Ever since Fiona the hippo was born prematurely at Cincinnati Zoo she has had a huge fan following. Soon youngsters will be able to own a book telling her story, titled “Saving Fiona: Science, Social Media and the Story of a Baby Hippo.”

Fiona the internet phenomenon

As noted by the New York Daily News, ever since Fiona – who recently turned six months of age – was born she has been an online sensation. Her birth at the zoo saw her coming into the world six weeks early and very small, well below the birth weight of the average baby hippo. Her mother wouldn’t be able to cope with her upbringing, so zookeepers took up the job and while they didn’t really think the tiny hippo would make it, with the right care she not only pulled through but thrived.

The video included here was recently uploaded to celebrate her turning six months of age.

Zoo director is writing the book on Fiona

As the Cincinnati Enquirer quipped, the zoo pretty much “wrote the book” on how to hand raise a premature baby hippo, while being totally successful at it too. Now Thane Maynard, the director of the zoo, is writing the children’s book, telling Fiona’s story. This is not his first book, as he has already published a dozen books and also contributed to Jane Goodall’s book, “Hope for Animals and Their World” back in 2009.

Speaking of the book about Fiona, Maynard says she has a great story to tell, adding that the hippo herself is compelling, but that a large part of the story is the people who raised her.

Maynard also said that wherever he travels, people ask him about Fiona, saying he has been to Benin in West Africa, Rwanda, and Belize, so she definitely has a worldwide fan base. The Enquirer gave examples of her social media following, mentioning that just one Facebook post about Fiona was seen by 50 million people and videos posted of her are getting millions of views.

The book will be aimed at children of elementary school age and will contain loads of photos, along with simple and easy to read text. The story will cover every aspect of Fiona’s life, including her birth, various struggles she went through and the well-remembered time she met her parents, Bibi and Henry.

Book to be released two days before Fiona's birthday

Meanwhile, kids will have to wait a while, as “Saving Fiona: Science, Social Media and the Story of a Baby Hippo” will only be released on January 22, 2019, two days prior to Fiona’s second birthday. Maynard did say that his portion of the proceeds from the children’s book will go towards the zoo. Previously the proceeds of other Fiona-related items, including ice cream, beer, and playing cards, have also helped to cover the costs of the baby hippo’s care.

Meanwhile, Maynard said he is honored to write the book and that telling the hippo’s story is a wonderful way to attract interest from all ages in wildlife and its conservation. He rightly said people are inspired by individual animals and Fiona certainly is an inspiring hippo.

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