Young patients, their families and invited guests were treated to a visit with animals from Zoo Miami earlier today, at a gathering at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, part of Miami Children’s Health System. The special event served to announce a groundbreaking collaboration of the San Diego Zoo, Zoo Miami and Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, with the arrival of San Diego Zoo Kids.
Funded through a generous gift by 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 Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.
“We are pleased to offer San Diego Zoo Kids to our patients and their families,” stated Dr. Narendra Kini, CEO, Miami Children’s Health System. “Connecting these young children with wildlife through this programming provides an entertaining distraction for them during their time of healing. We want to thank Denny Sanford for making this programming available, and recognize our local partner, Zoo Miami, for their support in providing animals for today’s announcement.”
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 observe the San Diego Zoo’s famous Panda Cam and other online cameras, as well as content from 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 CEO of 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 Miami. “We are so pleased to partner with San Diego Zoo Global to deliver Zoo Miami animal stories to the children who are unable to visit our zoo,” said Ron Magill, goodwill ambassador/director of communications, Zoo Miami. “Connecting children with animals and nature is what we are all about; we hope this programming can bring smiles to the faces of the kids who are dealing with serious health challenges.”
San Diego Zoo Kids debuted in 2013 at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego. Since then, it has been installed in 31 children’s hospitals and Ronald McDonald Houses in 11 states, across the country.
About Zoo Miami
Rated one of the top 10 zoos in the U.S. and one of the top 20 zoos in the world by tripadvisor.com, Zoo Miami houses more than 3,000 animals in natural habitats and provides visitors the feel of a safari. Guests can enjoy animals like okapis, giant river otters, elephants and rhinos in large open air exhibits; a giraffe feeding station; camel rides; an Indian rhino encounter; Australian parrot feeding; meet and greets with mascots, the Zoo Squad; tram tours; family cycles; water play areas; and large exhibits like Amazon & Beyond.
Zoo Miami is located at 12400 SW 152nd St., Miami, FL 33177. General zoo admission is: $19.95/adult, plus tax and $15.95/child (3-12) plus tax. Children under 2, Zoo members and parking are free. Zoo Miami’s hours are 10 a.m.–5 p.m. on weekdays (ticket booths close at 3:30 p.m.) and 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. on weekends and holidays (ticket booths close at 4 p.m.). For more information, please visit zoomiami.org or call 305-251-0400.
About Zoo Miami Foundation
Zoo Miami Foundation (formerly the Zoological Society of Florida) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) that supports Zoo Miami through education, conservation and outreach programs; marketing and public relations; volunteer services; and financial support for the construction of new exhibits. For more information, visit zoomiami.org or call 305-255-5551.
About San Diego Zoo Global
Bringing species back from the brink of extinction is the goal of San Diego Zoo Global. As a leader in conservation, the work of San Diego Zoo Global includes on-site wildlife conservation efforts (representing both plants and animals) at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, as well as international field programs on six continents. The work of these entities is made accessible to children through the San Diego Zoo Kids network, reaching out through the Internet and in children’s hospitals nationwide. The work of San Diego Zoo Global is made possible by the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy and is supported in part by the Foundation of San Diego Zoo Global.
About Nicklaus Children's Hospital (2022)
Founded in 1950 by Variety Clubs International, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital is South Florida’s only licensed specialty hospital exclusively for children, with approximately 800 attending physicians, including more than 500 pediatric subspecialists. The 309-bed hospital, known as Miami Children’s Hospital from 1983 through 2014, is renowned for excellence in all aspects of pediatric medicine with many specialty programs routinely ranked among the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report since 2008. In the 2022-2023 U.S. News ranking, the hospital tied with two other hospitals as the number one children’s hospital in Florida. The hospital is also home to the largest pediatric teaching program in the southeastern United States and since 2003 has been designated an American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet facility, the nursing profession’s most prestigious institutional honor. For more information, please visit www.nicklauschildrens.org.