She was born six weeks early, but is making progress after round-the-clock critical care

By Saryn Chorney
Updated February 06, 2017 07:57 PM

Nearly three weeks ago, a premature baby Nile hippo was born at the Cincinnati Zoo. According to the Zoo’s website, the baby has experienced both ups and downs while under the watchful eye of intensive care staff. And although she is not quite out of the woods yet, they have named her “Fiona” which means “fair.”

The calf, who arrived six weeks early to mom Bibi and dad Henry, has an animal care team devoted to her. “They have been with her 24 hours a day and think this name suits her personality,” says Christina Gorsuch, curator of mammals at the zoo. “She still has a long way to go before she’ll be strong enough to be reunited with her mom … she needs to learn how to nurse on her own, walk, swim and get a lot bigger.”

The good news is, despite her formidable challenges, Fiona is making strides. In the video above, she can be seen taking her first baby steps. And in the video below, about a week prior, she was recorded standing up for the first time.

We wish Fiona and her family — both hippopotamus and human continued success and many more exciting firsts in the weeks ahead. We’re cautiously hopeful that this little lady will continue to go the distance and keep melting hearts along the way.