Henry the hippo, Fiona's father, dies after battle with chronic - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Henry the hippo, Fiona's father, dies after battle with chronic illness

Henry the hippo (Photo courtesy of Cincinnati Zoo) Henry the hippo (Photo courtesy of Cincinnati Zoo)
Family photo: Fiona poses with Mom, Bibi, and dad, Henry, in Hippo Cove (Photo courtesy of Cincinnati Zoo) Family photo: Fiona poses with Mom, Bibi, and dad, Henry, in Hippo Cove (Photo courtesy of Cincinnati Zoo)
Henry and Fiona (Courtesy of the Cincinnati Zoo) Henry and Fiona (Courtesy of the Cincinnati Zoo)
CINCINNATI (FOX19) -

The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden is mourning the death of 36-year-old Henry, father of the famous Fiona. 

He had been struggling with health issues for months and had lost hundreds of pounds.  According to vet staff who had been carefully monitoring him, he took an obvious downward turn in the past few days and was weak and unsteady. 

After an exam Tuesday morning, they determined that Henry’s quality of life would not improve and made the decision to humanely euthanize him.  

The zoo on Monday revealed that the hippo had been fighting a serious infection and his kidneys appeared to be shutting down.

Henry is the father of Fiona, the baby hippo who was born prematurely in January and overcame health scares to become an internet sensation. She was the sixth calf that Henry sired over the years.

Thanks to Fiona, Henry "couldn’t have left a better legacy," the zoo said. 

“After watching Fiona fight, defy the odds and literally make history, it feels especially unfair and defeating to have to accept this outcome for Henry. While our time with him has been short in quantity, no one can deny that his quality of life before becoming ill was exceptional. From meeting, bonding and breeding with his mate Bibi, to becoming a father to charismatic and spirited Fiona, Henry’s days in Cincinnati were filled with sunshine, watermelons, waterfalls and the highest quality of care that can be provided to any animal,” said Wendy Rice, Africa Head Keeper at the Cincinnati Zoo.      

The median life expectancy for male Nile hippos is 35. At 36 years old, Henry was “already in his golden years,” Rice said. She described Henry as a sweet, gentle giant with a big personality. 


Want breaking news alerts first? Download the free FOX19 Now News app: http://onelink.to/zdzxsg


For most of the summer, Henry, Bibi and Fiona played, soaked and napped together in their outdoor habitat.  After a rough start for the prematurely-born Fiona, the happy hippo family reunited in what zookeepers called a "fairytale ending.' But then, for no apparent reason, Henry lost his appetite in July.  

From July until September, caretakers explored every avenue in diagnosing and treating the 3,600-pound hippo. A test in October revealed an infection and apparent kidney failure and the zoo immediately started aggressive treatment.

Bibi and Fiona will be fine as a bloat of two, zookeepers said. But they will notice that he’s not around and may wonder why he isn’t making his contact calls.

There are estimated to be between 125,000 and 148,000 Nile hippopotamus remaining in the wild.  Primary threats are poaching (for their ivory tusks and meat) and loss of habitat as more water is diverted for agriculture. The species is considered vulnerable.

Fiona the hippo gets front-row seat to Cincinnati couple's engagement

Breaking wind: Video shows diva Fiona tooting while swimming

Fiona's relationship with her dad? It's complicated

Fiona's story told through photos in new book 'Hip, Hippo, Hooray for Fiona!'

Copyright 2017 WXIX. All rights reserved. 

  • NewsMore>>

  • NFL sparks new questions over anthem; Trump lauds league

    NFL sparks new questions over anthem; Trump lauds league

    Thursday, May 24 2018 2:32 AM EDT2018-05-24 06:32:12 GMT
    Thursday, May 24 2018 3:26 PM EDT2018-05-24 19:26:09 GMT
    (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File). FILE - In this Monday, Sept. 12, 2016, file photo, San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid (35) and quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) kneel during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles...(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File). FILE - In this Monday, Sept. 12, 2016, file photo, San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid (35) and quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) kneel during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles...

    With its popularity threatened and critics stretching all the way to the White House, the NFL tries to get past the debate over taking a knee during the national anthem but seems to muddle the issue even more.

    More >>

    With its popularity threatened and critics stretching all the way to the White House, the NFL tries to get past the debate over taking a knee during the national anthem but seems to muddle the issue even more.

    More >>
  • 'It's about time': Trump pardons late boxer Jack Johnson

    'It's about time': Trump pardons late boxer Jack Johnson

    Thursday, May 24 2018 1:22 PM EDT2018-05-24 17:22:19 GMT
    Thursday, May 24 2018 3:25 PM EDT2018-05-24 19:25:33 GMT
    (Source: AP Photo)(Source: AP Photo)

    President Donald Trump had pardoned boxing's first black heavyweight champion more than 100 years after Jack Johnson was convicted by an all-white jury of "immorality" for one of his relationships.

    More >>

    President Donald Trump had pardoned boxing's first black heavyweight champion more than 100 years after Jack Johnson was convicted by an all-white jury of "immorality" for one of his relationships.

    More >>
  • Dem, GOP leaders to get classified briefings on Russia probe

    Dem, GOP leaders to get classified briefings on Russia probe

    Thursday, May 24 2018 12:42 AM EDT2018-05-24 04:42:28 GMT
    Thursday, May 24 2018 3:25 PM EDT2018-05-24 19:25:15 GMT
    (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin). In this May 23, 2018, photo, President Donald Trump speaks to the media before boarding the Marine One helicopter on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. Two House lawmakers who are allies of President Donald Tr...(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin). In this May 23, 2018, photo, President Donald Trump speaks to the media before boarding the Marine One helicopter on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. Two House lawmakers who are allies of President Donald Tr...

    A briefing Thursday about classified documents will be for just two Republican House members, both Trump allies, as Trump and his supporters in Congress press for information on the outside informant.

    More >>

    A briefing Thursday about classified documents will be for just two Republican House members, both Trump allies, as Trump and his supporters in Congress press for information on the outside informant.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly