Fiona Inc.: Nearly $500K to Cincinnati Zoo from sales of hippo books, beer and ice cream.
As she approaches her first birthday Jan. 24, the youngest superstar of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden has spurred local companies to give the zoo nearly $500,000 from sales of Fiona trinkets to her admirers around the world.
The Enquirer surveyed almost a dozen local companies with merchandising agreements with the zoo and tallied their contributions from 2017 sales of Fiona clothes, beer, decks of cards, ice cream, books, holiday ornaments and other swag for a public besotted by the little Nile hippo with a big story of survival. Total so far: about $480,000.
The zoo itself does not have a specific accounting of how much the Fiona commerce has raised for the 144-year-old institution, the second-oldest zoo in the United States. Spokeswoman Michelle Curley initially estimated that the zoo had raised $250,000 from Fiona deals but later upped that guess to $350,000.