Baby hippo Fiona has come so far since her dramatic premature birth.
The little girl, who is now rather large, has bonded with mom Bibi, met dad Henry and is now spending time with the whole family in their hippo habitat.
The trio’s monitored interactions continue to please keepers and delight guests. The most recent milestone Fiona’s family has shared? A nap.
While snoozing surrounded by loved ones may seem like a non-event, keepers at the Cincinnati Zoo say it’s another sign that the group is developing in the right direction.
“A nap may not seem significant but it was an important milestone for Team Fiona to see our hippo bloat comfortable enough to sleep together as one ‘pod,’ ” staff wrote in a Thursday Instagram post that featured a video of the bloated bunch.
This is a significant moment mostly because it is normal hippo behavior — and that is exactly what the zoo wants to see from Team Fiona.
“Large groups of hippos often sleep in close proximity in order to provide plenty of places for hippo calves to squeeze in; this provides the calves both protection and easy access to the surface for air while napping. You can see that Fiona has found a safe nook between Bibi, Henry’s head, and the wall — perfectly cozy for a hippo calf!” the posts continues.
These little victories for Team Fiona means the family is spending more time together in their habitat, where zoo guests can enjoy watching them bond. Since the acclimation period for Fiona isn’t quite complete, the zoo does not have an exact schedule for when Fiona is on display or when she will make her official public debut.