Premature hippo a happy hit for Ohio zoo after gorilla death

Posted at 12:50 PM, Apr 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-22 12:50:39-04

CINCINNATI (AP) -- A prematurely born hippo at the Cincinnati Zoo has been providing regular doses of happiness for animal lovers.

And all the public affection for baby Fiona has also given an emotional lift to zoo workers after months of backlash over the fatal shooting there of Harambe, a gorilla who became a pop culture phenomenon in death.

Video updates such as Fiona taking a bottle, splashing in a pool or learning to run have drawn tens of millions of online views. Thousands of people have bought TeamFiona T-shirts, and thousands more have eaten Fiona-themed bakery treats.

Zoo officials say zoos are increasingly using new ways for the public to see the animals and their care, such as the recent livestream of a giraffe giving birth in New York.