Hayley Roll and Nick Kelble might have been dating long distance (Nick is a student at the University of Cincinnati and Hayley just graduated from Bowling Green State University), but their shared love of Fiona, the adorable hippo at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, always gave them something fun to talk about when they were apart.
“We are huge #TeamFiona fans and have been following her since she was born,” Roll told The Daily Buzz of the hippo, who was born in January at just 29 pounds, making her the smallest hippo to ever survive. “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.”
So when the couple visited the zoo earlier this month, they were thrilled they were able to catch a glimpse of her in her tank. Little did Roll know there was an even bigger surprise waiting.
“Nick, my boyfriend and I were waiting in line to get our photo taken with Fiona and I gave my cell phone to someone to take the photo and when I turned back around, Nick was on one knee proposing.”
“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 told the Knot. “I was so glad Fiona could be a part of it.”
Roll shared the good news on her Instagram account: “We’re so happy Fiona could be there on our special day ❤ here’s to many more years of going to zoos with you 😙 .” And of course there Fiona is in the background, looking out over the couple.
Awww! How’s that for a sweet surprise?