Fiona's introduction to hippo dad Henry not going as well as reunion with mom Bibi

Posted at 12:49 PM, Jul 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-03 17:59:22-04

CINCINNATI -- A big, happy hippo family reunion is further off than zookeepers had hoped: Henry, father to beloved baby Fiona, is still a little unsure of his daughter and doesn't seem to want her around.

The hippo's care team has used the same techniques to introduce the pair as they used with Fiona and mom Bibi.

It just doesn't seem to be going as smoothly, Cincinnati Zoo hippo handler Wendy Rice wrote in a blog post Monday.


When Fiona and Henry are in the same space, Henry sometimes opens his mouth wide and swings toward her -- as if to say, "I don't really want you near me." Fiona keeps her distance.

But Henry's behavior isn't aggressive, Rice wrote: He's 10 times Fiona's size and could easily hurt her if he wanted. Instead, Rice thinks Henry's just unsure what their relationship should be.

PHOTOS: See how much Fiona's grown up

Plus, it's been 20 years since Henry shared space with a baby hippo, so he might feel like a first-time dad.

Staff might try bringing Bibi into the mix, but Rice wrote that could have problems, too: What if Henry becomes jealous of sharing Bibi's attention with Fiona?


In the meantime, Fiona and Bib seem to be getting along swimmingly and will continue making unannounced, sporadic appearances in the outdoor exhibit.