By Mike Wilcox, Publisher
I’ve become an animal lover in my old age. I never had much time for pets but now we have three dogs and several cats. If my wife had her druthers she would times those numbers by three.
They always say a “man’s best friend is your dog,” and I can attest to that. My dogs are always by my side, usually obey my commands, and never talk back. They unequivocally love you without much encouragement on my part.
But I’m digressing. Enough about me and more about animals- animals that seemed to have taken over social media. I’ve got a clue you are taking a sneak peak of the baby giraffe that was born a week ago, or the baby hippo that we get daily updates from Facebook.
I must admit I am glued to the computer screen to see both. April the giraffe has been the star of social media for the last several weeks as many of us watched her progress as she was about to have her baby. Birth of the baby giraffe happened last week, and I must admit, I was one of millions who watched it live on Facebook.
Now the newborn is just as much a celebrity as April. Just this past Monday, Good Morning America held a contest to name the baby giraffe. The winning entry was Tajiri. Tajiri seems to be getting along quite well, having stood on her long legs only hours after birth, and now as frisky as ever prancing around her cage and enjoying her mother’s affection.
Talk about frisky. Fiona, the baby hippo was born six weeks premature a couple of months ago at the Cincinnati Zoo. She has become a U-tube sensation as many of us watch her frolic with her caretakers on a daily basis.
We all think of hippos as dangerous African wild animals that are incredibly large. That is true to some extent. I have been told by guides in Africa ( I spent a couple weeks on a photographic safari) that hippos are more dangerous than lions. They will attack humans without provocation and since most weigh more than a ton they can do great damage- that is if they can manage to get out of the water to catch you.
But you would never envision that watching playful Fiona. At 200 plus pounds she can be handful, but Team Fiona, the moniker attached to the dozen plus baby hippo handlers, has, like many of us on U-tube fallen in love with the cute, cuddly hippo.
Just watching Fiona, named after the Shrek character, fall asleep on the lap of Wendy Rice, Team Fiona leader, is heartwarming to say the least.
Rice says their favorite moments are when Fiona drinks from a hose, or tries to maintain her composure while having a bout of the hiccups. She claims caretakers have to be careful when Fiona starts to get rambunctious because she is like a bull in a china cabinet and will knock you over unintentionally. She also, like my darn dogs, loves to step on your toes, so caretakers can’t be around in bare feet.
If you get a chance I recommend you take a gander at the daily U-tube videos showing the progress of Tajiri or Fiona. They are all over social media. I guarantee they will brighten your day.