Baby hippo update: Zoo puts Fiona on feeding tube

Posted at 3:23 PM, Feb 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-03 15:29:53-05

CINCINNATI -- Fiona, the widely-adored premature baby hippo under round-the-clock care at the Cincinnati Zoo, is now being given milk via a feeding tube.

Fiona's energy was low Friday and she continued to have a weak suckling response, the zoo said in its latest update on the baby hippo.

The zoo's animal care team is working with Fiona around the clock, but she needed to be fed via the tube because she wasn't getting sufficient nourishment from a bottle, according to the zoo. 

Vets determined that Fiona was too weak to stand to nurse from mom, Bibi, when she arrived six weeks early. She is being cared for in close proximity to mom and dad, Henry, so they can hear and smell each other, zoo officials said. Fiona weighed 29 pounds when she was born, which is about 25 pounds lighter than the lowest recorded birth weight for this species. The normal range is 55 to 120 pounds.