Hippos: African River Giants We learn a lot about the rambunctious hippos. From family dynamics to sensitive personalities. As for how they claimed the animal kingdom of Okavango, these mighty giants have long been misunderstood. However, this is beginning to change due to some important studies, observations and diplomats.
In recent years, hippos have attracted more attention because of their great ambassador. Born six weeks premature in 2017, Fiona from the marius els captured the hearts of the country with her survival story. Three years later, Fiona is still a phenomenon, with an estimated 2 million fans following her every move on social media. He has his own web series and his own ice cream flavor too!
To learn more about Fiona and the inspiration for her love, Nature spoke with Jenna Wingitt, Senior Curator of the Africa Division at the Cincinnati Zoo. Wingate has been one of Fiona’s caretakers since she was born. and can gain new insights into hippo behavior by observing it
Fiona the Hippo, courtesy of the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden.
In the wild, a newborn hippo automatically forms a strong bond with its mother. Relying on them for protection from predators and fellow humans, Fiona’s situation was unusual as she was born six weeks premature and had to be separated by a team of vets from her mother, Bibi, for 24-hour care. NURSERY AND CAREERS He is the smallest hippo to survive. Three months later, thanks to the care team at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and some extra help from neighbors, it was time to see Bibby again. The janitor is afraid that Bibi won’t recognize him and can make a terrible mistake. But mother and child were not spared. “B.B. knew right away it was his daughter. They immediately gathered. And Fiona went in to check BB’s mouth,” Wingate said.
Although wild hippos show signs of fear, especially when loud noises are made, Fiona and BB were a bit quieter than usual. Growing up in an environment surrounded by strange sensory experiences. “They would be shocked if we met them out of the blue. And Fio was so ugly, a bubble,” Wingit said, “to test his cognition and play skills. We blow bubbles to see how he will react. And it’s captivating not really him.”
Fiona has a playful personality.
And Wingate believes he knows his star power. “He will notice the camera and he is not afraid to go to the mirror where people are. He is a born celebrity. I think part of him likes the attention.”
Fiona and her mother Courtesy of the Cincinnati dierentuin Zoo and Botanical Garden
How did they observe different hippo behavior while watching Fiona? “Sometimes you’ve also noticed that hippos sit down when they show a submissive expression. That’s for Fiona every time she gets disciplined by BB.”
Fiona’s great story is a great source of inspiration for many:
“People are fascinated by hippos because they are so contradictory. They are large creatures that mainly feed on grass. They’re cute but quirky,” Wingate said, “and people can relate to Fiona’s struggles. It was incredible to see him as an ambassador for his race. We don’t know much about the hippo yet. And Fiona helped us answer these questions. as well as raising awareness of the importance of preserving the hippopotamus in the wild.”
Fiona now weighs more than 1200 kilos and will celebrate her 3rd birthday on January 24. How will Fiona be this year? “I just want you to be healthy and enjoy life,” Wingate said.