Fiona the Hippo was born to be a star and has been making headlines since the day she was born. Born six weeks early at the Cincinnatti Zoo in January of this year, and having survived only with the help of a dedicated and experienced medical team, Fiona the diva hippo immediately stole the spotlight from April the Giraffe, whose birth was filmed live from Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York. Now, at 5-months-old, Fiona proves that she is much more than a survivor–she is a star.
Since her birth, the zoo has nearly doubled its number of Facebook followers, and updates on Fiona’s growth and development receive an average of 35,000 likes–more than 10 times the amount that any other of the zoo’s posts get. To say she’s an internet sensation is an understatement.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” says Michelle Curley, the zoo’s communications director, who is part of a three-person team tasked with sharing Fiona’s story with the world via social media. “People have Fionamania.”
In addition to being tasked with sharing Fiona’s story with the world, Curley is also charged with discovering Fiona’s personality, figuring out how she became an unlikely symbol of body positivity and determining whether or not Fiona-themed books and movies could one day be a reality.
So, when Nick Kelble decided to propose to girlfriend Hayley Roll, he knew there was no better place to do it than at the Cincinnati Zoo, right in front of the social media star’s tank.
Hayley believed that she was just on another ordinary day trip to the Cincinnati Zoo with her boyfriend, Nick. Hayley was determined to meet Fiona and to maybe snap a few pictures to share on her own social media account. However, Roll wanted a photo with Fiona, so she handed off her phone to a nearby stranger and asked them to take a pic of her and her Nick. When she turned around to get into pose, her partner of one year was down on one knee with a diamond ring in hand. The stranger snapped a pic, and the end result was more than Roll could have bargained for.
Of course, the proposal in and of itself was noteworthy. Not only did Roll not expect it, but to pose in front of the hippo extraordinaire’s tank was like icing on the cake. But then the couple took a look at their engagement photo, and what they saw was most definitely the cherry on top. In the background, behind the beautiful couple, was Fiona, photobombing the moment–neck rolls and all. And how does the couple feel about the unexpected intruder?
“We’re so happy Fiona could be there on our special day,” Roll wrote on Instagram.
Of course, they’re thrilled–who wouldn’t be! Fiona gracing their photos is like a sign from the gods that their marriage is most definitely meant to be. Commenters seem to think so too, with many stating that if Hayley doesn’t say yes, they will! Some express their jealousy that such a moment didn’t happen to them, and others marvel at Fiona’s ability to look past all the other celebrity feuds and just be her happy self.
Talk about a proposal that blows all others out of the water!
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