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Bibi's baby hippo has a name! Meet Fritz

Bibi and baby in pool
Courtesy
/
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

After taking suggestions online and consulting with zookeepers, the Cincinnati Zoo has decided on a name for Fiona's little brother and Bibi's second offspring.

Welcome, Fritz!

The zoo last week announced it received 90,000 name suggestions from every state in the U.S. and more than 60 countries. It then let people choose between the two finalists: Fritz and Ferguson.

"We would have been happy with either name, but we really think the name Fritz fits this spunky little guy’s personality,” said Cincinnati Zoo’s head hippo keeper Wendy Rice. “We also thought it was funny that it was suggested because ‘Fritz’ is here due to Bibi’s birth control being ‘on the fritz.' "

The baby was born Aug. 3. The zoo reports mom and baby are still doing well and are bonding nicely behind the scenes.

Much like his older sister, Fiona, who won hearts around the world with her wiggly ears, the zoo says this baby boy is spunky and full of personality.

Bibi's official due date was estimated at Aug. 15, but she was considered to be at full term in mid-July. Keepers began separating Bibi from Fiona and Tucker at night around the end of July, just as a precaution. She had also begun to show signs then of wanting to be left alone while eating.

Bibi began showing signs Aug. 2 that labor was approaching, though nothing happened that day or for much of the following day. However, into the evening hours of Aug. 3, it became evident she was in labor and the baby was born about 9:40 p.m.

The zoo says it has space for four hippos, so the calf will stay here for a while. Ultimately — because of breeding and other concerns — the calf will likely be moved to a new home in two to five years.

The zoo announced in April Bibi was pregnant. At that time, it was estimated she was about four months along when the unplanned pregnancy was discovered.

Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Prior to joining Cincinnati Public Radio, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She enjoys snow skiing, soccer and dogs.