The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is currently closed to the public in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and will remain closed until further notice. But since you can't go to the zoo, the zoo is coming to you.
The institution has been offering daily digital safaris on Facebook Live as an alternative way to connect with its audience. Every day at 3 p.m., these Home Safaris feature a different animal encounter and an activity you can do at home. The series kicked off March 16 with Fiona.
On Wednesday, April 8, the zoo is once again featuring its famous hippo Fiona and her mama, Bibi. The duo will be doing a special activity for Facebook fans — creating painted kisses with their cute muzzles.
“We kicked off the Home Safari series three weeks ago with Fiona but people, especially our members, miss her and want to see what she’s up to,” said Cincinnati Zoo director Thane Maynard in a release. “She and her mom, Bibi, will be doing some paintings tomorrow.”
Anyone who symbolically adopts an animal at the zoo by April 11 will also be eligible to win one of the hippo "kiss" artworks created by Fiona or Bibi.
Today's activity will also be a fun one and features illustrator Richard Cowdrey, who illustrated three Fiona books, including Fiona, It's Bedtime. Cowdrey will show kids how to draw Fiona and then ask them to draw her themselves.
The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is also another place feeling the financial and economic impact of ordered COVID-19 closures. To help offset the loss in funding from admission, food sales, parking, rides and more, the zoo is asking members to renew their membership (or gift one) and for people to donate to the Emergency Operating Fund or symbolically adopt an animal.