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Fiona the Hippo snoozes underwater in Cincinnati Zoo


Bubble and sleep: Adorable moment hippo snores out bubbles as she takes an UNDERWATER nap in her tank

  • Fiona the Hippo was born six weeks premature in Cincinnati Zoo in January 2017
  • She is thought to be the smallest Nile hippo to survive, after being drip fed 
  • Hippos are able to sleep underwater and can hold their breath for five minutes 

Adorable footage has captured one of the smallest hippos ever born taking an underwater nap in her tank – and snoring out bubbles.

Fiona the four-year-old Nile hippo snuggled up against the glass at Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden in Ohio.

Named after the Shrek heroine because of her little ears, Fiona was born at the zoo in 2017 – six weeks premature. 

In the video she is seen snoozing with a stream of bubbles rising through the water to the surface.

Fiona, pictured, is world famous after she survived being born six weeks premature and  required groundbreaking levels of care involving nurses from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital 

Fiona was filmed having a snooze in her pool in Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Ohio, releasing a stream of bubbles

Fiona was filmed having a snooze in her pool in Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Ohio, releasing a stream of bubbles

Hippos can close their nostrils and hold their breath for more than five minutes while submerged, even sleeping underwater. 

The massive herbivores use a reflex which raises them up for a breath of air without waking up.  

Fiona is believed to be the smallest Nile hippo ever to survive. She became a global celebrity after she was born on January 24, 2017, weighing in at just 29lb. 

That is well below the average birth weight range of 55–120lbs 

Speaking last year, Cincinnati Zoo director Thayne Maynard said: ‘Fiona won the hearts of Cincinnatians when she fought to survive after being born six weeks early and terribly underweight. 

‘Three years later, people all over the world are still crazy about this normal, healthy hippo.’ 

He said: ‘She has taught us a lot.’ 

Amazingly, a hippo will automatically bob up to the surface to take another lungful of air while remaining soundly asleep

Amazingly, a hippo will automatically bob up to the surface to take another lungful of air while remaining soundly asleep 

A zoo staffer hand-milked her mother Bibi, and Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington helped develop a special formula. Nurses from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital were enlisted to put in a hippo IV.

He continued: ‘We were a nervous wreck every day.’ 

The zoo has released a book about Fiona to tell children about the against-the-odds story of survival. 

It also includes many hippo facts, including the fact they are herbivores, but can be dangerous to humans as they are fast and will weigh up to 5,000 pounds. 

He added: ‘Part of the zoo’s mission is public education. (The book) is reaching kids and families with a message of hope … never giving up.’ 

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