks of bottle feeding.

Fiona was so starved for nutrients, vets had to put her on supplemental oxygen for a short time.

Photo: Cincinnati Zoo

Photo: Cincinnati Zoo

For more on Baby Fiona, and to track her progress, visit the Cincinnati Zoo’s blog page.

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