The Cincinnati Zoo’s baby hippo Fritz is taking another huge step as he’s begun his first introductions to his big sister Fiona — with their mother Bibi watching over them, of course.
New video from the zoo shows the two hippo siblings are now able to see and sniff each other from neighboring spaces in their indoor habitat. Bibi is exhibiting “model maternal behavior,” according to the zoo, as she’s seen closely supervising her new calf interacting with Fiona. So far, the zoo said there has been positive interaction between the hippo superstars.
Fritz became visible to the public Aug. 19 within Hippo Cove, the zoo’s outdoor hippo habitat. Bibi and Fritz are rotating time with Fiona and father Tucker as introductions continue to progress.
“Fritz has navigated the deepest part of the pool and Bibi has demonstrated that she will keep him safe,” said Christina Gorsuch, Cincinnati Zoo’s director of animal care. “They were unphased when staff came to get their first glimpse of the baby and we’re confident that they’re ready for their public debut.”
Prior to that, Fritz met the media for the first time in person Aug. 18.
Once Fritz and Fiona complete their sibling introductions and are comfortable and settled in together, Tucker will be able to rejoin and complete the family.
Fritz was born Aug. 3, and his birth was a stark contrast to Fiona’s, who was born six weeks premature. Two weeks after he was born, Fritz already weighed more than 100 pounds; it took Fiona eight weeks to reach that milestone.
Feeling the Fritz love? Jump into this 10-minute video of him living his best life with his momma:
By Molly Schramm, WCPO.