Birmingham Zoo launches virtual zoo amid COVID-19 outbreak

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(Courtesy of the Birmingham Zoo)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Although the Birmingham Zoo closed as the city began to administer social distancing guidelines due to the novel coronavirus, they have now created a way to experience wildlife through your computer screens.

The Birmingham Zoo has launched a virtual zoo on social media. The animal-life content aims to keep zoo guests at home connected to the organization and animals they love.

Zoo staff members have constructed a clever way to offer viewers a unique look inside the zoo and provide access to signature camps and programs. Guests can find the virtual zoo on Facebook and Instagram will have the opportunity to virtually tour the grounds and behind the scenes areas, see what’s new at the zoo and meet the animals who live here in Birmingham.

“The Zoo truly values our supporters,” Birmingham Zoo President and CEO Chris Pfefferkorn said. “We want to ensure now, more than ever, that they stay connected to our animals and programs.”

Starting Monday, the zoo will host Virtual Zoo Camp on Facebook each weekday at 11 a.m. Each 10-minute episode will include an engaging activity for the entire family to enjoy. Episodes will range from special behind the scenes tours of the zoo, interesting lessons about animals and Birmingham Zoo conservation work in our own backyard and all around the world. The zoo’s education staff will be online to answer questions and chat with virtual campers about the day’s lesson.

In addition to offering virtual programs, the Birmingham Zoo’s social media will continue to highlight various animals through the Meet the Neighbors campaign. Each day at 1 p.m., viewers will have a chance to watch a short clip of the animals, learn about their behaviors, and meet the animal care professionals who care for them daily. Zoo Members will also receive an email video every Monday with exclusive content just for them.

Below is the Birmingham Zoo social media program schedule

Virtual Zoo Camp: Monday – Friday at 11 a.m. on Facebook

  • MARCH 23 – Animal Nutrition Tour
  • MARCH 24 – Coloration/Camouflage
  • MARCH 25 – Animal tracking
  • MARCH 26 – Veterinary Team (Birds)
  • MARCH 27 – Zooniverse
  • MARCH 30 – Training class
  • APRIL 1 – Adaptations
  • APRIL 2 – Careers

Meet the Neighbors: Daily at 1 p.m. on Facebook and Instagram

  • MARCH 23 – Lion feeding
  • MARCH 24 – Animals exploring zoo
  • MARCH 25 – Goat weighing
  • MARCH 26 – Fishing cat
  • MARCH 27 – Sea Lion training
  • MARCH 28 – Flying birds
  • MARCH 29 – Collective nouns
  • MARCH 30 – Hawk training
  • APRIL 1 – Mr. Whiskers on Henley Park
  • APRIL 2 – Shake it off
  • APRIL 3 – I love Bham Zoo

Members exclusive email video: Every Monday

  • MARCH 23 – Flamingo roundup
  • MARCH 30 – Bobcat training

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*Maps provided by Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi Departments of Public Health

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