68ºF

With Cincinnati Zoo closed, Fiona the hippo goes online

Fiona, a Nile Hippopotamus, eats her specialty birthday cake to celebrate turning three-years old this Friday, in her enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, in Cincinnati. The Cincinnati Zoo is using the third birthday of its beloved premature hippo as a way to raise money for Australian wildlife affected by the recent bushfires. Instead of sending birthday gifts, the zoo is asking people to buy T-shirts that will directly benefit the Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Fiona, a Nile Hippopotamus, eats her specialty birthday cake to celebrate turning three-years old this Friday, in her enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, in Cincinnati. The Cincinnati Zoo is using the third birthday of its beloved premature hippo as a way to raise money for Australian wildlife affected by the recent bushfires. Instead of sending birthday gifts, the zoo is asking people to buy T-shirts that will directly benefit the Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Like many other attractions around the world, the Cincinnati Zoo has shut its doors to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

But unlike many of those other attractions, the zoo has a crew of extremely cute residents ready to livestream your work-from-home boredom away.

Fiona, the two-year-old hippo who became a worldwide celebrity when she was born at a record-breaking low weight of 29 pounds and managed to survive against the odds, will kick off a series of "Home Safari" livestreams from the Ohio zoo.

"Let us help make your children's hiatus from school fun and educational," reads a note from the zoo on Facebook. "Join us for a Home Safari Facebook Live each weekday at 3 pm (Eastern Time) where we will highlight one of our amazing animals and include an activity you can do from home."

The inaugural Fiona-centric Home Safari will take place today, March 16.

While the full schedule isn't out there yet, odds are good that other animals to star in future Home Safaris will be Kris the cheetah, Lenore the red panda and manatees Pippin and Truffleshuffle, all of whivh make regular appearances on the zoo's Instagram account.

The Cincinnati Zoo isn't the only animal center that is going online during coronavirus lockdown.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, California, and the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago are also closed and entertaining their online visitors.

“Though @MontereyAq is closed, our webcams are still streaming,” tweeted executive director Julie Packard. “Until we reopen, you can check in on the sea otters, sway with the kelp forest, find tranquility with the jellies and look for wildlife out on Monterey Bay: mbayaq.co/39Xv9Ny.”

Over the weekend Shedd featured a cute video of one of its penguins exploring the zoo as if he were a tourist -- from the other side of the glass.

Many zoos and aquariums, including the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, already have live polar bear cams, giraffe cams and elephant cams. There’s nothing like a koala cam (if you can spot one) to cheer a koala lover up.