Even hippopotamuses love love! Fiona the hippo got involved in a very sweet surprise engagement photo recently—by literally sticking her nose where it (kind of) didn’t belong.
The curious mammal was minding her own business when Hayley Roll and Nick Kelble popped by her tank at the Cincinnati Zoo to have their photo taken with the headline-making zoo resident. Roll tells The Knot that she was celebrating her one-year anniversary with her boyfriend, and they were looking forward to seeing Fiona, despite the rainy weather.
“When we were long distance—Nick is a student at University of Cincinnati and I was a student at Bowling Green—we would connect over Fiona and obsess over her together,” Roll says. “I remember constantly tagging each other in posts about her. I have wanted to see her all year and we planned to go to the zoo for our anniversary.”
The couple lucked out when they saw Fiona in her tank and lined up to snap a photo with her.
Roll told the Daily Buzz that she stepped away from the tank briefly to hand her cell phone to someone to snap a photo, and when she turned around, Kelble was down on one knee.
“It was raining the whole time but I was so happy to see Fiona and so surprised when he asked me to marry him!” Roll tells The Knot. “I was so glad Fiona could be a part of it.”
“We’re so happy Fiona could be there on our special day ❤ here’s to many more years of going to zoos with you 😙 ,” she captioned a series of photos she shared to her Instagram shortly after their early October engagement. Fiona can be seen in the background, floating in the water and watching the romantic moment through the glass.
Fiona first caught national attention earlier this year after she was born six weeks premature in January. Born at just 29 pounds, she is considered the smallest hippo to ever survive, and her growth and development has been rigorously documented on the Cincinnati Zoo website, as well as on her own series of videos on Facebook.
The pair plan to get married in Sandusky on July 20, 2019.