The zoo posted the celebration to social media for fans to follow along.
“We can’t invite people here to witness the race, but we will stream it live on Facebook and announce the winners as the apples cross the finish line,” said Cincinnati Zoo director Thane Maynard in a post on the zoo’s website. “Since she is the sweetheart of the city, several Zoo partners are offering Fiona-themed goodies to celebrate her birthday.”
All of the proceeds from the event will go to the Zoo’s Emergency Operating Fund, which was established last year to keep the zoo afloat amid shutdowns created by the coronavirus pandemic.
Fiona, weighing only 29 pounds at birth — 25 pounds less than the lowest recorded birth weight for her species — became a national sensation for her remarkable survival story. Since her birth, visitors of the Cincinnati Zoo have followed her story and fallen in love with the hippo, who has become one of the most charismatic icons of the zoo.
Now, weighing more than 1,500 pounds, Fiona the hippo is healthier than ever and officially approaching the hippo equivalent of her teenage years. In fact, Fiona has been receiving weekly love notes recently from Timothy, a 3-year-old hippo from San Antonio, on Facebook.