Is there anything cuter than a baby animal? No, of course not. They are the very best things in the world! This little cutie had a rough start to life but is now starting to do a lot better and her sweet face is enough to melt anyone's heart.
Meet Fiona, the first Nile hippo born in the Cincinnati Zoo in 75 years. The problem was that she was born six weeks early and only weighed 29 pounds.
While 29 pounds sounds like a big baby, for a hippo it is actually about half the size they are supposed to be which makes it a little bit dangerous for the sweet girl.
In order to keep her safe and healthy, the zoo had to give her round the clock care, and even call in a specialist from the Cincinnati Children's Hospital to get help inserting an IV into her little veins when she got dehydrated. Fiona's mom and dad are both being kept nearby so they can still hear and smell each other but it's important Fiona gets all the human help she needs.
Ever wonder what a little baby hippo sounds like? Well it's real cute!
Local business have started a fundraising campaign to raise money to help with the baby hippo's recovery. She needs 20 bottles of special formula per day and has finally made it to the usual birth weight of 60 pounds. Fiona likes to cuddle with the keepers and even has her own pool to splash around in!
Fiona remains in stable condition today. To regulate her oxygen intake and minimize the dive reflex, caregivers position her chest to chest so she can feel normal breathing. Her premature lungs absorb CO2 when she holds her breath (dive reflex) and cause oxygen levels to dip. #closeenoughtocare #cincinnatizoo #cincinnati #hippo #TeamFiona
They still have to keep an eye on Fiona while she continues to grow, but so far she is doing pretty well! The whole team is rooting for her, as well as everyone who sees her sweet little face!