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Baby hippo Fiona makes her media debut at zoo, explores pool

FILE - In this April 12, 2017, file photo, visitors read a sign about a Nile hippopotamus named Fiona born prematurely Jan. 24, as they pass through the Hippo Cove exhibit at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden in Cincinnati. The zoo scheduled a Wednesday, May 31, event for news media to photograph the female hippo navigating a 9-foot-deep pool in the exhibit, a step toward Fiona eventually appearing in the exhibit during the zoo's public operating hours. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

CINCINNATI (AP) — A popular baby hippo at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden has made its news media debut.

Fiona (fee-OHN’uh) made her media debut Wednesday with cameras rolling as she navigated the 9-foot-deep Hippo Cove pool. The zoo emphasizes she isn’t ready for public display but the media-only event was a step toward that.

Fiona was born Jan. 24, weighing 29 pounds (13 kilograms). She overcame health scares and now weighs more than 100 pounds (45 kilograms).

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 have eaten Fiona-themed bakery treats.

A brewery plans to introduce a beer dedicated to her.

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