Tags: fiona | baby hippo | 500k | merchandise | sales

Fiona the Baby Hippo Racks Up $500K in Merchandise Sales

Fiona the Baby Hippo Racks Up $500K in Merchandise Sales

A sign tells about Fiona at the Hippo Cove at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden in Cincinnati. (John Minchillo/AP

By    |   Friday, 05 January 2018 10:58 AM

Fiona the baby hippo has racked up nearly $500,000 in merchandise sales heading into her first birthday at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden.

Zoo customers and other fans of the young hippopotamus have gobbled up Fiona clothes, beer, playing cards, ice cream, books, holiday ornaments, and other merchandise totaling $480,000, and still going, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

The Enquirer made its Fiona estimate by polling nearly a dozen local companies with merchandising deals with the zoo and tallying their 2017 sales.

Zoo spokeswoman Michelle Curley, though, placed the money raised at a more modest $350,000, the newspaper said.

Curley told the Enquirer that more than $200,000 of the contributions went to Fiona’s neonatal care: round-the-clock veterinary attention, nutrition, medical supplies, a "pop-up" intensive-care unit in the hippo habitat and construction of swimming pools for Fiona as she grew.

"The rest of the funds from the retail partners are earmarked for the care and feeding and enrichment of the hippos," Curley said. "As you can imagine, this is a major and ongoing expense."

WLWT-TV reported that Fiona was born about six weeks premature last January, weighing 29 pounds, some 25 pounds lighter than the lowest recorded weight for a hippopotamus. Fiona was treated for multiple health issues under the public spotlight and became an internet star.

Fiona became so popular that the zoo produced its own Facebook show for the animal in August, according to WCPO-TV.

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Fiona the baby hippo has racked up nearly $500,000 in merchandise sales heading into her first birthday at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden.
fiona, baby hippo, 500k, merchandise, sales
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2018-58-05
Friday, 05 January 2018 10:58 AM
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