CINCINNATI — Much like the rest of us, Fiona and her friends at the zoo had to figure out a way to safely celebrate her birthday during the pandemic.
Our beloved baby hippo couldn’t have everyone come to her fourth birthday party, so the Cincinnati Zoo celebrated with the Float Four Fiona Fundraiser.
About 10,000 apples (Fiona’s favorite snack) will race to the finish line in her outdoor pool. Each apple has a number corresponding to an entry made by a hopefully Fiona fan. Zoo officials said people from all over the country bought apples for a chance to win a meet and greet with Fiona.
While the celebration is all about celebrating Fiona's fourth birthday, it's also about helping keep the zoo above water.
Each apple was a five dollar donation to the zoo. Some bought four apples for sixteen dollars. The proceeds go towards the zoo’s emergency operating fund. The fund was created after experiencing a financially devastating closure in 2020.
“It helps a lot, especially after this past year,” said Angela Hatke of the Cincinnati Zoo. “We were shut down for a couple of months. It cost a lot of money to feed these animals and give them the best care that we do. So events like this and the support we get is always so helpful and impactful.”
Fiona’s trainers said Sunday’s weather was a little too cold for Fiona to be out during the celebration. Instead, she’s celebrating her birthday by relaxing in one of her heated pools inside and eating apples.