Merchandise featuring Fiona the hippo brings in big bucks

Photo courtesy Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden via AP
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CINCINNATI (AP) - Merchandise inspired by Ohio's famous baby hippo, Fiona, has returned nearly half a million dollars to the Cincinnati Zoo.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports the zoo has collected about $480,000 in sales so far from businesses with merchandising agreements. Products include everything from clothing and ornaments to beer and ice cream.

The zoo says it isn't keeping track of cash the hippo-themed products are turning over. However, zoo spokeswoman Michelle Curley says more than $200,000 of the money was used for Fiona's neonatal care. Curley says the remainder is helping with the care, feeding and enrichment of all the zoo's hippos.

The beloved baby hippo will celebrate her first birthday Jan. 24. Local merchants expect the celebration to spur an economic boost as businesses roll out more Fiona-themed products.

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Information from: The Cincinnati Enquirer, http://www.enquirer.com

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