Fiona fans go gaga over baby hippo

Fiona the hippo was born prematurely in January. At first, she needed round-the-clock care.

Since then, she’s gained hundreds of pounds, reunited with her parents and garnered a massive following that’s tracked her progress on the Cincinatti Zoo & Botanical Garden’s social media pages and blog about her.

In a recent Facebook post that drew more than 57,000 comments and 12,000 shares, the zoo asked its followers to comment with their locations, showing off Fiona’s global fan base.

From sporting a milk mustache to chomping on her first solid foods, Fiona’s activities have been documented and shared in photos and videos. In June, the public could view her in person as she started exploring the outside pool during zoo hours.

On July 7, the zoo said she caught up to the progress of a baby hippo born at full term, a major milestone for the mammal. She weighed 356 pounds, the zoo said. She was 2 feet tall at her shoulder and 55 inches long.

The zoo said it will take Fiona about three years to become fully grown at a whopping 3,000 pounds.

Another big moment came on July 11, when Fiona swam with her parents, Henry and Bibi, before the zoo opened for the day.

Here are some updates from Fiona’s first several months of life:

Seventeen-year-old hippo Bibi gave birth early this morning to a female calf. The premature calf was not expected until March and is receiving critical care from vet and nursery staff since the baby was not able to stand to nurse from mom. More details on our website (link in bio) #hippo #cincinnatizoo #cincinnati #closeenoughtocare #TeamFiona

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Jan 24, 2017 at 11:02am PST

Hooray! Fiona continues to improve and gain weight. She’s hit the 40lbs mark! Going forward we will not be doing daily updates but we promise to keep you informed of her progress on a regular basis. Visit for past and future Fiona updates. #closeenoughtocare #cincinnatizoo #cincinnati #teamfiona #hippo

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Feb 9, 2017 at 8:43am PST

Sunday #FionaFix

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Apr 16, 2017 at 4:34pm PDT

Big yawn! Fiona now has regular access to the large indoor pools while her parents are outside. She can now hold her breath for up two minutes! She often naps in the large pool and uses the hippos unique ability to surface for air without waking up. #cincinnati #closeenoughtocare #cincinnatizoo #TeamFiona #fionafix #hippo

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May 23, 2017 at 9:02am PDT

Family reunion! We’ve never been more excited about a post! BiFi (the power duo name that’s being used for Bibi and Fiona) was joined by Henry this morning for the first time. The three were introduced in Hippo Cove’s outdoor pool before the Zoo opened, supervised by their care team. The short introduction went well. Bibi intervened when Henry got too close to Fiona, which was exactly what we were hoping to see. Introductions will continue. There is still no set schedule for when Fiona will be out. When she is out, she has access to go inside, so visitors may or may not see her. Please be understanding if you visit the Zoo and Hippo Cove is closed off as the family needs time to get used to each other in the outdoor pool. #cincinnati #cincinnatizoo #closeenoughtocare #teamfiona #hippo #fionafix

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Jul 11, 2017 at 9:02am PDT