Fritz the hippo makes his public debut! Here's when you can see him.

·2 min read

Fritz, the newly named hippo calf, and his mom, Bibi, explored the outdoor habitat at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden's Hippo Cove for the first time Monday morning. But now, it seems Fritz is ready to greet his fans.

Fritz made his public debut Thursday during a special media preview event. This was the first time the hippo calf had been in public view.

More:The zoo offers more than Fiona and Fritz. Check out the botanical garden

Since his birth, Fritz and Bibi have remained inside and away from the public as they nurse and bond, much like hippos and their calves do in the wild. They have explored the outdoor habitat for the last few days, but with only staff members present.

However, now it seems they are ready for the next step in the introduction process.

Fritz, the hippo calf, made his public debut at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden's Hippo Cove on Thursday, Aug. 18.
Fritz, the hippo calf, made his public debut at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden's Hippo Cove on Thursday, Aug. 18.

Starting tomorrow, the Hippo Cove will remain open when Bibi and Fritz venture out, allowing visitors to possibly catch a glimpse of the baby hippo, although visibility is not guaranteed. They will rotate with Fiona and Tucker for the short term, but the zoo does not currently have a rotation schedule in place.

“Fritz has navigated the deepest part of the pool, and Bibi has demonstrated that she will keep him safe,” said Cincinnati Zoo’s director of animal care, Christina Gorsuch. “They were unfazed when staff came to get their first glimpse of the baby, and we’re confident that they’re ready for their public debut.”

More:Hello Fritz! Fiona's little brother has a name

Fiona and Tucker have seen Fritz from a distance in the indoor habitat, but they are not quite ready to share space. Fiona will be introduced to Fritz in phases and will eventually join her brother and Bibi. Once the three are stable, Tucker will get to reunite with his bloat.

For more hippo coverage, check out our conversation with the zoo's head hippo handler, Wendy Rice.

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Fritz the hippo makes his public debut at the Cincinnati Zoo