If you spent any time at all online last year, you might recall one extra-special social media star whose story stole hearts all around the world. That’s right, I’m talking about Fiona, the adorable baby hippo who catapulted to fame last January when she was born prematurely at the Cincinnati Zoo.
Now the world’s cutest hippo is taking over headlines once again, and it’s for the best reason possible: her first birthday.
When Fiona was born on Jan. 25, 2017 — a full six weeks before she was due in March — she weighed a mere 29 pounds. That might seem like a hefty amount for a newborn, but most baby hippos weigh at 55 to 120 pounds at birth, so her carers weren’t certain that Fiona would make it.
Fiona received round-the-clock care from staff at the zoo, and fans from around the world watched her progress from a tiny hippo who needed constant care into an active, playful 600 pound member of the zoo. (She’s expected to weigh 3,000 pounds when she reaches full-size!) During her first year of life, Fiona kissed a little girl (through the glass, of course) and even photobombed a marriage proposal.
With that long — and sometimes stressful — journey in mind, it’s no wonder the Cincinnati Zoo is pulling out all the stops for Fiona’s birthday. Here’s a picture of a festive Fiona next to her birthday cake (made of fruit, of course), and it might just be the cutest thing ever:
— Cincinnati Zoo (@CincinnatiZoo) January 25, 2018
The zoo also announced that it would continue on with its beloved “The Fiona Show” on Facebook. The first episode of season two gives fans a peek at Fiona’s birthday party. (Spoiler alert: It’s mostly Fiona really getting into her birthday cake. It’s totally adorable.) You can watch all seven episodes, plus the Christmas episode, of “The Fiona Show” from season one on Facebook, too.
Here’s to Fiona turning one-year old — and helping spread awareness about conserving habitats for hippos around the world!