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San Diego Zoo Kids Channel Comes to Melbourne

  • Monday 25th November 2019

San Diego Zoo Kids Channel Comes to Melbourne

Young patients, their families and invited guests were treated to a visit from Grace the Octopus from SEA LIFE Melbourne, at a gathering at The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne (RCH) earlier today (Nov. 22, 2019). This special event was held to announce the arrival of San Diego Zoo Kids, a closed-circuit television adventure channel, at the RCH and Ronald McDonald House Charities Victoria & Tasmania.

San Diego Zoo Kids is an innovative television channel with programs produced primarily for medical facilities that serve paediatric patients and their families. The creation and development of the channel has been funded by businessman and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford.


San Diego Zoo Kids’ programming offers family friendly, animal-oriented stories that are both entertaining and educational. “We are pleased to now provide San Diego Zoo Kids TV to our young patients and their families during their stay at The Royal Children’s Hospital,” said Jane Miller, acting CEO of The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne. “San Diego Zoo Kids TV is one of the world’s most watched and loved children’s entertainment programs, so we are proud to now deliver this to our patients in partnership with San Diego Zoo.” Jane added, “The programming provided by the San Diego Zoo, allows our patients and their families to enjoy entertaining and educational video content, which can be a welcome distraction during an often difficult time.”

The service is also making its debut at Ronald McDonald Houses across Victoria & Tasmania. “We all know that children have a special connection with animals and research has proven the healing benefits of taking children’s minds off their condition and allowing them to relax, sleep better, and heal. We’re excited to now be able to bring the Zoo Kids Channel to Ronald McDonald Houses across Victoria,” said Peter Bishop, CEO, Ronald McDonald House Charities Victoria & Tasmania. “Zoo Kids Channel will allow patients, siblings and parents staying at the House to be able to experience joy of animals when they’re physically unable to get to a zoo. We’re so grateful to San Diego Zoo, The Royal Children’s Hospital, SEA LIFE Melbourne and the donors who have made this project possible.”

 The channel also features animal stories from SEA LIFE Melbourne. “We are thrilled to have partnered with San Diego Zoo and The Royal Children’s Hospital to share amazing stories about sea creatures with children who may be unable to visit SEA LIFE Melbourne,” said Sarah-Jane Tilbury, general manager, SEA LIFE Melbourne. “Through this collaboration we hope to inspire a love of the ocean and its inhabitants among kids spending time in the hospital. We truly admire San Diego Zoo’s work connecting children with animals.”

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 hosts Olivia Degn and Michelle Myers. Viewers can see best-of videos from the San Diego Zoo’s famous Condor Cam and other online cameras, as well as content from other zoos around the world.

“We continue to be humbled by the healing properties of San Diego Zoo Kids,” said Debra Erickson, director of communications, San Diego Zoo Global. “Parents and caregivers share that the channel, which has no commercials or inappropriate content, not only calms children but makes them happy.”

San Diego Zoo Kids debuted in 2013 at Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego. Since then, it has been installed in 292 children's hospitals and Ronald McDonald Houses in 44 states across the U.S. and the District of Columbia, and in facilities in Mexico, Canada, Australia,

New Zealand, Singapore, Pakistan, Qatar, Curaçao, South Africa and India. San Diego Zoo Kids is extremely pleased to be welcomed to Australia, Erickson said. In addition to today’s launch, the channel was previously installed in 2017 at Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in Brisbane and recently at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead in Sydney and Ronald McDonald House Charities Greater Western Sydney. Animal stories from SEA LIFE Melbourne, Taronga Zoo, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary and Australia Zoo are featured on the channel.


The Royal Children’s Hospital

The Royal Children's Hospital (RCH) has been providing outstanding care for Victoria's children and their families for almost 150 years. We are the major specialist paediatric hospital in Victoria and our care extends to children from Tasmania, southern New South Wales and other states around Australia and overseas. With passionate, highly skilled and committed staff campus wide, we provide a full range of clinical services, tertiary care and health promotion and prevention programs for children and young people. Inspired by the quality of light, the textures and forms of its parkland setting, the RCH delivers a patient and family focused healing environment based on the latest evidence and research-based design principles. For more information about RCH, visit


Ronald McDonald House Charities Victoria & Tasmania

Ronald McDonald House Charities Victoria & Tasmania (RMHC VIC & TAS) is a registered charity that creates, finds, and supports programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children and their families. Through our Victorian and Tasmanian network of four Ronald McDonald Houses Hobart, Monash, North Fitzroy and Parkville, four Ronald McDonald Family Rooms Monash, Northern, Sunshine and Wodonga, and Ronald McDonald Learning Program, RMHC VIC & TAS helps families with sick children stay together, and close to the medical care their child needs. RMHC VIC & TAS programs not only provide access to quality health care, they enable family-centered care ensuring families are fully supported and actively involved in their children’s care. For more information, visit


About San Diego Zoo Kids

San Diego Zoo Kids reaches out to millions of children each year who might not otherwise be able to experience the wonders of animals, plants and their habitats, with the goal of making nature accessible to children everywhere. As part of San Diego Zoo Global, an international nonprofit conservation organization that works to save plants and animals worldwide, San Diego Zoo Kids seeks to fight extinction by raising awareness, building respect and igniting a passion for wildlife and conservation among younger audiences. The San Diego Zoo Kids website ( provides a learning experience about animals, habitats and conservation for children anywhere. San Diego Zoo Kids provides free and discounted education programs in San Diego that meet LEAD standards for science curriculum and provides teacher training ( The San Diego Zoo Kids channel ( broadcasts television programming in more than 290 children’s hospitals and Ronald McDonald Houses around the world, providing joy, comfort, laughter and learning to children and their families who are experiencing challenging times. To learn more, visit the links above or connect with us on Facebook and YouTube.