The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens’ baby hippopotamus is swimming closer to outdoor adventures. The zoo released video on Tuesday, April 25, giving an underwater view of Fiona getting used to a deeper pool.
The zoo has been slowly making the indoor adult hippo pool deeper in steps for the prematurely-born Fiona, moving toward her eventual move to an outside pool that is eight to nine feet deep. Right now the pool is three-feet deep, the zoo said, and will be raised to four feet by the end of the week. She will ultimately need to navigate seven-foot deep water in the indoor pool before heading outside.
The video shows Fiona swimming and porpoising, pushing off the bottom like a torpedo across the length of the pool, completing water acrobatics.
Fiona was born six weeks early in January at just 29 pounds, well below the normal 55-110 pound birth weight for hippos. She weighed in at 166 pounds on Friday and turned three months old on Monday. 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. Credit: YouTube/Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens via Storyful