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In this photo provided by the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden a zoo employee swaddles a female Nile hippopotamus calf born to 17-year-old mother Bibi and 35-year-old father Henry Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017, six weeks before the anticipated March 2017 due date, at the zoo in Cincinnati. Cincinnati Zoo staffers are providing critical care to the prematurely born baby hippo which is the first Nile hippo born there in 75 years. (Michelle Curley/Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden via AP)

Watch the Cincinnati Zoo's premature hippo, Fiona, take her first steps


They have been with her 24 hours a day and think this name suits her personality.
Christina Gorsuch with the Cincinnati Zoo

A baby hippo born prematurely at the Cincinnati Zoo finally has a name -- Fiona -- and took her first steps overnight, zoo officials said Sunday. 

Fiona got her name, which means "fair," from the zoo's animal care team, which has been watching after her since she was born six weeks early to her parents, Bibi and Henry.   

Premature Baby Hippo Takes First Steps - Cincinnati Zoo

WATCH  | Here's a look at Fiona taking her first steps overnight. 

Zoo staff said Fiona was active during the night and ate a good amount of formula on her own. "Keep the positive vibes coming!" staff wrote on the zoo's blog

Although Fiona has met several major milestones, Gorsuch said the baby hippo has a long way to go before she's strong enough to be reunited with her mom. 

“She needs to learn how to nurse on her own, walk, swim and get a lot bigger," Gorsuch said at the end of January. Fiona weighed just 29 pounds at birth, which is much lower than the normal birth rates for her species, which range from 55 to 120 pounds, according to USA Today.

But the little one isn't far from her family. Gorsuch said she is close enough to hear and smell her mom and dad. 

Fiona can't nurse just yet, but because Bibi was conditioned to lean in and remain still for weekly ultrasounds throughout her pregnancy, she's still comfortable walking into a chute and allowing the baby's care team to collect milk. 

Fiona's care team has been giving her Bibi's milk first and then supplementing it with a formula prepared by the zoo's nutritionist, according to the zoo's blog. 

The zoo will be posting updates on Fiona's condition to its Facebook page.

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