Cincinnati Zoo's baby hippo dives deep

Saturday, May 06, 2017 10:18AM
The Cincinnati Zoo's prematurely-born hippo Fiona is learning to dive deep.

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens' prematurely-born hippo, Fiona, now tops the scales at over 200 pounds as she furthers her progress toward joining her parents in the outdoor enclosure.

The zoo posted video on Friday, May 5, showing Fiona swimming in the indoor pool that is now five-feet deep. She is working on mastering her porpoising skills in order to use the deeper outdoor pool.

"Even though hippos spend most of their time in the water, they can't actually swim," the zoo said with the new video. "They walk on the bottom when submerged in water and propel themselves to the surface to take a breath. Fiona is learning how to push off the bottom to come up for air."

Fiona was born six weeks early in January at just 29 pounds, well below the normal 55-110 pound birth weight for hippos. She's been under the care of the zoo's staff, away from her parents, since her birth, and the care team is preparing her for spending time outside, a reunion with her parents and meeting zoo visitors.
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