The Cincinnati Zoo is using the third birthday of its beloved hippo, born premature, as a way to raise money for Australian wildlife affected by the recent bushfires.
Instead of sending birthday gifts for Fiona, the Ohio zoo is asking people to buy T-shirts that will directly benefit the Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund. The shirt features a koala and kangaroo giving Fiona a hug and says "Supporting Our Friends Down Under".
All proceeds from sales of the shirts will be sent to Zoos Victoria to help them care for suffering animals. The zoo will add $US5,000 ($A7,306) to the total amount raised.
Fiona became a global celebrity after she was born on January 24, 2017, weighing in at just 13 kilograms. The normal range for a hippo's birth weight is 25-55kg. Fiona now weighs a healthy 590kg.
"Fiona won the hearts of Cincinnatians when she fought to survive after being born six weeks early and terribly underweight," Cincinnati Zoo director Thayne Maynard said. "Three years later, people all over the world are still crazy about this normal, healthy hippo."
Australian Associated Press