The IV gave Fiona a big boost and she showed more energy Tuesday. She got up and moved around with help from the zoo's caregivers. She was still receiving fluids via the IV.
With relatively little information and few resources available on caring for preemie hippos, the zoo staffers have faced many challenges in helping Fiona live and grow, according to Rice's post. Working in a room kept at 90 degrees, Fiona's caregivers must rub lotion on her skin every hour to keep her skin moist, as hippos typically spend 16 hours per day in the water.
Providing Fiona with the nutrients she needs has also been a challenge, according to Rice's post. She was born too weak to nurse, and was initially fed via a feeding tube. Her mother, Bibi, was not producing enough milk, so the zoo had to work with the National Zoo to come up with a formula for synthetic hippo milk, which staffers continue to tweak in order to make it acceptable for little Fiona's delicate digestive system.
While new problems pop up, Fiona has improved. Rice wrote the zoo would continue providing updates for everyone concerned for Fiona's wellbeing.
"Many of Fiona’s loving fan base have asked when our little lady will be out of the woods, but the answer to that question is both complex and varying," Rice wrote. "For now, we take it day by day and hope for more good days than bad. We will continue to update everyone on her progress moving forward and we thank you all so very much for the astronomical love and support you’ve shown us so far."