Tijuana, Mexico - Young patients, their families and invited guests were treated to a visit with some amazing stories and guests from San Diego Zoo Global at a gathering at the Hospital Infantil de las Californias in Tijuana, Mexico earlier today. This special event served to announce the arrival of a closed-circuit television adventure channel, San Diego Zoo Kids, at the facility.

San Diego Zoo Kids is an innovative television channel with programs produced exclusively for medical facilities that serve pediatric patients and their families. The creation and development of the channel has been funded by businessman and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford. A generous gift from the Foundation for the Children of the Californias has made the channel available on television monitors in every patient room, as well as in waiting areas at Hospital Infantil de las Californias.

The San Diego Zoo Kids channel offers up-close video encounters with animals, stories about caring for animals, quizzes about animals and habitats, and a wide variety of short video vignettes hosted by San Diego Zoo Global ambassador Rick Schwartz and San Diego Zoo Kids host Oliva Degn. Viewers can see video from the San Diego Zoo’s famous Panda Cam and other online cameras, as well as content from other zoos across the country.

 “The stories we tell on the San Diego Zoo Kids 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,” said Douglas G. Myers, president and CEO of San Diego Zoo Global. “We have heard from several doctors, nurses, and families that providing these animal stories has been a resource of calm and comfort for their young patients.”

Added Ignacio Vilchis, associate director, applied animal ecology, San Diego Zoo Global

“There is science behind animal-based therapy, along with evidence that when we connect with animals, this helps us heal earlier and also be healthier. Through the San Diego Zoo Kids Channel, we're bringing animals to those who need them most, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, devoting all our effort to children.”

San Diego Zoo Kids debuted in 2013 at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego. Since then, it has been installed in 110 children's hospitals and Ronald McDonald Houses in 28 states across the U.S., and the District of Columbia, and in facilities in Mexico, Canada, Australia and Pakistan.