Fiona Update: Unplugged


Fiona the preemie hippo at the Cincinnati Zoo passed another milestone late last week. After removing her from IV fluids some time back, the zoo has removed her supplemental oxygen tubes as well.

This is an important step, explains the zoo’s Wendy Rice, because hippos must learn how to hold their breath in order to nurse, sleep and generally live normal hippo lives.

With the oxygen tubes removed, Fiona is free to practice her underwater skills as she prepares for entry into the hippo family.

Thanks to Sharon G. for the update!

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18 thoughts on “Fiona Update: Unplugged

  1. Haha March 14, 2017 / 8:37 am

    Her look has really matured when pictures are compared next to each other that way. Grow Fiona Grow! 🙂

    All the members of Cutetropolis who reside in the eastern part of the US, stay safe and enjoy the pretty white snow!

  2. Ricky's Mom March 14, 2017 / 9:27 am

    It’s very pretty at the moment. It will be a mess and a miserable nuisance within two days at the latest, but right now it’s very pretty indeed. Ricky is unimpressed. He is not a lover of the wet-and-cold, or the cold-and-wet either, if it comes to that. Also, he’s too short to see out the windows.

    • allein 🌼 March 14, 2017 / 9:49 am

      Rain/sleet and lots of wind (reminiscent of Hurricane Sandy at the moment, actually…) Which is not keeping the birds away from the feeder in my parents’ backyard. Though at the moment there are two who are wisely hiding in an opening in the overhang outside the window I’m sitting next to.

      Driveway is still full of snow, though. Fingers crossed it rains enough to wash it away cuz it’s gonna weigh a ton.

      And yay for Fiona!

    • Laura March 14, 2017 / 5:47 pm

      No snow here, but just lovely cool temps — well, cool for here. I stopped at the store and it was 66F (19C), and a lady walking out gave a dramatic shiver and said, “It’s COLD!” I actually managed to not laugh at her. I was very proud of myself. 😀

      Everyone stay safe and warm, please!

  3. Emmberrann March 14, 2017 / 10:16 am

    Yippee for Fiona! Another big step forward!

  4. Murray C. March 14, 2017 / 10:33 am

    YAY Fiona, indeed, plucky little hippo.

    Here it’s snowing/sleeting like mad, really ugly out there, ice on the car windows, huge gusts of wind. I shudder what spring is going to be like – already lost the buds on early blooming hydrangea, winter hazel, etc. Pretty depressing.

    Happy to have a safe haven in Cutetropolis where the winds are fair, the sun shines and peace reigns (not rains!) Our little spot of heaven on earth.

    • DebG March 14, 2017 / 10:47 am

      I probably shouldn’t mention that we’re expected to hit the early 80s in Colorado by the weekend. Stay safe, all Cutetropolitans affected by the tail-end of winter!

    • tara March 14, 2017 / 11:28 am

      Oh Beautiful cowl DebG! And isn’t Ursula gorgeous. Love the story too.

    • Emsthemonster March 14, 2017 / 2:36 pm

      The cowl looks great and the cats are wonderful. If I remember well, we have seen 2 beautiful Weasleycats and now Sevi and Ursula. Debg’s other cats – if you also read Cutetropolis – please pose for Debg’s camera, we would like to see the whole family as well 🙂

    • AB March 14, 2017 / 3:30 pm

      Neat! I might get that for my mother in law who is an excellent knitter. Ursula looks so much like my dear departed silver tabby that I teared up seeing her!

    • fkaWaldenPond March 14, 2017 / 10:23 pm

      Awww Deb! what a great story how you and Ursula came together. 🙂 Thank you for sharing. I am thinking of picking knitting again…

  5. Flowerfanatic March 14, 2017 / 10:58 am

    Love the cowl, Deb. Loved your story also!! I think Mom Cat REALLY thanked you for caring for her and her family but just didn’t know how to let you know. And, Dear Ursula, you’ve got no idea how precious and special you’ve been all these years. You and my almost 20 year old rescue kitty could trade stories I’m sure.

    And that’s wonderful news about Fiona. I didn’t know she was still getting O2. We’ve seen her in her pool knowing exactly how to open and close her nose when under water. I hadn’t seen any O2 tubing anywhere.

    • DebG March 14, 2017 / 11:21 am

      Thanks! I didn’t tell the part about Mama Cat’s last goodbye: after I brought the kittens inside, she spent the night howling on the porch. Then the next day, while I was sitting in the living room with them watching TV, she jumped up and clung to the window screen. I swear that she saw her babies, realized they were okay, and stopped worrying. I never saw her again after that day.

  6. Ricky's Mom March 14, 2017 / 11:01 am

    BTW, folks, the full blog posts on Fiona at are chock-full of really interesting information about premature hippos and their care. Whoever writes those posts is doing a great job at making the scientific parts accessible to the layperson. And also … Fiona! Fiona! Rah! Rah! Rah!

  7. Duckie 🐥 March 14, 2017 / 12:29 pm

    I have totally lost my heart to Fiona.
    And between Fiona, April Giraffe, the robin outside my window every morning at four, and the wretched rodent squirrels going at it in the evergreens, I’m up to my ears in (potential) babies!

  8. Duckie 🐥 March 14, 2017 / 9:30 pm

    Fiona checked out her “howdy” pen today, and discovered her reflection!

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