Zoo Brings Animal Kingdom to Patients at Children’s Hospital of Orange County

Animals and young patients were brought together today at Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC Children’s Hospital) to announce the arrival of the San Diego Zoo Kids television channel. Funded by a generous gift by businessman and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford, San Diego Zoo Kids is a closed-circuit television broadcast channel that features entertaining and educational programming about unique and endangered animal species. It is available on TV monitors in every patient room and in waiting areas.


“It only takes an encounter with one of our pet therapy dogs to believe in the positive impact of animals.  We are very excited about this collaboration with San Diego Zoo Global, connecting our patients with so many different animals and providing a wonderfully entertaining distraction for them that we believe will promote healing,” said Dr. Maria Minon, chief medical officer and vice president, medical affairs, CHOC Children’s.

The channel features video from the San Diego Zoo’s famous Panda Cam as well as other live, online cameras, fun and educational pieces about a variety of animals and up-close video encounters of popular animals, hosted by the San Diego Zoo’s national spokesperson, Rick Schwartz.

“We have always believed in the importance of putting people in touch with animals as a way to conserve species,” said Doug Myers, president and CEO of San Diego Zoo Global. “What we have heard from medical care professionals is that animal interaction and animal stories can also help promote well-being. San Diego Zoo Global has a wealth of animal stories and, through the generosity of Denny Sanford, we are able to bring these stories to the families at hospitals around the country.”

The service will also debut at the Orange County Ronald McDonald House. San Diego Zoo Kids debuted at the Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego on December 18, 2013.


About CHOC
Named one of the best children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report (2015-2016) and a 2013 Leapfrog Top Hospital for the highest quality of care, Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC Children’s) is exclusively committed to the health and well-being of children through clinical expertise, advocacy, outreach, education and research that brings advanced treatment to pediatric patients. Affiliated with the University of California, Irvine, CHOC’s regional health care network includes two state-of-the-art hospitals in Orange and Mission Viejo, many primary and specialty care clinics, a pediatric residency program, and four clinical centers of excellence – the CHOC Children’s Heart, Neuroscience, Orthopaedic and Hyundai Cancer Institutes.

About San Diego Zoo Global
The San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy is dedicated to bringing endangered species back from the brink of extinction. The Conservancy makes possible the wildlife conservation efforts (representing both plants and animals) of the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research and international field programs in more than 35 countries. The important conservation and science work of these entities is supported in part by The Foundation of the Zoological Society of San Diego.