Of the few genuinely wholesome things to have captivated the world since January 2017, Fiona is up there with the best of them.
Born six weeks premature on Jan. 24, 2017, the Cincinnati Zoo’s young hippopotamus child was a beacon of delight during a particularly dark moment in American history. She’s been with us ever since, and now she’s celebrating four years of life.
Happy birthday, Fiona!
The zoo rang in Fiona’s latest birthday in much the same way it has every other year: With cake, pictures, video, and a charity drive. That means there’s all sorts of adorable media for you to gawk at as you wish this very special hippo a very special day.
Fiona quickly became a national sensation when she was first born, due to both her touching story and the fact that baby hippos really are quite adorable. Plus, 2017 was a stressful year for at least half the country and Fiona offered us a blessed escape.
We aww‘ed in delight as she reconnected with her parents six months after she was born. We cheered for the friends she made her absolute gracefulness. And we heaved sighs of relief when, just shy of her third birthday, Fiona finally tipped the scales at 1,000 pounds.
The weight milestone was especially important because, as a premature birth, there were doubts as to whether she’d survive at all and what her long-term outlook was for living a happy, quality life. Maybe it was luck, or Fiona’s spirit, or just the collective intensity of our hope that one good thing could survive 2017.
Whatever it was that kept her going, we’re richer for it. Fiona is officially turning four years old as we all come to grips with the possibility of a brighter future ahead. Happiest of birthdays to you, sweet hippo.