Henry, the dad of Fiona the baby hippo, has passed away after months of battling health issues.
The zoo took to their Instagram account to announce to sad news on Tuesday, October 31. “We’re very sad to announce that our beloved Henry has died. Read more,” they wrote alongside a sweet photo of Henry kissing baby Fiona. The post included a link to an in-depth statement regarding the unfortunate passing.
— Cincinnati Zoo (@CincinnatiZoo) October 31, 2017
“The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is mourning the death of 36-year-old Henry, father of the famous Fiona,” the statement read. “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 this morning, they determined that Henry’s quality of life would not improve and made the difficult decision to humanely euthanize him.”
The zoo report went on to talk about Henry’s love of Bibi, the zoo’s 18-year-old female, with whom he shared baby Fiona.
The update comes after previous reports that Henry was ill with an infection, which caused irregular closures of the hippo exhibit the past few months.
It’s been a long, scary year for the hippo family. After Fiona’s early birth in January 2017, she was the first Nile hippopotamus in captivity to survive being born six weeks prematurely.
Cincinnati Zoo caretakers hand-raised her and gave her 24-hour care so that she would grow strong enough to be able to live at the zoo with her parents. She grew from 29 pounds to 500 pounds by September 23. Since then, she has inspired two books, an ice cream flavor and has gained worldwide attention.
Baby Fiona also made headlines earlier this month when the photos of her delightfully photobombing a proposal went viral.