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Hippo Day

"Behold the hippopotamus!
We laugh at how he looks to us,
And yet in moments dank and grim,
I wonder how we look to him.
Peace, peace, thou hippopotamus!
We really look all right to us,
As you no doubt delight the eye
Of other hippopotami."

~The Hippopotamus, Ogden Nash (1902-1971)

Though this tartan shares no direct association with the hippopotamus and was recorded in the official register prior to 2002, its unique and delicate colouring inspired this pairing with one of the world's most followed and loved hippos, Fiona, the baby hippo born prematurely at the Cinncinnati Zoo on Jan 24, 2017, named for the fair sweetheart of the Shrek movie character (who has his own tartan), an ogre with Scottish origins. As the first Nile hippo imaged on ultrasound prenatally and the first born at the zoo in 75 years, Fiona arrived prematurely and was cared for with the assistance of the Cincinnati Children's Hospital. You can keep up with young Fiona and her family's doings here: https://cincinnatizoo.org/animals/hippopotamus/ 🦛

Though this tartan shares no direct association with the hippopotamus and was recorded in the official register prior to 2002, its unique and delicate colouring inspired this pairing with one of the world's most followed and loved hippos, Fiona, the baby hippo born prematurely at the Cinncinnati Zoo on Jan 24, 2017, and named for the sweetheart of the Shrek movie character (who has his own tartan), a cartoon character with Scottish origins.


The common hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius), or hippo, is a large, mostly herbivoroussemiaquatic mammal native to sub-Saharan Africa. It is one of only two extant species in the family Hippopotamidae, the other being the pygmy hippopotamus.  


The hippopotamus is among the most dangerous animals in the world as it is highly aggressive and unpredictable. They are threatened by habitat loss and poaching for their meat and ivory canine teeth.


The Latin word "hippopotamus" is derived from the ancient Greek for "horse of the river".  In English, the plural is "hippopotamuses", but "hippopotami" is also commonly used.  A group is called a pod, herd, dale, or bloat.

 

The name Fiona is a fairly recent one, first used by the Scottish poet James Macpherson (1736–96), author of the Ossian poems.  The name is considered to be a Latinised form of the Gaelic word fionn, meaning "white" or "fair."


Fiona is a hippopotamus born at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States, on January 24, 2017. The first Nile hippo imaged on ultrasound pre-natally and the first born at the zoo in 75 years, she arrived prematurely and was cared for with the assistance of the Cincinnati Children's Hospital.


Zoo staff named the baby hippo Fiona because her ears made them think of a Shrek heroine, and also because the name means "fair".  Fiona took her first steps on February 5, and weighed 275 pounds (125 kg) by May 31, when she was introduced to the media.  On her first birthday, January 24, 2018, she weighed more than 655 pounds (297 kg) and by December 26th, 2018, she weighed slightly over 1,000 pounds. 


In 2018 Fiona's character appeared in Cincinnati Ballet's production of Nutcracker, played by a 6'4" dancer, and "stole the show."


To follow Fiona's adventures, click her baby picture to see the hippopotamus section of the Cinncinatti Zoo!