Cincinnati Zoo to provide news media first look at Fiona

CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden has decided its popular baby hippo is ready for her close-up.

Fiona is making her news media debut Wednesday evening with cameras rolling as she navigates the 9-foot-deep Hippo Cove pool. The zoo emphasizes she isn’t ready for public display yet, but the media-only event is a step toward that.

Fiona was born Jan. 24, weighing just 29 pounds. She overcame health scares and now weighs more than 100 pounds.

Video updates such as Fiona taking a bottle, splashing in a pool or learning to run have drawn tens of millions of online views. Thousands have bought TeamFiona T-shirts, and thousands more have eaten Fiona-themed bakery treats.

A brewery plans to soon introduce a beer dedicated to her.