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Famous hippo Fiona nears 1st birthday after up-and-down year

December 27, 2017
FILE - In this Nov. 2, 2017, file photo, Fiona, a Nile hippopotamus plays in her enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, in Cincinnati. The zoo said Fiona will soon eat nothing but grown-up hippo food as she’s weaned from her bottles of formula. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

CINCINNATI (AP) — The Cincinnati Zoo plans to celebrate the first birthday of its famous baby hippo, Fiona, with special treats and a visit by specialists from a children’s hospital who helped her survive after her premature birth.

Fiona turns 1 on Jan. 24. The zoo will celebrate a bit early on Jan. 20, with events including cake and ice cream for visitors and question-and-answer sessions with Fiona’s caretakers.

Fiona had a rollercoaster first year, from battling early health complications to becoming a social media star and the subject of several books. The zoo says Fiona can’t be outside in low temperatures, so she is spending winter mostly indoors.

She has grown from 29 pounds (13 kilograms) at birth to more than 600 pounds (272 kilograms), though that’s still far from adult-hippo size.

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