Hungry hippos: Cincinnati’s Fiona gets birthday basket from Timothy of San Antonio

Hungry hippos: Cincinnati’s Fiona gets birthday basket from Timothy of San Antonio
Fiona the hippo turned 3 at the Cincinnati Zoo, and one of her admirers sent her a special gift. (John Minchillo/Associated Press)

CINCINNATI — Fiona the hippo got a surprise gift for her third birthday -- a fruit basket from the San Antonio Zoo’s 4-year-old male hippo, Timothy.

Fiona celebrated her birthday Friday, and gifts piled in from around the country for the female born six weeks premature in 2017. The most elaborate present, however, may have come from San Antonio’s love-struck hippo, KSAT reported. The San Antonio Zoo sent an “edible arrangement” of strawberries, cantaloupes, pineapples and grapes, the television station reported.

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Wait, there’s more. Timothy “coaxed” country singer Aaron Watson to make a Facebook video that was posted on the zoo’s social media page, WKRC reported.

“I feel like I know you, because Timorthy and I talk about you all the time,” Watson says to Fiona in the video. “Any time we’re texting, or talking, all he ever talks about is Fiona this, and Fiona that.”

Dear Fiona, IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY! I bet you know that because like THE WHOLE WORLD KNOWS! Anyhoo, my good buddy, country music star and “official Timothy wingman” Aaron Watson is helping me out with a special message for you on this special day. As you turn 3 I want to say that with each passing year you become more and more beautiful, charming and sweet! I mean, heck the moment I first laid eyes on you I already thought you were the most beautiful hippo I had ever seen and yet SOMEHOW, SOME WAY you just keep knocking me off my feet…and that ain’t easy…I HAVE FOUR and a low center of gravity! I hope you enjoy this message and the special gifts I’m sending you at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden today! I also had some of the zoo humans deliver all the “A Very Fiona Christmas” that people graciously sent me, to the children at Haven for Hope today as a special gift from me, you, and our fans on your special day! Sincerely, -Timothy P.S. Grandma says happy birthday “young lady!”

Posted by San Antonio Zoo on Friday, January 24, 2020

“As you turn 3 I want to say that with each passing year you become more and more beautiful, charming and sweet!” Timothy “wrote” in a note that accompanied his gift.

Timothy’s advances, which have been going on for quite some time, do not surprise Cincinnati Zoo director Thane Maynard.

“Fiona won the hearts of Cincinnatians when she fought to survive after being born six weeks early and terribly underweight,” Maynard told WKRC. “Three years later, people all over the world are still crazy about this normal, healthy hippo!”