Fritz or Ferguson?
After filtering through over 90,000 name suggestions for Fiona the hippo's new baby brother, the animal care team at the Cincinnati Zoo has come down to two names: Fritz and Ferguson.
"Both sound great with Fiona!" the zoo said in their announcement. Previously, zoo officials were collecting name suggestions from the public via an online form.
Th baby hippo's name contest news comes one week after his birth on Aug. 3.
"He's amazing," Labarbara added, as some recent footage of the newborn played on the NBC morning show. "He's doing so well. He's so strong. Just staying right with his mom and doing everything we want a baby hippo to do. He's swimming and just doing great."
In a release on Monday, Christina Gorsuch — the Cincinnati Zoo's director of animal care — gave an update on the calf.
"We're just happy that the calf is healthy. The sex didn't matter much to the hippo team, but it will be interesting to observe and compare the behavioral differences between a hand-raised girl and a mom-raised boy," Gorsuch said. "Will this calf be as comfortable with humans as Fiona is? Will he be less independent? Will he love cameras?"
As for how the calf is doing with its mother?
"Bibi and the baby are doing great together. They are inseparable, which is why it took almost five days to be sure about the sex," said Gorsuch. "They will continue to bond inside for another week or two. Fiona and Tucker [the new calf's father] are outside, so visitors will still be able to see hippos when they come to the Zoo."
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Zoo members have access to live cams in the outdoor habitat and can watch the action in Hippo Cove from 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. daily, the zoo said in a release. Plenty of hippo updates are made daily on the zoo's Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube accounts.
When Fiona was born in 2017, she only weighed 29 pounds, 25 pounds less than the lowest ever record weight for her species. Ahead of her sibling's arrival, Fiona celebrated one of her own accomplishments.
"Fiona finally hit 2,000 pounds! She weighed in at 2,036 pounds this morning!" the zoo shared on Instagram in July. "We're so proud of how far she has come! 🦛🎉🎉🎉 #TeamFiona"