Cincinnati : Not even a year old, hippo at Cincinnati Zoo is a social media sensation.

Michelle Curley's husband does not like the baby-hippo tattoo. He tolerates it, but he does not like it.

''He is not a fan,'' Ms. Curley said, shoving a lock of her paprika-red hair aside to show me what's linked into the concave scoop of her upper back.

Ms. Curley was standing in line for lunch on a recent afternoon at the Base Camp Cafe, the russet-colored cafeteria at the entrance in the Cincinnati Zoo's Africa exhibit.

Every Formica table in the place was packed with schoolchildren in matching T-shirts, middle-aged tourists with giant S.I.R. cameras hung around the necks and a-

Melange of zoo employees wearing branded fleeces and muddy boots. The air smelled of canola oil and charred coffee.

The cafe is the closest eatery to the hippo tank, and therefore the closest to Fiona, the 10-month old hippo, who bounces around inside it.

Over the last year, Fiona has become a something of an international cause celebrity, largely because of the efforts of Ms. Curley, the Zoo's communication director, and her four member team, who started posting Fiona's every move to social media from the day she was born on Jan 24.

Fionamania has swept the country Videos of her twirling around in water, Ruberenesque  and graceful, rack up millions of views online.

She photobombed a local couple's engagement photo, and it wound up on ''The Tonight Show''.

The popular Cincinnati ice cream purveyor Graeter's made a ''Chunky Chunky Hippo'' flavor over the summer   -a toffee base with salted peanuts and and caramel truffles   -that sold out at the zoo every day it was available.

A local T-shirt company, Cincy Shirts, screen printed a small batch of tees with with the words  ''Feeling Hip'' along with a cartoon  rendering of Fiona in February, and has since-

Shipped  30,000 Fiona-branded products {including tees, stickers, magnets and now Christmas sweaters featuring Fiona in a Santa hat} all over the world.

Fiona has starred in her own 7-episode reality show sponsored by Facebook.

The zoo's director, Thane Mavnard, sold a children book called ''Saving Fiona'' : Baby Hippo'' to the World's Most Famous Baby Hippo'' to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, scheduled for for the spring of 2018, with proceeds-

Benefitting the animal's care. The Cincinnati's Red are planning to have an official  ''Fiona Day'' at the ballpark next summer, complete with commemorative hippopotamus bobble heads-

Twitter's fans have become obsessed with Fiona's flatulence. 

She has become America's large Adult Daughter, it's triumphant baby queen, its reigning diva with texture of wet avocado.


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