CINCINNATI – This could be the stuff of a soap opera. But in the animal kingdom, it barely raises an eyebrow.
Fiona, the most famous animal at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, has begun mating — with Tucker, who is basically her stepfather.
Fiona’s biological father, Henry, died several years ago. Fiona was born to Henry and Bibi in 2017, WCPO-TV reported.
Tucker has now turned his sights toward Fiona, but Cincinnati officials said that is not unusual.
“Fiona and Tucker are not related,” zoo spokesperson Michelle Curley told WCPO. “This is totally normal for hippos.”
Zoo officials said Fiona is now at the age where she is sexually mature. She is currently on birth control because the zoo is not ready to add another hippo, WLWT-TV reported.
“Fiona, and all hippos, are very aware of when they need to surface for a breath,” zoo officials said in a statement. “She can maneuver away from Tucker if she needs to.”
The feisty hippo was born on Jan. 24, 2017, at the Cincinnati Zoo, six weeks premature, according to WLWT. She weighed just 29 pounds; the normal range is between 55 and 120 pounds.
Time is running out for opportunities to see Fritz, Fiona, Bibi and Tucker at Hippo Cove, zoo officials said.
“Anytime it’s over 40 degrees and sunny, the hippos will be out here on exhibit, otherwise they’ll be back in their barn if it’s too cold,” Mark Tewes, the zoo’s Africa Department zookeeper, told WCPO.
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