Friday, April 7, 2017

Henry's Happy Ending

Ready for a story with a happy ending? When we moved here 18 years ago we were happy to learn that the Dickerson Park Zoo was only two miles from our house. We became members soon after settling in and visited often. About a year later Rob and I decided to sponsor a couple animals as  our Valentine's  gifts to each other. He chose a warthog and I chose Henry the Hippo.
Let me tell you a little about Henry. He was born in the San Francisco Zoo on August 29, 1981. When he was about seven months old he came to Dickerson Park Zoo to live with an older woman, Patsy. They had five calves together. One was stillborn, three died shortly after birth and one survived. He went to another zoo when he was old enough to leave his parents.

Unfortunately, Patsy died  after a few years and Henry lived all alone in his little enclosure.
 Last year at age 34, Henry's life turned around. The Cincinnati zoo built a beautiful new hippo cove. When it was finished, they brought in a 17 year old female hippo named Bibi from the St Louis Zoo. Then they sent for Henry.
Dickerson Park Zoo had a big going away party for Henry, then he made the trip to Cincinnati to meet his new partner. The keepers said that Henry seemed more interested in food at first, but that changed.
Soon after his arrival, the announcement came that Bibi and Henry were expecting in March of 2017. Little Baby Fiona had other ideas. She arrived on January 24 and was very tiny, for a hippo. She had to be taken from her parents and raised by human caretakers. She was too small to eat or walk or swim by herself.
 We were getting weekly reports on her condition until last week when we saw a video of her climbing a ramp to get into her pool all by herself.
Henry is a happy hippo now with a big new enclosure and a family to share his days with.
In honor of baby Fiona, I made this and am calling her Fiona.
 How's that for a happy ending?


♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥ said...

That IS a very happy hippo ending. We just love that smooching shot:)

Woos - Lightning and Misty

Foley Monster, Pocket and River Song said...

That is a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Molly the AireGirl said...

What a wonderful story and I love your knitted Fiona, Miss Sue!

Marjie said...

Fiona has been in my paper a number of times, and I've been following her, too. I'm so happy that she is part of your friend Henry's family. We love zoos, too, and have sponsored many lions and tigers. Can't help it; I love cats.

Marjie said...

And your knitted Fiona is a terrific tribute to baby Fiona! I can't believe how adorable a baby hippo is!

Bella Roxy & Macdui said...

That's a wonderful story....we did chuckle at the Valentine Warthog, though. We love your little Fiona. And we love that Henry has a wonderful home. We have a free-range zoo not far from us...some morning we can hear the Siamangs hooting.

Casey said...

OMD! We LOVE Fiona and watch all the updates on her the zoo posts on FB. We had no idea you were her daddy's foster pawrents. That makes you her godpawrents or something, right???