Here’s a baby hippo taking her first steps, so prepare to cry happy tears

The search for something to brighten up your day stops here. This instant mood booster comes courtesy of the staff at The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, who shared footage of a prematurely born baby hippo taking her first steps that will definitely make you squeal with delight. Also, the probability of shedding tears is quite high, just so ya know.

In case you’re not familiar with this precious animal, this is the same baby hippo we saw sipping from a milk bottle recently, and if it isn’t clear by now, Fiona the tiny hippopotamus is making the most wonderful strides in her journey. The hippo calf came into the world six weeks early on Jan. 24 to her 17-year-old mother Bibi.

Since that time, caretakers at the Cincinnati Zoo have provided Fiona with around-the-clock care to make sure she develops into a healthy, capable hippopotamus. At the time of Fiona’s birth, she couldn’t nurse from her mom or stand on her own, and at a mere 29 pounds, was well below the standard weight of typical baby hippos.

But zoo staff is happy to report that Fiona is growing healthier by the day.

Clearly, her first steps represent major progress in her journey, and we couldn’t be more excited about them!

OMG, our hearts! We’ve never wanted to hug a hippo so desperately than at this moment. Obviously, Fiona’s a wee bit shaky but you can tell she’s just raring to go. Her resilience coupled with the dedication and compassion demonstrated by her caretakers has us crying tears of joy.

While these wobbly steps are undoubtedly a huge milestone, Cincinnati Zoo’s curator of mammals Christina Gorsuch said Fiona isn’t quite ready to strike out on her own just yet.

"She still has a long way to go before she'll be strong enough to be reunited with her mom," Gorsuch said. "She needs to learn how to nurse on her own, walk, swim and get a lot bigger."

And we’ll be right there for every step, cheering Fiona along from the sidelines.