Hip-hip-hooray! Baby hippo gets a name from viral voting and the Cincinnati Zoo
Cincinnati, Ohio - A new little hippo has been wowing the internet since he was born, but had remained nameless. Now, the online votes are in, and the Cincinnati Zoo has finally announced what the famous Fiona the hippo's baby brother will be called.
The baby hippo born at the Cincinnati Zoo on August 4 is the younger brother of Fiona, the famed hippo who caught animal lovers' attention when she was born six weeks premature in 2017.
Earlier this month, the zoo put her new blubbery baby brother's name to a public vote, to decide if he should go by "Fritz" or "Ferguson."
On Monday morning, the zoo took to Twitter to share that more than 200,000 votes came in, with 56% deeming the winning name: Fritz.
"The hippo keepers love the name and think it’s fitting since Bibi's birth control was apparently on the fritz," the zoo added of Fritz and Fiona's mom.
Staff at the Cincinnati Zoo discovered the calf’s mother, 23-year-old Bibi, was pregnant around April Fool’s Day. Her pregnancy was a surprise because Bibi was, in fact, on birth control.
Since Fritz's birth, the zoo has been posting adorable updates about the newborn to the delight of the internet. Most of the videos have more than 100,000 views. The little hippo wiggles his ears, swims, and even lets zookeepers massage his mouth.
"It’s exhausting being this adorable," they wrote.
Cincinnati Zoo is thrilled to introduce Fiona's little brother Fritz
The zoo first asked for name suggestions after the baby hippo was born and apparently got over 90,000 submissions. The zoo's team narrowed down the names to Fritz and Ferguson because "both sound great with 'Fiona!'"
Fiona became a star in 2017 when she was born early and weighed just 29 pounds. Bibi couldn't take care of the tiny hippo and was too weak to nurse, so zookeepers had to bottle-feed Fiona.
In stark contract, Fritz was 102 lbs just two weeks after birth, according to an Instagram update from the zoo.
Thus, zookeepers were especially excited to announce the full term healthy addition to their bloat – a group of hippos. Fritz and his mom should be returning to the bloat and ready to be debuted to the public in person soon.
Until then you can enjoy Fritz online, and celebrate over his new moniker!
Cover photo: college: screenshots/ Facebook/ Cincinnati Zoo