Really BIG news: 4,500-pound male hippo moves in with Fiona and her mom

A new hippo has joined Fiona’s family at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden.

Tucker, an 18-year-old hippopotamus from the San Francisco Zoo, has moved into Hippo Cove with Fiona and her mother, 22-year-old Bibi.

The male hippo was known to San Francisco Zoo visitors as Bruce, a tribute to San Francisco Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy.

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

“We will call him Tucker since his San Francisco nickname wouldn’t have the same meaning in Cincinnati as it did in the Giants’ hometown,” Thane Maynard, Cincinnati Zoo director, said in a release.

“Besides, we have our own baseball connection here. Tucker will join Cincinnati Reds’ catcher Tucker Barnhart at the top of the most popular Cincinnati Tuckers’ list.”

Bibi and Tucker will take things slowly and spend time by the pool bonding and sharing beets, squash, melons and hay. Four-year-old Fiona will join Bibi and Tucker as soon as the couple demonstrate that they are comfortable with each other.

Tucker moved to Cincinnati to be Bibi’s companion and to enjoy being part of a hippo pod under recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Hippo Species Survival Plan.

“If a baby is in their future it will be way down the road before that happens,” said Christina Gorsuch, Cincinnati Zoo’s director of animal care. “Bibi and Tucker will get to know each other by being in close proximity in the indoor habitat before they share the same space. After that, they will explore the outdoor habitat together. It may be a few weeks before visitors catch a glimpse of the new guy.”

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Male hippos are typically larger than females. Tucker weighs about 4,500 pounds – 1,000 pounds more than Bibi. They both eclipse Fiona, who has not yet reached the 2,000-pound milestone.

A date for Tucker’s public debut has not yet been set but check cincinnatizoo.org for updates.

The Cincinnati Zoo opens daily at 10 a.m.

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