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Fiona the baby hippo will star in a children's book

Fiona, the adorable baby hippopotamus who stole the hearts of animal lovers after she was born prematurely at an Ohio zoo, is getting her very own children's book, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

The book will be penned by Thane Maynard, director of the Cincinnati Zoo and author of books including “Working With Wildlife” and “Animal Olympians.”

It will be titled “Saving Fiona: Science, Social Media, and the Story of a Baby Hippo” and published in January 2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers.

“Saving Fiona,” which will be written for elementary school readers, will feature many photographs of Fiona, who quickly became a social media star after her premature birth on Jan. 24.

“Hers is a great story to tell,” Maynard told the Enquirer. “She herself is so compelling. But a big part of her story is all the people who've raised her.”

Maynard's profits from the book will be donated to the Cincinnati Zoo, which has chronicled the baby hippo from her birth on its website. One recent post kept fans updated on Fiona's growth: "Yay!!! My neckrolls are getting bigger! Today the scale read 421 lbs for this chunky chunky hippo."

Maynard said he doesn't think the long wait for the book, which will be published just before Fiona's second birthday, will hurts its sales.

“She'll be beloved a long time,” he said. “In 2017, it's Fiona's world, and we're just living in it.”

Fiona is already a Cincinnati celebrity. Last month the local ice cream chain Graeter’s launched a new flavor, Chunky Chunky Hippo, in her honor. The toffee ice cream has salted roasted peanuts and milk chocolate caramel truffles, and is served at Graeter’s shops and at the zoo.

Fiona’s popularity was a welcome break for the Cincinnati Zoo, which made headlines last year after the death of Harambe, a17-year-old gorilla who was shot and killed after he grabbed a three-year-old boy who had entered the gorilla's enclosure.

Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times
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