Hippo-y birthday to Fiona! The popular preemie is turning 1

Zoo-Baby Hippo Facebook Show_278857

FILE – In this May 31, 2017 file photo, Fiona makes her debut to the media in Hippo Cove at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, in Cincinnati. The zoo says its popular baby hippo will star in an internet video series called “The Fiona Show” starting next week. The zoo says the first video […]

CINCINNATI (AP) – There will plenty more of Fiona in Year 2.

The Cincinnati Zoo’s celebrity hippopotamus should about double in size in 2018, after growing from a dangerously low 29 pounds (13 kilograms) at premature birth to nearly 700 pounds (318 kilograms) now.

And while her curators are focusing on helping her learn typical zoo routines and become a “full-time hippo,” the zoo’s publicists are sorting through a continuing onslaught of potential tie-ins.

Fiona-themed T-shirts, books, ornaments and even beer brought in an estimated half-million dollars last year while the zoo’s attendance spiked 15 percent and its social media blew up.

Coming: a Fiona book by the zoo’s director, a Cincinnati Reds Fiona bobblehead, and “Fiona’s Cove” at the Cincinnati Home & Garden show.

But first, there’s Saturday’s birthday bash .

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