Zookeepers at the Cincinnati Zoo have been working around the clock to help ensure the safety of a newborn hippopotamus.
Fiona the hippo was born on January 24, nearly six weeks early, and weighed in at just 29 pounds. (Traditionally, a newborn hippo weighs anywhere from 55 to 120 pounds.) Shortly after her birth, Fiona was separated from her parents -- she's getting special attention from the zoo until she can stand and nurse entirely on her own.
Fiona is kept just close enough to her mother so that they can hear and smell each other.
The tiny hippo calf has experienced bouts of low energy and fatigue.
Zookeepers will bottle-feed Fiona until she is able to nurse independently. During feeding time, carbon dioxide is absorbed into her lungs, causing her oxygen levels to dip.
Staff has been keeping her chest to chest so that she can feel what it's like to breathe normally.
Recently, Fiona’s health took a surprising turn for the better. Free from fatigue, the small hippo was able to stand and take her very first steps!
Since taking these steps, Fiona is said to be vastly improving and has also spent a good chunk of the night nursing on her own.
(via Daily Mail)