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Fiona, meet Fritz! Watch the hippo siblings meet for the 1st time

The two siblings are bonding already!
/ Source: TODAY

Fiona the hippo has finally been introduced to her baby brother, Fritz.

On Wednesday, the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden uploaded videos to its social media accounts of the siblings meeting each other for the first time.

In one adorable clip posted on YouTube, Fritz wades into the outdoor habitat and slowly swims toward 5-year-old Fiona. Underwater footage showed mom Bibi cautiously watching as her children interacted.

In a press release on the zoo’s website, Christina Gorsuch, the zoo’s director of animal care, described Bibi as “appropriately protective of Fritz but was not aggressive toward Fiona.”

Gorsuch added, “The exposure was brief but a great first step.”

The press release also explained that multiple hippos will be introduced to Fritz in separate groups. They will be rotated in and out of the habitat. After meeting the other hippos, then 4,500-pound Tucker, Bibi’s mate, will join the bloat (the collective noun for hippos). 

“We will continue to put Fiona, Fritz, and Bibi together for short periods until we’re confident that the three are comfortable together,” Gorsuch said in her statement. “The next step will then be to add Tucker to the mix. We don’t have an exact timeline for when that will happen.”

While fans wait for the family to fully reunite, the Cincinnati Zoo will be sharing updates on Instagram, Twitter and other social media accounts.

On Thursday, the zoo shared a cute video on Instagram of Fritz swimming up to the glass of the enclosure. As he frequently popped up to the surface, 23-year-old mom Bibi looked on and monitored him.

“Feisty and fabulous Fritz!” the zoo’s staff wrote. 

Fritz was born at the zoo on Aug. 3 and weighed at least 60 pounds. A snippet on Twitter revealed that the calf was already walking a day after he was born. 

After giving the mother and son time to bond, staff members were ready to give the calf a name. 

Earlier this month, the zoo asked the public to send name ideas and it received more than 90,000 suggestions. The zoo narrowed the list down to two options: Fritz and Ferguson. 

TODAY also issued a callout and more than 220,000 people weighed in. Fritz received 56% of the votes. 

The calf is almost as popular as his big sister Fiona, who pulled on heartstrings around the world when she arrived early in 2017. 

Fiona, who was born six weeks premature and weighed just 29 pounds, wasn’t able to stand on her own initially. She was cared for by zoo staff members because she was too small for Bibi to nurse. 

Throughout the years, fans have watched Fiona achieve multiple milestones like taking her first steps, reaching 1,000 pounds and starring in her own reality show.  

In July, the zoo posted a clip to Instagram of Fiona being weighed on a scale.

“Fiona finally hit 2,000 pounds!” the caption said. “She weighed in at 2,036 pounds this morning! We’re so proud of how far she has come!

She still has quite a few more pounds to pack on. Full-grown female hippos usually weigh about 3,000 pounds.