It’s January, it’s cold, and the one place you might not want to be is at the Cincinnati Zoo unless you’re ready for an amazing celebration.
This is a month of celebration for a special animal that is one of the main attractions at the zoo. Fiona the Hippopotamus will turn four years old this month and the zoo is celebrating all month long. While it seems that the turning of age for a hippo might not be such a big deal, this one certainly is.
Why is Fiona so Special
Fiona was born at the Cincinnati Zoo on January 24, 2017. This seems a bit unremarkable, but the fact that she was six weeks premature makes her survival a special story. Fiona weighed in at only 29 pounds when she was born, which is 25 pounds less than the smallest hippo birth on record, which meant she would need special care.
Survival was a Priority at the Cincinnati Zoo
Without the team surrounding her, Fiona might not have survived for very long at all. In fact, had Fiona been born in the wild, she certainly would have not made it past a few days. Because of the amazing staff at the zoo, she was given a fighting chance. They made her survival a priority and now Fiona will celebrate her fourth birthday this month.
Going from Premature to Fully Grown
While Fiona came into this world at a paltry weight, she has thrived at the zoo and now weighs a healthy weight of more than 1,500 pounds. This makes here simply another very healthy hippo, but her start was one that tells the story of an animal and a team that wouldn’t give up and came through with flying colors to enjoy a great life in this amazing zoo.
Taking the Month to Shine
The now world-famous Fiona the Hippo will be the center of attention throughout the month of January. The culmination of her attention will take place on her birthday with a contest that anyone can enter and enjoy. This contest is fitting because it features one of Fiona’s favorite foods and something we all associate with the species that is the center of the celebration at the zoo.
Join the Social Distanced Fun at the Cincinnati Zoo
Because of the need to continue social distancing, the team at the zoo has come up with a way to celebrate Fiona’s birthday and raise some money through social media. The zoo is hosting a fundraiser named Float4Fiona which will be a floating apple race that can be purchased online. Each apple will have a number on it and be placed into Hippo Cove to float from one side to the finish line.
A Wonderful Prize for the Winner
The winner of the Float4Fiona fundraiser race will get to bring three guests to meet Fiona. This could be a great trip for the winner to enjoy with some family members later in the year. Anyone not able to travel to meet the hippo can choose a private video chat and custom-made hippo kiss painting in lieu of the personal appearance with the celebrated star of the show.
More Cool Prizes from the Cincinnati Zoo
There will be prizes awarded for the first four places that cross the finish line. The other three finishers to cross in second, third, and fourth place will receive limited-edition Fiona kiss prints. Imagine hanging this print in your home and getting to tell your friends and family what it is and how you won such a prize. It’s almost as cool as the leg lamp featured in A Christmas Story.
Where Will the Money Go?
All proceeds from the Float4Fiona fundraiser will go to the Zoo’s Emergency Operating Fun which helps to keep the facility open when hard times hit. This fun was instrumental in maintaining the animals after the closure of 2020 took place when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Apples were the chosen food because Fiona loves them and the zoo animals eat nearly 15,000 pounds of apples every year.
Buy Your Apples Now
You can purchase apples through January 20 at midnight and be part of the race. The race will be broadcast via livestream on Facebook for all to see at 9:00 AM on January 24. Get in on the action and enjoy the spotlight for a hippo that almost didn’t make it. It’s Fiona’s birthday and it’s time to celebrate with the Cincinnati Zoo and get 2021 started off the right way.