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This Baby Hippo Born 6 Weeks Early Is Working As Hard As She Can To Stand Up

The hippo born prematurely at Cincinnati Zoo is getting around-the-clock care as she tries to gain strength.

Originally posted on
Updated on

The baby has gained almost 4 pounds since birth, but according to the zoo, she is still about 20 pounds under the low end of a normal birth weight of 55 to 120 pounds for a Nile hippo.


She gets plenty of rest, but when she's awake, zoo staff pack her time with activities to promote the development of her muscles so she can start standing, and walking, on her own.

View this video on YouTube

Until she's up to speed and can support her own weight, the zoo said the baby hippo is getting around-the-clock care to make sure she stays warm and moist, and continues to gain strength.

UPDATE: The zoo shared this footage of the baby hippo taking her first un-aided steps on Feb. 5!

Encouraging news from hippo headquarters! This video, taken by animal care staff overnight, shows Fiona's 1st steps…

Jason Wells is deputy news director for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

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