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    Administrator mykittysmama's Avatar
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    Fiona-Hippo born 6 weeks premature at Cininnati Zoo

    I have been following baby Fiona on twitter since she has born It is time I started a thread on her. She is having ups and downs and is not too well right now. We need lots of prayers for her.


    Wednesday, January 25, 2017

    The premature baby hippo born early yesterday morning, six weeks before her due date, remained stable overnight and is receiving around-the-clock intensive care from Zoo vets and animal care staff. Her mom, Bibi, is doing fine and, because of her experience standing still for ultrasounds, is allowing milk to be collected. Vets are adding mom’s milk to a fluid mixture that is being tube-fed to the baby. She is still too weak to stand but the nutrients she’s receiving should help her gain strength.


    “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France

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    Thursday, January 26, 2017

    Our two-day-old baby hippo, born six week early, is hanging in there. Her care team continues to give her 24-hour attention, which includes tube-feedings, vet checks and keeping her warm and moist. She is gaining some strength. This morning she got her first pool experience. Most hippos are born in the water, but they can’t actually swim. Pool time will help her build muscles and balance and maintain an optimal body temperature of 96-98 degrees.


    “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France

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    Friday, January 27, 2017

    The premature baby hippo is getting stronger thanks, in part, to nutrients she’s receiving from her mother’s milk. Because Bibi was conditioned to lean in and remain still for weekly ultrasounds throughout her pregnancy, she is comfortable walking into a chute and allowing milk to be collected. The calf’s care team, which includes vets, nursery and animal staff, give her mom’s milk first and supplement with formula prepared by the Zoo’s nutritionist.

    Some of Bibi’s milk will be saved, analyzed and added to the Smithsonian’s Milk Repository. Milk nutrient content changes over time. “Since we are able to get daily samples of Bibi’s millk, we have a rare opportunity to learn more about specific changes in this species,” said Zoo nutritionist Barbara Henry.


    “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France

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    Saturday, January 28, 2017

    The four-day-old hippo that was born six weeks early is making progress toward standing. She has gained almost four pounds since birth but is still about twenty pounds under the low end of a normal birth weight for a Nile hippo. Nursery and animal care staff are with the calf 24 hours a day providing warmth, nourishment and opportunities to exercise. They are making sure she gets plenty of rest and packing awake time with activities that will stimulate muscles and build strength. She is starting to support her weight for a few seconds at a time.

    “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France

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    Sunday, January 29, 2017

    Baby hippo got lots of sound sleep last night and was doing well in the pool this morning. Her care team has been supporting her with pool noodles in the water to help with balance. She was able to stand without the noodles, holding her own weight, and even dipped her face under water and blew bubbles. The six-week premature calf is still struggling with bottle feeding but has started to suckle a bit.

    “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France

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    Monday, January 30, 2017

    The fight to nurse our premature baby hippo to health continues. At this morning’s AM wellness check the zoo veterinarians found that the hippo baby’s glucose levels were low and her Ph levels were off. They have inserted an IV for fluids, dextrose, and supportive supplements as needed to get numbers up to where they should be. She has been gaining weight steadily since she was born, on January 24, but did not gain any weight since yesterday. It is not uncommon for premature babies to experience difficulty with digestion and regulating their metabolism. The animal care staff is adjusting her formula and supplements in order to aid with digestion. Her care team continues to work around the clock to help her stabilize and gain strength.

    “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France

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    Tuesday, January 31, 2017

    The Cincinnati Zoo’s week-old hippo calf will be called Fiona, which means “fair”.

    “Even though Fiona’s not out of the woods yet, every baby needs a name and her animal care team thought the name was a perfect fit for their “fair” little girl,” said Christina Gorsuch, curator of mammals at the Cincinnati Zoo. “They have been with her 24 hours a day and think this name suits her personality.”

    The calf arrived six weeks earlier than her expected March due date and has been receiving critical care from Zoo staff since vets determined that she was too weak to stand to nurse from mom, seventeen-year-old Bibi. She is being cared for in close proximity to mom and dad, Henry, so they can hear and smell each other.

    “She still has a long way to go before she’ll be strong enough to be reunited with her mom,” said Gorsuch. “She needs to learn how to nurse on her own, walk, swim and get a lot bigger.”

    “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France

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    Thursday, February 2, 2017

    Baby Fiona has a little more energy this morning and has shown some suckling response. Her care team received a package from the preemie team at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital that included signed superhero capes, a pre-filled baby book, a stuffed hippo, a beautiful note and much more. Thank you! Many of you have asked what you can do to help. We ask that you consider making a donation to help with the cost of 24-hour-a-day critical care.





    “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France

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    Friday, February 3, 2017

    Fiona continues to have a weak suckling response and her energy is low today. The premature baby hippo’s vet team is making sure she gets fluids and some mother’s milk every few hours via tube. The Zoo’s animal care team is working 24/7 to help Fiona gain weight and get stronger. Please continue to send positive vibes to Fiona and her care team.
    “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France

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    Saturday, February 4, 2017

    Fiona remains in stable condition today. To regulate her oxygen intake and minimize the dive reflex, caregivers position her chest to chest so she can feel normal breathing. Her premature lungs absorb CO2 when she holds her breath (dive reflex) and cause oxygen levels to dip.

    “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France

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    Sunday, February 5, 2017

    Encouraging news from hippo headquarters this morning. Fiona was active during the night and consumed a good amount of formula on her own! This video, taken by her animal care staff during the overnight shift, shows Fiona’s first steps! Keep the positive vibes coming!
    “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France

  12. #12
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    Monday, February 6, 2017

    Fiona had another good night and drank more from her bottle this afternoon than she has to date. She is now able to suckle both in and out of the water and is gaining weight. As of this morning, she was up to almost 37 pounds! Go #TeamFiona!







    “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France

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    Tuesday, February 7, 2017

    Fiona was up 1.7 pounds at this morning’s weigh in and is doing well with bottle feedings. She gets pool exercise 2-3 times per day to help her build strength and get the hang of diving, floating and breathing! A low dose of supplemental oxygen helps her premature lungs function properly.
    “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France

  14. #14
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    Wednesday, February 8, 2017

    Fiona continues to improve but still needs 24/7 care from vets, nursery, animal and nutrition staff. She needs O2 to make sure that the oxygen levels in her blood stay in the normal range. Thank you for your continued support to help cover the cost of her care and medical supplies. Donations are still welcome and needed.

    “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France

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    Thursday, February 9, 2017

    Hooray! Fiona continues to improve and gain weight. She’s hit the 40lbs mark!

    “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France

  16. #16
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    Friday, February 10, 2017

    Friday Fiona Fix. Fiona has graduated to a “big kid” pool and continues to make progress with her coordination in the water.

    “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France

  17. #17
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    Saturday, February 11, 2017

    Here with your Fiona Fix!

    “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France

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    Monday, February 13, 2017

    Fiona is teething which makes feeding time a little uncomfortable for her.

    “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France

  19. #19
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    Wednesday, February 15, 2017

    It’s Fiona’s first National Hippo Day and we are all celebrating the fact that she’s here. The three-week-old hippo has good days and bad days, just like most preemies, and the past couple of days have been rough. She is not taking the bottle well, possibly due to teething discomfort, and has not been gaining weight like she did last week. Her animal care team provides gum pain relief with topical numbing solution and frozen cloths. Please continue to send positive energy her way! #TeamFiona

    “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France

  20. #20
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    Thursday, February 16, 2017

    Dr. Jenny gives Fiona her morning check up. She gained almost a pound since yesterday but got most of her nutrition via tube. Hoping bottle feeding improves when tusks break through. She continues to get supplemental oxygen via nasal cannula. #TeamFiona

    “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France

  21. #21
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    Friday, February 17, 2017

    Fiona is still not showing much interest in her bottle and is lethargic. She is receiving fluids via tube feedings, so her weight gain is slight but fine. In addition to providing relief for her teething pain, vets are investigating other causes for her recent setback. Everyone at the Zoo is thankful for the love and support our community has shown us for the past three weeks. Please keep the positive energy flowing. #TeamFiona

    “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France

  22. #22
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    Cincinnati Zoo blog

    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
    “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France

  23. #23
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    Saturday, February 18, 2017

    Fiona took a bottle this morning and then fell asleep. The vet staff will tube feed if necessary, but we’re hoping that it’s not. She is receiving fluids via IV. #TeamFiona


    “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France

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    Fiona is adorable, thanks for starting this thread, kitty!

  25. #25
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    Cincinnati Zoo ‏@CincinnatiZoo 25m25 minutes ago

    Fiona is still getting fluids via IV and doing a little better on the bottle. Baby steps in the right direction! #TeamFiona


    “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France

  26. #26
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    Cincinnati's premie hippo gets help from human hospital

    Feb 20, 2017


    CINCINNATI — A baby hippo born six weeks early needed some extra help, so the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden called in some outside experts who know how to deal with premature babies — staff from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

    Baby Fiona was dehydrated and needed to get life-saving fluids via intravenous therapy. But that's a difficult task when such small veins are involved.

    “Preemies have very tiny and unstable veins, and even though our vet team was able to get multiple IVs placed, the veins could not sustain the IV and would blow,” zoo curator of mammals Christina Gorsuch said in a news release. “Lucky for us, we’re right next door to a world-class facility with a whole department dedicated to working with difficult veins.”

    She's referring to the Cincinnati Children’s Vascular Access Team. Two of its members brought sensitive ultrasound equipment to the zoo and placed an IV catheter in Fiona. It lasted about 30 minutes before the vein blew.

    But the second time was a charm. That IV catheter, placed in one of her deep leg veins, has been in place since Friday afternoon.

    Zoo vet staffers have been with Fiona around the clock to monitor it.

    “Five bags of fluid later, Fiona is showing signs of recovery,” Gorsuch said. “She is still sleeping a lot but has started to take bottles again and has periods of carefully supervised activity.”

    snipped

    Previously, Fiona was lethargic and not showing much interest in her bottle, a setback since her birth Jan. 24 when she weighed in at 29 pounds. Newborn hippos previously have weighed 55 to 120 pounds.


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    “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France

  27. #27
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    Cincinnati Zoo‏@CincinnatiZoo 11m11 minutes ago

    Hippos can open their mouths to a massive 150 degrees. Here is Fiona opening wide. Speaking of wide, she is now up to 54 pounds! #TeamFiona


    “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France

  28. #28
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    Feb 24, 2017

    One-month-old Fiona has outgrown two pools already! Now that her IV has been removed, vets have given her the okay to resume supervised pool time. Hippos don’t actually swim. They float and are able to hold their breath for long periods. Spending time in the pool will help Fiona build muscle and lung strength, keep her skin moist and let her act like a hippo! Her new pool, purchased with your donations, is set up close to mom and dad so she can hear and smell them. #TeamFiona


    “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France

  29. #29
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    “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France

  30. #30
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    Saturday, February 25, 2017


    Today’s Fiona Fix!


    “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France

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