Fiona, the sweet baby hippo who was born prematurely at the end of January 2017 at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden was finally able to spend some time and get reacquainted with her mom Bibi. Fiona’s caretakers are keeping these visits short as Fiona was raised outside of Bibi’s care
A big milestone has been reached! Fiona and Bibi are now spending some time together in the same stall! Fiona has two points of exit when she and Bibi share space, and her care team supervises the short interactions. Bibi sits in a relaxed position while Fiona explores, and licks, her big body!
In a rather surprising move, Bibi let Fiona examine her mouth, a common signal of acceptance amongst hippos.
This interaction might make you nervous, but Fiona’s care team was happy to see Bibi patiently allowing Fiona to mouth her tongue, tusks and even the back of her throat. Bibi got down on the ground and offered her whole mouth for exploration! Hippos use their mouths to act tough, play, show affection, and explore the world around them (we think Bibi likes the mouth massage!)
Mother and daughter also spent some time swimming together in the outdoor pool.