Cape Town - The internet sensation, Fiona the Hippo isn’t just Cincinnati Zoo’s cute infant but a serious cash cow - 'cash her outside, how about that!'
Since the hippo baby was born early in 2017, conservationists and enthusiasts have fallen in love and the Cincinnati Zoo has garnered $480 000 (about R5m. at R12,41 /$) from merchandising agreements with local businesses selling Fiona-themed items, according to reports.
The top-selling items included T-shirts, holiday ornaments, cards, ice cream, books and even beer which are all inspired by the baby hippo.
The world fell in love with the hippo when she photobombed a couple's public proposal that took place on 8 October in Ohio.
SEE: Baby hippo photobombs engagement
ALSO SEE: WATCH: Fiona the flatulent, baby hippo reminds us she is adorable
No doubt the famous hippo's first birthday on 24 January, will see the Cincinnati Zoo packed with adoring fans.
Fiona-themed apparels made by startup retailer CincyShirts are said to have generated the most revenue for the zoo at about $216 000.
A CincyShirts spokesperson told the Enquirer the company sold 45 000 Fiona the Hippo T-shirts, leggings, wrapping paper, and insulated drinking cups in 2017.
Beer inspired by the celebrity hippo have generated the second largest amount in sales for the zoo. #TeamFiona beer, from Listermann Brewing, generated between $40,000 (about R495K) and $50 000 (about R 619K) for the zoo, the Enquirer found.
Watch video below:
Most of the money generated from Fiona-themed merchandise agreements goes towards hippopotamus veterinary care, nutrition, medical supplies and habitat building at the zoo, the report states.
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