Cincinnati Zoo offers live-streamed tours during COVID-19 closure
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Cincinnati Zoo offers live-streamed tours during COVID-19 closure

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This zoo is so important to the community and not being able to visit will create a void that we’re trying to fill. The goal with the daily live sessions is to provide fun and educational content to people who are stuck at home

With countless visitor attractions around the world forced to close as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, many are starting to improvise ways they can connect with their customers. Among them, Ohio's Cincinnati Zoo has turned to its digital platforms, offering live "Home Safaris" to its visitors.

Airing seven days a week, zoo staff are the now-closed zoo are "bringing the zoo to you" via a Facebook live stream.

"We’re bringing the zoo to people who are stuck at home," said Cincinnati Zoo director Thane Maynard. "This zoo is so important to the community and not being able to visit will create a void that we’re trying to fill. The goal with the daily live sessions is to provide fun and educational content to people who are stuck at home."

The Home Safaris started airing from Monday and air each day at 3 pm EST. Its debut featured the zoo's famous hippo, Fiona, and proved very effective for the attraction's social channels, with its announcement post reaching more than 18 million people and its Facebook following increasing by more than 400,000 people.

With the closure of the zoo due to the outbreak, the zoo is coupling its live stream sessions with public donation requests.

"As a non-profit organisation, the zoo relies on ticket sales, zoo visits, memberships and donations to operate," said Maynard.

"Being closed will have a significant impact on our overall operating budget. Please consider donating to our emergency operating fund to assist us with the care of our animals and team members. Your support now is more critical than ever."

The zoo has also come up with other ways to raise funds during its closure, including membership renewals, animal sponsorships and personalised Cameo messages from Fiona the hippo.

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With countless visitor attractions around the world forced to close as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, many are starting to improvise ways they can connect with their customers. Among them, Ohio's Cincinnati Zoo has turned to its digital platforms, offering live "Home Safaris" to its visitors.
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