Zoo adds giant Fiona the Hippo nutcracker display for Festival of Lights

The Cincinnati Zoo has erected a 24-foot tall statue of Fiona, its popular hippo, at the main entrance for those who attend the PNC Festival of Lights to see.

The decoration is an 8-foot wide nutcracker and Chad Yelton, the zoo’s vice president, called it “truly unique.”

it “looks just like Fiona,” Yelton said. “COST of Wisconsin did an incredible job putting her together.”

The zoo said there are some hidden details people should look for, including six slices of watermelon on her belt. That is Fiona’s favorite snack. There is a camera on the belt buckle because she grew up in front of the camera.

There are also 29 buttons on her coat to represent her birthweight of 29 lbs., her birthstone (a garnet) and Fritz, her new little brother, is painted on her toenail.

“There are other items of significance on the structure, which is made of steel and fiberglass, but we’ll let people have fun finding those on their own,” said Yelton. “It took 12 people about 1650 hours to make our vision come to life. We are thrilled with how it turned out!”


What: PNC Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo

Where: 3400 Vine St., Cincinnati

When: Nov. 18 through Jan. 8, 2023

Cost: $16.50-$22.50 for children and seniors, $22.50-$28.50 for adults (ages 13-61)

Tickets: https://store.cincinnatizoo.org/

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