Feb 24, 2014 8:02 PM
TUCSON - Lions, bears, flamingos and other Reid Park Zoo animals now have a larger audience watching them than just daily Zoo guests.
New Zoo Cams, installed in six exhibits now enable the public to view their favorite animals every day from home or on any mobile device. This is the first time Reid Park Zoo has featured this type of technology.
Cameras can be accessed on the Reid Park Zoo website, located under the "Zoo Cams" tab at the top of the page. In addition to seeing what Reid Park animals are doing throughout the day, online viewers can check-up on the mother-to-be elephant, the two recently rescued grizzly bears and over 20 flamingos!
The new technology also offers teachers an opportunity to bring the Zoo into their classrooms when field trips are not an option. Schools can make appointments with the Zoo to reserve cameras, putting the controls in the hands of the teachers and students. Interacting with the exhibit by zooming the cameras in and out allows students to take a front row seat to observe animal behavior.
"Nothing beats a visit to the Zoo as a learning experience," says Vivian VanPeenen, the Zoo's Curator of Education, "but we know that most Tucson residents only visit the animals a few times a year. We're thrilled we can deliver several of the Zoo's animals to the community daily through the Zoo Cams. Cox's investment in the Zoo Cam technology is allowing us to provide educational and fun experiences, online or at the zoo, to a broader audience."
The Zoo Cams were funded in part by a Cox Charities donation. In 2013, Cox Charities made its largest Tucson donation to date and distributed nearly $170,000 to 30 Tucson nonprofits. Cox's pledge to community giving is a cornerstone of the company's heritage and culture and was the driving factor in more than $16.6 million in cash and in-kind donations contributed to local Arizona nonprofits by Cox last year.
"Cox Charities is committed to the growth of nonprofits and important education programs that enhance our community," said Lisa Lovallo, vice president of Cox in Southern Arizona. "We are thrilled to partner with Reid Park Zoo in order to bring the wonders of the Zoo and its animal residents to Southern Arizona homes and into the classrooms Tucson students."