Bibi on ‘birth watch’ as Cincinnati Zoo preps for Fiona’s sibling

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Soon Cincinnati Zoo’s Fiona the hippo will become a big sister.

The zoo said on its Facebook that Fiona’s mother Bibi’s last ultrasound showed her fetus was larger than Fiona was she was born.

While Bibi weighs more than 3,000 pounds, she needs the same ultrasound scans human moms need. Veterinarian Julie Barnes showed our news partners at WCPO the process.

The care team trained the mama hippo to lean against a railing while eating romaine lettuce. Barnes swoops in with an ultrasound wand.

“It’s amazing,” Barnes told WCPO. “Not many people can say they’ve ultrasounded a hippo.”

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The hippo team at the zoo believes that the baby will be due within the normal birth window. For a hippo, this is usually 30 days before or after their due date, according to the zoo.

Bibi’s due date is August.

Since Fiona’s had a difficult early life, Barnes said when the calf arrives she will finally be able to breathe.

“My gosh, we’re gonna all have a celebration after that — as will the rest of Cincinnati, I’m sure,” Barnes said.

A “Zoo Volunteer Observer” will keep watch on Bibi from 5 p.m.-7 a.m. by video stream to look for any signs of labor.

Fiona, Bibi and male hippo Tucker can all be found at Hippo Cove at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden.