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Texas hippo hires mariachi band to celebrate Fiona's birthday

Even semiaquatic mammals get thirsty
Posted at 10:04 PM, Jan 24, 2019

Timothy, the San Antonio Zoo’s 3-year-old hippo and Fiona’s would-be paramour, hired a mariachi band Thursday to serenade Cincinnati’s princess on her second birthday.

(Or, well, the zoo hired them. Timothy doesn’t have a job.)

The rotund Romeo has been attempting to win Fiona’s heart with public declarations of love since early 2018, when he took the campaign to Twitter.

Despite his precociousness, neither he nor Fiona is old enough for hippo romance. Most hippos reach reproductive maturity around age 3 but do not seek a breeding partner for several more years. Captive hippos face the additional hurdle of having to wait for their caretakers to approve a mate — like families on "Game of Thrones," zoos are highly strategic about the matches they make.

There's also Fiona's celebrity to consider.

"Any potential mate would have to be thick skinned and okay with taking a back seat," the Cincinnati Zoo wrote in a 2018 Facebook post. "Are you okay with paparazzi? Are you willing to move out of the way during photo shoots? Most importantly, are you willing to relocate to Cincinnati?"

It's complicated.

But still! A guy, a girl, a tireless pursuit. It’s the stuff of rom-coms!

And “Halloween.”