The singer was on hand as the 26-year-old pygmy hippopotamus Francesca made her first Oklahoma public appearance since moving from the San Diego Zoo. In 1953, the then 10-year-old Peevey sang the novelty hit, "I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas." It led to a statewide fund drive in which children donated dimes to purchase and bring a pachyderm to the zoo.
Peevey also was there in December 1953 when the Nile hippopotamus Mathilda arrived. Francesca joins 43-year-old Wolee in the zoo's pachyderm exhibit. Pygmy hippos are listed as endangered with fewer than 3,000 in the wild.