The current closure of the world-famous San Diego Zoo and Safari Park due to the COVID-19 outbreak inspired its animal experts and zookeepers to find ways of bringing the zoo’s resident wildlife to straight audiences at home.
Targeted for kids who’re stuck at home in search of entertainment (and education), its ‘Virtual Mission: Spring Break’ is running now through April 19. While it may be a youth-oriented online program, there’s nothing stopping the young-at-heart from enjoying a fascinating up-close look at wildlife.
First, there’s a downloadable list of 101 things for kids to do—backyard missions that can be accomplished with the aid of a computer, tablet or mobile phone, or by printing out pages and ticking off each task as you go. It contains fun practical challenges, animal trivia and quiz questions to test your zoological knowledge.
For kids and adults alike, wildlife talks from zoo experts are scheduled to inform and intrigue animal lovers, including a presentation by an elephant specialist and another by a serval ambassador. If visitors miss the live version, the talks will be available afterward on the zoo’s Facebook page.
Next, San Diego Zoo Global has just released its newest app, ‘Danceabout Australia,’ which brings a full-on Kangaroo Dance Party straight into your living room or backyard through the magic of augmented reality (AR). Join in the Outback Disco fun, filled with dancing kangaroos and hopping dance tracks.
You can also record your unique AR experience and share on social media or upload to Instagram using the tag #DanceAboutAustralia.
Audiences are also invited to get to know the zoo’s animal inhabitants via YouTube videos that offer up-close, intimate views onto animal behavior and feature everything from lions, hippos, elephants and gorillas to koalas, polar bears, penguins and tortoises.
Finally, as discovered by Narcity, the zoo is providing lifestreams of a variety of animals, up-close inside their habitats, where you can watch them eating, resting, grooming, running, jumping, pouncing and playing throughout their day! The list of livestreams includes:
—Burrowing Owl Cam, presented by Ori and the Will of the Wisps
—Butterfly Cam, presented by Wheelhouse Credit Union
—Elephant Cam, presented by Planet Zoo
—Panda Cam (archived video)
—Penguin Cam, presented by Alaska Airlines
—Polar Cam, presented by the Coca-Cola Company
For more information, visit zoo.sandiegozoo.org/missionspringbreak.
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