Fiona The Hippo is my safe space. She is that warm feeling you get when you shut your apartment door and realize you don't have to go anywhere else that night. She is, and I mean it, the only good thing happening in 2017. She is also getting her own TV show — well, sort of. It's all a part of Facebook's newest platform, Watch, for shows posted live or pre-recorded that have a story or theme. But before we talk about Fiona's show, let's talk about the hippo herself.
It's possible you're a newcomer to the world of Fiona, and if that's the case, I invite you to start here. She was born six weeks premature at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, and is a goddamn delight. Her carers immediately assembled a make-shift NICU, but at just 29 pounds, they weren't sure if she was going to make it. But Fiona is a warrior, and now she is thriving.
Throughout her journey, this little hippo amassed a huge following. They call themselves #TeamFiona, and there are shirts, ice cream flavors, and even a book about her adventures. It's hard to explain in words why Fiona has won over the hearts of so many people who, before now, had zero interest in hippos, so perhaps this Instagram post will give you a clue. Note the ears, eyes, and little smile :)
Or this video of her playing with water:
Or Fiona reuniting with her family, with whom she had to be reacclimated after the carers brought her back to health:
And while Fiona is a miracle, she's also...a little sassy. She's a proud, body-positive lady who knows how much we love her, which is why, when I reached out to the Cincinnati Zoo, they told me she had no problem with becoming a TV star.
"Fiona is quite the diva, so she would probably embrace all the attention that will come from having her own show," said Africa zookeeper Jenna Wingate.
Here's Fiona embracing just some of that attention:
And here's the most recent video of Fiona, where she's leaping around and doing barrell rolls in the pool with her mom!!
Okay I'm done.
In all seriousness, this was an amazing feat not just for Fiona, but for the staff at the zoo who worked round the clock to nurse her back to health, and who are still, to this day, making sure she gets on track and lives her best hippo life. Now, the new TV show will celebrate all they have accomplished.
"As a member of her care team, the documentary style of the show appeals to me," Wingate added. "I was busy living those first, intense moments of Fiona's life and now I have the opportunity to relive them without the stress of wondering whether or not she would survive."
And, before I go, here's one last video: