Baby hippo update: Little Fiona is one hungry, hungry hippo

Posted at 4:03 PM, Feb 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-07 07:59:43-05

CINCINNATI -- With the way she's eating, little Fiona may not be small for long. 

Fiona, the Cincinnati Zoo's beloved premature baby hippo, drank more from her bottle Monday than ever before, and zoo officials said she weighed in at almost 37 pounds. 

Her weight isn't the only thing improving. She made strides Sunday -- literally -- when she took her very first steps. 


Fiona's first steps were a drastic contrast from Saturday when her oxygen levels dipped. Keepers held her chest to chest to regulate her breathing. 

The baby hippo was put on a feeding tube Fridayafter her energy was low due to a weak suckling response. But zoo officials said Fiona's suckling response was much better Monday, and she was able to suckle both in and out of water. 

Fiona has received around the clock care since she was born six weeks early on Jan. 24. She 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 for a newborn Nile hippo is 55 to 120 pounds.