How Fiona became a social media star

It's been almost six months since she was born, but baby Fiona has already made a name for herself all over the internet.

The hippo was born premature and only weighed 29 pounds, when full-term baby hippos weigh 55-120 pounds at birth. From the minute she was born, a care team at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden gave her round-the-clock care, and she pulled through. 

They started posting daily updates on Fiona, and when she was past the critical point, the zoo made an announcement that they would stop giving daily updates. Almost immediately, people started commenting on the social media posts that they wanted those daily updates, so they continued.

It seems Fiona came at just the right time, both for the nation and for the zoo. She arrived just after Inauguration Day, and it was just last year that the zoo had to make the decision to shoot and kill one of its Silverback Gorillas, Harambe, after a child fell into the gorilla enclosure and was in danger.

The country's favorite little hippo is now over 350 pounds, and she's finally reunited with her parents, Bibi and Henry. Although she's still not on a regular viewing schedule, it's highly likely you'll see her during your next visit to the zoo. 

Read the full NPR story and take a peek at some of Fiona's social media posts here.

Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.