You probably heard about the preemie hippo, Fiona, from Cincinnati. Apparently, this preemie is becoming a celebrity. More and more people are trying to help this little animal from the Cincinnati Zoo. Even the Children’s Hospital decided to offer lifesaving support.
The employees from the zoo mentioned that the last month has been very difficult due to the fact that they had to focus on giving the best they can to keep the preemie hippo, Fiona. They mentioned that this experience has been like riding a rollercoaster.
There are some important factors that can help preemies survive and develop normally. The zoo keepers had to keep the temperatures between 97 and 100 F. They also kept the preemie close to its parents, not in the same room but close enough so that the preemie hippo could hear them.
The zoo keepers mentioned that they keep the temperature very high in order for their preemie hippo to benefit from a perfect incubator. This special room is going to be used until the animal is stable enough to be moved into a permanent housing that is going to be next to its dad and mom.
Normally, hippos spend most of the day in the water. The problem is that Fiona, the preemie hippo, is not ready to spend so much time in the pool. The zoo keepers mentioned that, once it is stable, the hippo will spend more time in the pool.
Due to the fact that Fiona spends too little time in the water, the zoo keepers need to keep its skin’s moisture. This is why the employees from the zoo have to apply lotion on Fiona’s skin every hour. They mentioned that this is the only way to prevent its skin from cracking. They mentioned that they are going to apply the lotion less and it will start to spend more time in the pool.
The zoo keepers mentioned that their hardest task was to feed the preemie hippo. Despite the fact that they had milk from the mother, it was not enough. They had to prepare a special milk formula for the preemie hippo. The employees have managed to look after Fiona for more than one month and it is starting to develop normally. Soon the hippo will be able to care for itself.
Image source: Wikipedia