Premature Baby Hippo Takes Her First Steps

When baby hippo Fiona was born prematurely last month at the Cincinnati Zoo she weighed only 29 pounds. A healthy baby hippo usually weighs somewhere between 55 to 120 pounds. Little Fiona required around the clock observation and medical attention due to her unstable condition. Learning to stand and float was quite a struggle. Even feeding presented obstacles as Fiona has an underdeveloped suckling response. Fiona’s struggle attracted the attention of the preemie team of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital who recently sent a care package to the zoo in a sign of support and unity. f2.jpg

Yesterday the zoo announced that Fiona has taken her first uncertain steps. See for yourself:

Although this may not seem like much, these steps show just how far she has come. Now she’s strong enough to stand and walk on her own, she can breath well enough to participate in light exercise, and she’s put on enough weight to become stable. Soon she’ll be strong enough to rejoin her family. Until then she still has to put on even more weight and catch up.


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