The Cincinnati Zoo had seen lots of baby animals in its history. However, Fiona, a Nile hippopotamus, is the most popular and loved baby hippopotamus at the Cincinnati Zoo and, why not, in the world. Now, Fiona has its own book, “Saving Fiona,” which tells the baby hippo’s life story.
Fiona came to this world unexpectedly and had to fight for survival from the very first seconds of its life. This hippo’s story made the headlines of the newspapers, worldwide, and this international fame is what made Thane Maynard, Director of the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, to decide to bring Fiona’s story to life in “Saving Fiona,” a children’s book published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Thane Maynard presents the story of Fiona with both warmth and excitement and, even though it’s a book dedicated to children, grownups can also enjoy unique pics with Fiona, which have never been published before.
“Saving Fiona” tells the unknown story of the most loved baby hippopotamus at the Cincinnati Zoo
The veterinarians at the Cincinnati Zoo carried out the first sonogram on Bibi, Fiona’s mother, even though, in theory, the thick skin of the Nile hippopotamus would make any readings impossible. However, in Bibi’s case, it worked.
“Well, we just tried it. And it worked; our team was able to get a reading of her umbilical cord and even her little feet,” affirms Thane Maynard.
Fiona was developing normally, and the zoo’s staff was anxious to meet the first baby hippopotamus born at the Cincinnati Zoo in 20 years. But the fate put Fiona, as well as the zoo’s staff, at a test when Bibi showed sign of premature label.
“No one has ever cared for a premature hippo before. Hippos are usually born in the water, but since Bibi was a first-time mother she came up on the dry area to give birth. If she had not, Fiona would have drowned,” recalls Maynard.
According to Maynard, there have been days and nights the zoo’s staff nursed Fiona to help the baby hippotamus live and grow healthy. Now, Fiona is okay and the book “Saving Fiona” tells its story.