Fiona, I love you.
If you’ve been living under a soundproof rock without WiFi for the past nine months, you disgust me and I truly feel very sorry for what your life has become.
The rest of us have been ogling over Fiona, a baby hippopotamus who resides at Cincinnati Zoo.
From a PR point of view, what Cincinnati Zoo has done with their 2017 is remarkable. They’ve quelled the incessant ‘RIP Harambe’ interactions online by giving us something else to pine over: Fiona.
On Tuesday January 26, 2017, a baby hippo named Fiona prematurely entered this world and has brought us nothing but joy ever since.
If you’ve missed out on her progress to date, allow me to bring you up to speed.
Fiona’s first splash in the pool was every bit as clumsy as you’d expect
Fiona had no interest in getting into the pool. At this stage, she was two days old. Fiona just wanted to laze around and get fed every 2-3 hours. What Fiona didn’t want was a frightening introduction to a body of water. The entire concept was extremely alien to her. Fiona gave zero fucks about the pool. It was a puny paddling pool that your loud neighbours sit in during the summer with 1cm of water to prevent any drownings.
Fiona wanted to either sit around doing nothing or go swimming in a proper pool. That’s the face of a hippo who’s hungry for the world, not this shitshow of a glimpse into how life can be. “Terrific, I have been plonked into a shallow pool of water. I’m so thrilled to have been born six weeks early for this”, she’s blatantly thinking.
Fiona’s first steps were breathtaking
— Cincinnati Zoo (@CincinnatiZoo) February 5, 2017
She’s got a personality that won’t sit and an ass that doesn’t quit and that’s our Fiona. Her first steps came in February when she stumbled carefully towards a wall. She was quivering with trepidation, but beneath lay a confidence that can’t be denied.
Fiona was going places in February. You can smell it. She was destined for greatness. Fiona wasn’t content with festering in her own fecal matter all day. She has places to go and people to see.
Fiona hit 40lbs!!!!!
— Cincinnati Zoo (@CincinnatiZoo) February 9, 2017
We all remember where we were when we learned that Fiona had reached 40lbs. I was in work, writing an important article about what the shade of your tea says about you, when it was push notified to my phone that Fiona the hippo had hit almost 3 stone in weight.
It’s a huge milestone for anyone, hippo or otherwise. I, among others, am very glad to have been able to receive this information in realtime, surrounded by the ones that I love. After the news sank in, we learned that Cincinnati Zoo’s updates would become less regular, but we never lost hope.
When Fiona was teething, it felt like we were all teething with her
— Cincinnati Zoo (@CincinnatiZoo) February 13, 2017
Her teeth were coming through at the same time we were all coming to the realisation that Fiona is the most important person on earth right now. She was in pain, as were we in solidarity. Fiona couldn’t see the light. Sure, she’d be able to prepare food for digestion with great ease once her teeth kicked in, but how do you explain that to a baby hippo? You simply cannot. No amount of heartfelt letters or reassuring tweets could put her at ease, but Fiona soldiered on because she is a beacon of light in these damning times.
FIONA GRADUATED TO HER MOTHAFUCKEN BIG GIRL BOTTLE!!!
— Cincinnati Zoo (@CincinnatiZoo) March 1, 2017
YES BITCH! SLAY QUEEN, ETC. On 1st March this year, Fiona went from a small girl bottle to a big girl bottle. This followed her milestone of reaching 63lbs in weight the day before, which silenced those wondering whether she deserved the bigger bottle of milk or not. Clearly, our girl earned that big bottle. Look at the milk all over her mouth. She is a silly little girl but that is precisely why she is a national treasure.
Fiona read our fan letters because she loves us as much as we love her
— Cincinnati Zoo (@CincinnatiZoo) March 4, 2017
Show of hands from everyone that has sent fan mail to Fiona the baby hippo? Cool, just me. I wrote to Fiona because she is important and I fancied a mammal pen pal for a bit of a change. We’re led to believe by the above image that Fiona has the ability to read, which begs the question: Has she read Harry Potter? The Da Vinci Code? Anything by Jacqueline Wilson? I refuse to believe that she hasn’t, the old dawg. Fiona you are an angel among mortals. Please respond to my letter or I will go full Eminem Stan on you. I’m sorry.
Fiona finally got to swim in a proper heckin’ pool
— Cincinnati Zoo (@CincinnatiZoo) April 25, 2017
That flimsy little paddling pool was never going to sate her appetite for adventure, we all knew it. Thankfully, on 25 April 2017, Fiona got to fulfil her dreams of getting to waddle about in a proper swimming pool. She flopped around at first, then quickly found her sea legs. Fiona isn’t just a cute face, she’s also an aspiring Olympic athlete. With the right amount of training and determination, Fiona hopes to compete in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. You go girl!
Fiona proudly displayed her curves, doing wonders for body positivity worldwide
— Cincinnati Zoo (@CincinnatiZoo) May 12, 2017
Those luscious chins aren’t going to dote on themselves, so Fiona proudly displayed them for the camera in such a way that suggests she’s thinking ‘I am both large and in charge, bitches’. Strangely, multiple chins used to be frowned upon in society, but that’s all changed since Fiona made them cool. In the following weeks and months after this image circulated on the internet, there was an increase in double chins being sported worldwide. She is a trendsetter, but most importantly, she is our precious Fiona.
Fiona revealed herself to be a fan of The Rolling Stones
— Cincinnati Zoo (@CincinnatiZoo) May 19, 2017
You might be familiar with The Rolling Stones’ compilation album Forty Licks, with which the artwork consists of a very similar pose to Fiona’s efforts above. She proudly displayed her fondness for their melodies by paying tribute to the iconic cover. Fiona’s favourite Stones tracks are Under My Thumb (which we all are), Love Is Strong (for Fiona) and Honky Tonk Women. Her favourite band member is Keith Richards because she admires a man that can pull off wearing eyeliner, especially at 73.
Awwwwww!! Fiona’s Mum tried to eat her!!!
This interaction might make you nervous, but Fiona's care team was happy to see Bibi patiently allowing Fiona to mouth her tongue & tusks! pic.twitter.com/sKyWGdkcUv
— Cincinnati Zoo (@CincinnatiZoo) June 12, 2017
We’re assured by Cincinnati Zoo that this interaction was completely safe, but it looks to me like Fiona’s mum was sizing up her head for dinner. ‘Sure honey, you can sniff around my mouth, just pop your whole head in there so I can see if it fits’. Sound familiar? Then you may be in danger of getting eaten by your mum. Tread carefully. Mums are notorious baby eaters, particularly in the hippo community. If you or a loved one is in danger, don’t hesitate to seek help immediately.
Fiona got a boyfriend and they are in love so deal with it
— Cincinnati Zoo (@CincinnatiZoo) July 8, 2017
#CoupleGoals am I right? In June of this year, we learned that Fiona had found love. The unidentified fish pictured above was captured giving his love a kiss. It’s unknown how long the pair had been courting, but their connection is undeniable. Those are the faces of two ecstatic sea creatures that are deeply in love. Although Fiona was only six months old at the time, it’s never too early to find love. If things go well, these lovebirds could be married by the new year.
Fiona flaunted her growing curves for the fans once again
— Cincinnati Zoo (@CincinnatiZoo) August 21, 2017
They won’t always show you this in the media because it’s not “conventionally attractive”, but this is what a real hippo looks like because real hippos have curves. They are hungry, but they are also happy. Fiona reached a staggering 451lbs in August and it shows. Her neck rolls are coming in nicely, her belly is sure to keep her warm for the impending winter and those stumpy little legs are everything a girl could dream of. You won’t see this in the fake news, but this is real beauty.
Fiona proved herself to be a lucrative businesswoman
— Cincinnati Zoo (@CincinnatiZoo) September 29, 2017
Fiona isn’t stupid, she knows that there’s quite a bit of interest around her. Rather than provide Cincinnati Zoo with a welcome distraction to all the ‘RIP Harambe’ hate, she’s out to make a quick buck just like the rest of us. It’s impossible to be mad at her for selling out because, at the end of the day, a girl’s gotta eat.
Fiona had a good 2017, but she’s going to have a stellar 2018 once those calendar sales come into play. It makes perfect sense, you need to strike while the iron is hot. Give the people what they want. If Fiona wants to charge us all $16.99 to look at her for another year, then so be it.
Fiona, thank you for bringing light and life into this godforsaken world. God bless you, you beautiful little plump bitch.