Zoos Bring Animal Kingdom to Patients at Boston Children’s Hospital

Young patients, their families and invited guests were treated to a visit with a prehensile-tailed porcupine from Zoo New England earlier today (July 29, 2016), at a gathering at Boston Children’s Hospital. This special event was presented to announce a groundbreaking collaboration of the San Diego Zoo, Zoo New England and Boston Children’s Hospital, with the arrival of San Diego Zoo Kids.

Funded through a generous gift from businessman and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford, San Diego Zoo Kids is an innovative closed-circuit television broadcast channel that provides family friendly, animal-oriented programming that is both entertaining and educational. The channel is available on TV monitors in every patient room, as well as in waiting areas at Boston Children’s Hospital.

“Creating special patient experiences every day is our priority at Boston Children’s Hospital,” said Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO of Boston Children’s Hospital. “San Diego Zoo Kids allows us to provide one more comfort to our young patients while they are in the hospital. We want to thank Denny Sanford and the Sheryl Lee Osborne Foundation for making this programming available, and recognize our local partner, Zoo New England, for their support in providing animals for today’s announcement.”

Zoos Bring Animal Kingdom to Patients at Boston Children’s Hospital

San Diego Zoo Kids offers up-close video encounters with animals, including a wide variety of short video vignettes hosted by San Diego Zoo Global Ambassador Rick Schwartz. Viewers can see video from the San Diego Zoo’s famous Panda Cam and other online cameras, as well as content from other zoos across the country.

“San Diego Zoo Kids has the ability to bring the zoo to young patients who don’t have the opportunity to visit,” said Douglas G. Myers, president and chief executive officer, San Diego Zoo Global. “The stories we tell through this channel not only entertain children and their families during what can be a stressful time, but hopefully inspire a new generation to appreciate wildlife and their natural habitats.”

The channel also will feature animal stories from Zoo New England. “Zoo New England is thrilled to partner with San Diego Zoo Global and Boston Children’s Hospital to deliver heartwarming and educational animal stories to children who are unable to visit our zoo,” said John Linehan, president and chief executive officer, Zoo New England. “Animals and children are our passion at the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston and Stone Zoo in Stoneham. We have dedicated our lives to connecting children with the wonders of the animal kingdom.”

San Diego Zoo Kids debuted in 2013 at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego. Since then, it has been installed in almost 70 children’s hospitals and Ronald McDonald Houses in 23 states across the U.S., and in three countries.