Newborn hippo's wobbly first steps

 

She's finally able to stand up! Born six weeks premature, baby Fiona, the newborn hippo at the Cincinnati Zoo has struggled to breathe, much less walk.

But since her arrival on January 24, she's grown stronger every day – with zookeepers thrilled to release a video this week of the little one finally taking her very first, wobbly steps.

Baby Fiona is getting stronger every day. Source: Cincinnati Zoo

Fiona weighed in at just 13kg at birth, compared with an average weight of 25kg.

The zoo has cared for Fiona, who only received her name days ago after she made it out of the extreme danger zone. And while she's still not 100% yet, "every baby needs a name," a rep for the zoo said.

This week, she finally managed to take her first steps. Source: YouTube/Cincinnati Zoo

Zookeepers hold Fiona close to their chests to help regulate her breathing.

Can we have a hippo hug, please? Source: Twitter/Cincinnati Zoo

"To regulate her oxygen intake and minimize the dive reflex, caregivers position her chest to chest so she can feel normal breathing," Fiona's caretakers wrote on the zoo's blog.

"Her premature lungs absorb CO2 when she holds her breath (dive reflex) and cause oxygen levels to dip."


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